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Releasing a bald eagle in chapel at Oral Roberts University does not go as planned

Aug 22, 2013 By Abraham

Yesterday, during the chapel service at Oral Roberts University, a bald eagle was released to fly around inside the auditorium. Thanks to the vast windows along the sides of the building and the bright blue beyond outside those windows, things didn’t go so well for the bird…

The view from the floor…

[Update: Not surprisingly, this Instagram user removed her video. Still available on YouTube, though…]

The view from the balcony…

In a third longer video, we see that the bird who was quickly retrieved by its handler was dazed but fine.

(via Tony Jones)


  1. Nancy DeWitt says:

    What the heck was that bird’s handler thinking? Their permit should be yanked for putting a bird in a situation like that.

  2. AJ says:

    Perfect symbolism. The eagle, a symbol of American freedom, held captive in the unnatural confines of the CHURCH, is dazed and confused when subjected to the screaming masses of ignorant Christian fundamentalists.

    In the clip, you can hear that kids are laughing and entertained by a bird obviously in distress. They should have been appalled that a creature of God was treated like a circus act, and potentially harmed in the process. Instead, just another day of fun at good ol ORU chapel.
    No wonder they have such a hard time empathizing with fellow humans not on their walk.

    “Whatever you do to the least of these, you also do unto me.”

    1. Boise Girl says:

      Exactly. Thank you for voicing what was in my heart. While I always love the Lord at times I’m ashamed that I might be associated with the religious masses.

    2. Noa says:

      You’re generalizing. Just because you don’t like Christians doesnt mean they’re all terrible. The handler said they use the bird for events. It’s not like its been trained only to entertain Christians. You’re blaming christians for something they didnt do. Good job. If it bothers you so much, contact the organization that actually cages these birds. Don’t blame shift because of your own hatred. You obviously have a skewed sense of truth if you can’t grasp the reality of who is responsible for the handling of this bird.

  3. Scottie Sharpe says:

    I can’t thank AJ enough for the dead-on comment he posted. These religious wackos should be ashamed of themselves for this inane behavior. But then again, if they can’t tell the difference between reality and their delusional fantasy of talking snakes, men who walk on water, and other nonsense, how can we expect them to act with any level of decency in a civilized society?

  4. Possum says:

    I agree with Nancy. The handler was a fool to subject his bird to such an idiotic, undignified, harmful stunt.

  5. Jean Frank says:

    ASPCA been notified about this yet??? The handler AND the idiots in charge of the meeting should all arrested for cruelty to animals. So much for ‘good Christian attitudes’ at ORU. All the idiots laughing in the room should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Chelsi says:

    This is sad and horrifying. What was supposed to have happened? Is it normal to release a bird in a room with so many people anyway? Can’t believe they were laughing.

    1. Supfly says:

      Yes! The DA has discretion is what to pursue as punishment. Even death penalty!
      According to the Oklahoma statue, “…..shall not fly bird if eagle or eagle type in a closed door Christian chapel…”
      It goes on to describe other animal situations including laser headgear not appropriate for sharks

  7. Steve says:

    agree with all the above. I have had the honor of handling these awesome creatures in schools and businesses for education purposes. The moron(s) that put this display on should be severely reprimanded (I’m being VERY nice in my comments) I am not a “Christian” by any stretch but I would have more compassion for the bird than those bunch of jackals. My heart hurts for the bird.

  8. Tabitha says:

    Christy Redmond needs to be slapped!!! Who watches an eagle crash into a glass window and sits there and laughs about it. And, the brilliant idiot she is, post it on Instagram. People are idiots…ALL. THE. TIME!!!

  9. wemightmelt says:

    Do we know where this took place and is there an ASPCA number I Can call or something similar to register a complaint to??

  10. Jennifer Keely says:

    I really can’t stand it when people take God’s name in vain. The cackling owner of this video lets loose with plenty of “OMG”s as the poor thing is flying around. Way to go, “Christian.” Way to represent. No wonder Christianity is losing a foothold in this country with displays like this.

