By now you have seen the video and heard the story of Harambe the 450-pound western lowland gorilla who lived at the Cincinnati Zoo. On Saturday a four year old boy found his way into the enclosure and Harambe found him. The video shows the huge animal dragging the young boy around. Zoo officials made a quick life or death decision and shot the gorilla to rescue the boy. This event has many sad components. It is sad that the boy’s parents were so busy that the four year old had time to evade all the barriers and make it into the enclosure. It is sad that zoo officials had to kill the animal, as he was a huge draw for visitors. But the saddest part of the whole story is to hear the reaction by some in the public. Thanks to tools like Twitter and Facebook, we now get bombarded by the thoughts of every lunatic with an internet connection and social media account. It was bad enough that the zoo had to make a heart breaking choice, albeit the right one, they now have to put up with the criticism of Hollywood’s darlings. Ricky Gervais tweeted, "It seems that some gorillas make better parents than some people." John Fugelsang added, "If I ever let my toddler fall into a gorilla enclosure please leave the gorilla alone and just shoot me." Some pointed at the zoo for not providing a safer barrier, although there has never been a breach since its creation in 1978. “Why did they not dart the animal,” another animal rights group accused. The zoo came to its own defense and tried to explain that a dart would take more than 10 minutes to work.
As I read these reports I have to ask myself why we even have to talk about this story in this way. Why question the experts who had to make a clutch decision in an attempt to save a human life? I guess it is because our culture has shifted. Thanks to the TV news coverage and social media accounts everyone gets to play Monday morning quarterback and second guess what was done. We now have people with a loud voice who place the value of a human life on the same level as that of a wild animal. In their twisted worldview they are angry because no one considered the feelings of the gorilla and they make it appear as if the child must have had it coming. Have we really sunk this low that we value the life of a gorilla over that of a human being?
The Bible tells us that people are a special creation of God, in His own image (Genesis 1:27). When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden He told him to have dominion "over all the earth" (v. 26) and to be a good steward of all Creation (Genesis 2:15). As Believers we have a mandate from God to be the keepers of Creation, it is to serve us, not the other way around. As the greater force we are to be stewards, never servants to what has been created. What a mixed up view these people have to question the decision not to value human life over anything else. If human life does not have a higher level of value over all else then our society is in jeopardy of collapse. It is reassuring to know that the value of my existence rests in the Lord and not some celebrity with a Twitter handle.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31).
Serving the Savior
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