On May 29, 2016, at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, a 4-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure. The 17-year-old, 400-pound silverback gorilla named Harambe proceeded to carry the frightened boy around the enclosure as terrified as onlookers screamed for help. The Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team responded quickly, and, believing the boy’s life to be endangered, they shot and killed Harambe.
Since the shooting of Harambe to save the life of the child, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition that says in effect, “Gorilla Lives Matter; The Life of a Child Does Not.”
History records that when a nation is ripe for conquest and destruction, it first becomes decadent in moral values. The idea that 100,000, or more, people are more concerned about the life of a gorilla than the saving of a child’s life is a testimony to the fact that something is seriously wrong in American society.
Perhaps the outcry over the justifiable death of Harambe should have been anticipated in light of the fact that each year, more than a million babies are destroyed through abortions. There is no outcry from PETA for the slaughter of these innocence lives. PETA does not care if the body parts of the aborted babies are sold on the open market in the name of research. PETA will hold a vigil for a gorilla, but not for a child lost in a butchering abortion. Surely their “ethical” values are misplaced.
The church has a moral obligation to protest, not only the slaughter of the innocent, but the insensitivity to human life. When reflection is made as to how America has become so insensitive, it is not difficult to discover several contributing factors.
First, nothing is left to the imagination. Through the magic of Hollywood’s special effects, graphic scenes of violence that were once cut, are now graphically depicted. Those who perpetuated the gory acts of violence are often cast in a positive, or even heroic manner. Movies can entertain, they can make a social commentary, for good or bad, but they can also help condition those in the audience to be less concerned about pain inflicted on others. Hearts are insensitive.
Second, there is a growing disrespect for law enforcement officers. The thuggery and militant actions of the Black Lives Matter movement has had a chilling effect on officers policing local neighborhoods. In major cities across the country murder, rape, robbery, and vandalism is up significantly from last year. Even the New York Times has noticed. So far this year, murders are up 76 percent in Milwaukee, 60 percent in St. Louis, 56 percent in Baltimore, and 44 percent in Washington, D.C. Chicago’s murder rate has soared 72 % in 2016. While murders are up, arrests are down. The crime rate will continue to rise. People will continue to die because of the loss of respect for police. Hearts are insensitive.
Third, citizens model their leaders. If Congress is not concerned enough to stop the killing of babies, and defund Planned Parenthood, why should anyone be concerned about any child, at any age, being slaughtered? Hearts are insensitive.
Fourth, a large part of society has surrendered man’s sovereignty over creation to become voluntarily subordinate to it, and to worship it. This happened long ago in the Roman Empire, The apostle Paul explained why, and what happened next.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 1:21-25).
In Roman society, just like in American society, God was rebelled against, the creation was exalted, and truth was exchanged for a lie. PETA says that a gorilla is of more value than a child. That is a lie. Black Lives Matter says that lawlessness is to be preferred to law and order, and so more blacks than every are being murdered. Planned Parenthood has a bloodlust for baby parts, and the financial reward they bring when sliced and diced. Hearts are insensitive.
It does no good to rail against evil. It does do good to tell people, when they become saturated in sin, and sick and tired of themselves, there is a better way. God has made man to be sovereign over creation. Man has been made in the image of God, and should seek to reflect God’s majesty and glory. There is no glory in holding a vigil for a gorilla that would have torn a child in pieces. There is no glory in animals having more rights than an unborn child. There is no glory in man thinking he is a germ from a primordial soup of meaningless matter.
“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jer. 9:24).
Let America find her glory again in God, not in a gorilla. Only then, will 100,000 plus hearts be sensitive to the plight of a child and readjust their moral values.