    1. Bernice says:

      @Jennifer Keely. With grace, I hope to share some knowledge with the hope of helping release you from experiencing unnecessary confusion and the choice of afflicting personal agitation upon yourself when others, bald eagle handlers or otherwise, may declare “OMG!” (or, “Oh, my god!”). Before I do, please realize that by your similar definition/understanding of “taking God’s name in vain” you yourself, literally, committed the same infraction by having typed “OMG!” within your post. Though it’s possible that you might assume typing “OMG!” isn’t the same “thing” as taking God’s name in vain it, ultimately, is being that doing so in any way whatsoever is still a partaking of the offense per such definition and understanding as yours. I assume that by personally revealing your Christian “representation,” you did not intend to inadvertently cause Christianity to lose even further foothold in our country that you seemed to express has been done by “Christians” other than yourself. Nonetheless, fret not! Because, declaring “Oh my god!”, as either a bird handler or internet commenter, will not affect our country’s foothold of Christianity, nor your own.

      Understand that God had stated, simply, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain… ” (Ex. 20:7, Deut. 5:11.). Additionally, God also, with all clarity and the wisdom to help prevent assumption, stated that His name is “Jehovah” (ie. YHWH [Yahweh], Elohim, etc. etc.) with, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Ex. 6:3).
      Furthermore, even in present day are we capable of knowing and using His name “Jehovah” with hardly any energy, just as the author of Psalms 83:18 who states, “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

      Obviously, God’s name is not “God” any more than your name is “woman,” “human,” “she” or even “that one girl who became distressed when a bird handler said “OMG! in a phone video taken at ORU.” For instance: it would be illogical and errant to believe that by saying, “Oh my god! My goddamned bald eagle is gonna fly into a goddamned window of this goddamned Oral Roberts University’s goddamned auditorium! Goddamnit of all goddamnits!” is the very act of taking the lord’s name in vain. One may ask, “Where in that sentence is God’s name used in vain?” and would be right to ask, being that the person and even God Himself knows the definition of the word name”. As well, it would be inane to replace the “goddamn/goddamnit” statements of that sentence by using “girldamned” in reference to you and define or believe it to be the same as “taking a name in vain”.

      Therefore, Jennifer, be still in thy heart and mind, and know that only you have the power to realize and properly use the definition of “name,” as much God and His Bible defines it, or Merriam Webster.

  11. Tristan says:

    Wow… The response for something like this is incredible… It’s funny how when something to do with human rights is posted on here, barely anyone comments. If something is posted where something bad happens to an animal, all hell is raised and people FREAK out. Add the church or christian aspect in and suddenly you get hate mongers hating on christians.

    Also, most of those people are probably late teens, early twenties. What kind of response do you expect from them? That said, it does suck that the bird got hurt. But nobody needs to be arrested. You want to destroy a human beings life because of an animal?! How about you reprimand them and prevent such a thing from happening again.

    1. S.Stern says:

      tristan – 7 bil people… aaand how many eagles are left?
      Yeah your argument is a little flat.

      What do i expect from a bunch of christians? not much, apparently.

      basic respect if void when your fairy story of a religion tells you that you own the world.

      1. Tristan says:

        First off, you kind of proved my point about Christian hate mongers. Also, Christians don’t think we own the world. We believe we’re supposed to be good stewards of it. Hence my point at the end. And seven billion people or not, each life is precious, and yes, more so than an eagle. Let me repeat one thing though before you forget I said it: we still need to take care of animals too. My argument stands very strong if you actually value human life more than other creatures. Yes, both points of view are moral statements but it leaves me dumbstruck when human beings don’t value their fellow man/women more than a dog or something. People around the world are starving / being raped / sold into slavery / etc every day and no one blinks an eye. Yet heaven forbid a dog gets shot or an eagle hits a window because that’s what’s really disgusting in this world, and of course, that’s the kind of injustice that really matters right? right?… no.

