Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Justice, Gorillas, and Sanctity of Life


   It's rare that I write about current hot topics, but the time has come to break my silence. You have most likely heard about the gorilla named Harambe that was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo last week after dragging around a small child that had entered its enclosure. Many people are angry about Harambe's death, blaming the parents of the child, and showing social media activism with the "#JusticeforHarambe" hashtag. This is just one example of a world with misplaced values.


   Modern people are quick rush to the aid of animals. They protest against animal abuse, make objection any time an animal is killed in the public eye, and bemoan the fate of endangered species. The same society that is swift to protect animals is just as swift to tell a woman to kill the tiny human in her womb because it's "her choice" to get rid of the "blob of tissue". This society overlooks the justice given to a terrified little boy to ask justice for an ape.

   To be sure, animals are an amazing part of God's creation. Life wouldn't be the same without our sweet pets, or the wild creatures we view in zoos and admire on television or in pictures. We are to be wise stewards of these creatures that the Lord has made, certainly not senselessly beating our pets and livestock or rampantly killing them without reason. A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast (Proverbs 12:10).

   At the same time, human life is far more sacred than animal life. Unlike them, we bear the image of our Creator. We are able to have a deep, personal, eternal relationship with Him that they cannot. God takes the lives of His image-bearers seriously. Part of the law to His people was that if an ox gored a person to death, the ox was to be killed (Exodus 21:28). Though He sees even each sparrow that falls, He tells us that we are more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29,31).

   Yes, it sad that the Cincinnati Zoo episode had to end in the death of one of God's creatures. Most likely, Harambe saw the child as a baffling toy rather than someone to purposefully kill. In an ideal situation, the parents would have seen the danger and prevented their son from getting into the enclosure. Circumstances are not always ideal, though. The zoo staff did the right thing. If they had not stepped in, the little boy could very well have died from the rough handling. A decision had to be made and there was no time to waste.

  As Christians, we are at risk of getting swept up in the tide of the world's ideals, crying out for justice for an ape, rather than being grateful for the people who saved the boy's life. Without godly wisdom, we are vulnerable to jumping on the bandwagon of a society where good is called evil and evil is called good. What would we have been crying out for at the zoo that day? When push comes to shove, may we stand for God's justice and not the world's.


So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:27


14 comments:

  1. Could not agree more on your observations! I must say that most of the people feeling indignant that the gorilla was killed for the sake of the child's safety, sadly do not have children of their own, and those who do and still feel the gorilla should have lived, have a mentality that is completely misguided, sentimental and down right scary!

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    1. Yes, it is really too bad that the common mindset is so twisted. :( Praise God that he transforms our minds!

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  2. Very true - we were made in the image of God, and although the Bible calls us to love and take care of the animals, they are not above us. That child deserved a life more than a gorilla.
    www.thedivinepresence.wordpress.com

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  3. What baffles me is, why do all these people care about Harambe? I believe we should care for animals, but how many people outraged at his death actually had some kind of personal investment and interest in his well-being when he was alive? In my opinion, the zookeeper and respond team that made the call to kill the gorilla had the most to lose and they made the most responsible if not difficult choice.

    Accidents happen and we have to take responsibility for accidents that can be prevented, but we also have to realize that accidents happen no matter what and maybe we need to be understanding and accept that.

    Also, before we pretend to be all empathetic and caring about a gorilla's life, let's think about that CHILD'S life! Just because the child survived does not mean he was not in danger or that circumstances could have taken a serious turn for the worse!!

    Haha, maybe I should go and write my own blog post about this? Thanks for sharing, Paige, and reminding us what our priorities should be because of our merciful creator.

    Dani xoxo
    a vapor in the wind

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    1. You make some very good points! Yes, it seems likely that the zoo staffers themselves were the ones who would take the gorilla's death the hardest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'm glad you liked the post. :)

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  4. You said it perfectly. Thank you. Stephanie

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    1. Glad to hear from like-minded believers. :)

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  5. Uggh! I didn't even think about the connections between that and abortion. You are so right. To tell the truth I was mad aout the death of the gorilla myself. But you made me realize a little boys life should be of more value :-)

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    1. Yes, it is still sad that the gorilla had to die, as he wasn't actively seeking out opportunities to hurt people (far as I know!). But yes, the boy's life was of more value and I'm so very glad my post was thought-provoking for you! :) Thanks for your comment.

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  6. Amen! Great post Paige! People are so crazy. I'm glad you took the time to write about this issue from a logical perspective!

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    1. Thank you Bethany! :) We definitely need to stop and turn to scripture with all issues.

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  7. I think everyone's upset at the wrong people! The zookeepers (and subsequent gorilla experts who all loved the animal) all agreed that it was the only thing they could have done, as sad as they were to do it. The parents; I have no idea if they were being neglectful of their kid or not. I'm mostly upset at the people who were screaming at the gorilla and exciting him. I think he could easily have been called away (like the others in the enclosure) if everyone had quieted down instead of freaking out and making the gorilla nervous. >.<

    Either way, it's all in the past. Let's all remember to keep our priorities straight and be sad about an unfortunate incident but glad the child is safe and sound.

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    1. Yeah, that may have helped! O.o
      Yes indeed! :)

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