        1. Christa Hill says:

          It’s just plain wrong and not Christian to laugh a a human being’s or animals suffering. Some of these people need a lesson in sensitivity.

        2. mikki says:

          Tristan… are you seriously being pissed at people voicing their dislike at this video. ‘First off’, ‘proving’, ‘hence’ and ‘my argument’….why are you arguing at all? This is a disgusting thing to watch – on a site that usually tries to provide humour. I am not comparing values of who is or isn’t more important…or even mentioning the word moral. I’m dumbstruck that you want to use words about stavation/rape/slavery and at the end of that sentence use ‘etc’. Who isn’t blinking their eyes??
          No one in this chapel is being devalued or harmed. But they are to another creature. It was not a situation of them or us… they were squealing, yelling and laughing at something that is not funny. No one here is devaluing anyone else – just their disgusting behaviour and trying to say it’s ok because they are more important than an animal?..really? Because in trying to call our responses incredible is indeed doing that.
          And I promise just to you and the horse you rode in on, that if I see any vids of starvation, rape, or someone being sold into slavery ETC…I will voice my disgust at those as it is my right – just the same as it is our right to voice our opinions and disgust at what we just saw – and it is NOT your right to tell me who I value more for voicing that disgust. YOU don’t have a right to tell me I am not allowed voice my dislike because YOU are being defensive about it and then try and tell me that I’m a “Christian hate monger”! It was IN A CHAPEL….. how was that ok in the first place? How is a bald eagle being released in a chapel at all respectful of that place…how are the people in that chapel being respectful of the sacred place they were in by their almost hysterical reactions.
          “Destroying a humans life because of an animal”… overreaction much? …More like making someone responsible for their stupid behaviour? Yes that’s absolutely right.
          Play the vid back…close your eyes and listen to it….who is it that is ‘freaking out’ again??

          1. Tristan says:

            Again, I was just pointing out a cultural crisis. Never did I say that what happened in this video is ok. Neither did I tell you it was wrong to call it out. What I did say was wrong was how people said someone should be arrested for this. There are ways to teach a lesson to someone without destroying their life. A good fine in the right place and their license revoked would go a long way. And whether it’s in a chapel or not, Christians are still just as much in need of grace as others. We still make mistakes but it’s somehow worse when we do it? Non-Christians hold Christians to a higher standard than we ourselves do or ever think we could manage to attain. Yes we try, but we fail too.

        3. Chelsi says:

          You are making a false dichotomy. I can value human life, while simultaneously pointing out that these people are freaking abusing an animal. Pointing that out does nothing to worsen the human trafficking situation. Tell me, fellow Christian, how are these people good stewards of God’s creation? There is no point to what is going on in this video. It is appalling.

          I am simultaneously opposed to human trafficking. Not that that has anything to do with this video or conversation.

          1. Tristan says:

            I didn’t say you couldn’t be. What I said was the majority of attention in the North America seems to go towards injustices against animals first and foremost. I belief one person is worth so much more than any amount of animals and it saddens me when issues like that are ignored in favour of a dog or some other animal. You most certainly can and should be concerned about both and I never said that you shouldn’t or that your couldn’t.

          2. B says:

            Humans aren’t worth more than animals, because we ARE animals, Tristan. We’re just evolved. Some people tend to be de-evolving these days, but that’s a different discussion for a different time and place. Animals are innocent beings, that never judge, and offer unconditional love. Sounds awfully similar to your religious ideals, doesn’t it?

  12. Jannice Mull says:

    You all aught to be ashamed of yourselves, this is a cruel stunt that has hurt an innocent bird. you all laugh like it is funny, and you call yourselves christens. Shame shame, I hope the right people are notified about this handler (if thats what you want to call him. And by the way why do you have a Bald Eagle there anyway?

  13. DVLbunny13 says:

    How can ANY of you defend this? The laughter heightens as the poor animal flies into the window! I’m not attacking Christians but it truly isn’t “Christin-like” behavior. I HOPE the proper authorities have been contacted! I think everyone should contact a state rep and animal rights organizations! This was wrong on so many levels and it’s OBVIOUS the handler has no business having access to large birds after seeing this! I’m not a bird handler (nor would I be) If I were…I’d for sure think of the windows! Also Introducing this poor defenseless animal to crowds of loud humans in a confined building is bad enough in my opinion! While I dont agree with this beautiful animal being held in captivity.. (I dont know the situation.. if it was rescued and can’t be re-introduced back into the wild or INTRODUCED)..It should only be allowed to fly outside for the sole purpose of allowing it to experience the freedom the animal is entitled to! END OF!
    No, not a stab on Christians.. These are facts and I could go on and on about how wrong it is! I don’t care what group it is gathered! It could be a crowd of Satanists.. it doednt matter.. I’d feel the same! Though I admit I find the laughter getting louder when the bird hits the window SO VERY disturbing.. Not while watching the bird fly.. But that it gets much louder when it flies into the window and goes down.. How is that FUNNY?!!

  14. Michaela Beall says:

    As a Christian, I found this in very poor taste also… all the laughing at the eagle’s obvious distress was disheartening. How cruel. Whatever the reason for the supposedly majestic display or the message that was desired to be depicted, I hope they are remorseful. Would Jesus laugh at this stunt? I don’t think so…

  15. Dave says:

    Pulling this clowns permits is not enough. I hope USF&W takes harsh action. As far as the immature responses of the congregation, I’m glad I’m not a part of your ministry.

  16. Bob says:

    I am a Christian and I found this, the actions of ORU and the students to be extremely offensive. This is NOT a representation of Christian beliefs or actions. God created the world and called it “good”. Throughout Biblical history, God consistently reprimanded the people for not taking care of the earth and laughing at an animal in distress is incompatible with gospel values.

    I don’t understand the purpose for having such a demonstration in chapel. I’ve been to animal handling shows at zoos and have seen similar demonstrations (birds flying through the air), but always in a controlled setting. This was not a controlled setting and was an improper place to have such a thing occur.

    I do think and hope there is an investigation and those who are responsible for this lack of judgment are dealt with. As for the students…I don’t find them all too different from a lot of people in this upcoming generation….so called ‘generation meh’. So perhaps this is an opportunity for all of us…including and especially the students in this video to look at ourselves and examine where we are indifferent to the suffering of other people or animals, and commit ourselves to do otherwise. After all, that IS a value Jesus taught.

  17. m.kinger says:

    my co-worker’s step-aunt makes $79 an hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her pay was $17477 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more……ℛush64.COℳ

  18. B says:

    Anyone with ANY experience with birds knows how quickly an indoor situation can become dangerous. Pet bird owners usually clip their bird’s wings to prevent injury in windows or mirrors. Obviously with an eagle with unclipped wings, the risk of flying into the glass is huge. Why any handler would set herself up in this situation, putting an animal in jeopardy, is beyond me. Brainless. Careless. Ignorant. Neglectful. Just a few things that come to mind.

    1. B says:

      And for the record, I could care less who the person is/what the person’s religion is that released the bird in a building, regardless of the building. Releasing a bird in a building- with plenty of windows nonetheless- is a moronic act.

      But, that being said, it’s just highly ironic that such a compassion-less act was done in a church, that’s all. Come on, even the Christians have to admit that. It’s a total Christian facepalm moment. If Jesus is watching, newsflash, he ain’t happy, folks.

  19. anna says:

    I have to echo some things that were already said — it sickens me how much more Americans care about animals in America than suffering humans around the world.

  20. Terry Zeiter says:

    some one needs to go to jail and be fined for this insident. I thought that was the law not to mess with tese birds.

  21. T. Kline says:

    Excellent! A very apt metaphor for Christian America, as its eagle of xenophobic jingoism crashes hard against the window of truth and reason.

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