A Culture of Cruelty

That a young man would carry a rifle into a school and gun down his classmates should come as no surprise to anyone living in this century. We live in a culture that celebrates disrespect, violence and cruelty. Unfortunately we are once again witness to the end result of this culture of cruelty with yet another school shooting.

One of the common threads in the many modern trails of death is an early start in a life of violence with cruelty to animals. We read that Nikolas Cruz entertained himself by shooting squirrels with BB guns, and trying to kill or maim rabbits by ramming a stick down holes where he knew rabbits were nesting. Unfortunately there are few protections for wildlife. If his early fascination with animal cruelty had involved cats or dogs, perhaps he might have been flagged sooner as a mentally deranged individual in need of counseling or incarceration.

Which of course begs the question… what makes people who have fun hurting wildlife better than people who enjoy hurting cats and dogs? Wildlife feel pain and are intelligent sentient beings just as domestic animals are, yet there are entire industries developed around the maiming and killing of wild animals. Every day I see pictures of some fool proudly grinning for the camera while some poor creature has spent hours, maybe even days, pacing around a blood soaked perimeter in terror because it is legal to set snares for predators. Why should we believe the person who does this is any more sane than the one who sets kittens on fire for the fun of it? Both are enjoying the suffering of a helpless animal, yet one is locked up for animal cruelty while the other is celebrated and may even get his own cable TV show one day. We are pretty sure the crimes of the one are going to escalate into worse acts of violence, yet how are we so sure that the one who tortures wildlife won’t graduate into worse violence?

It all boils down to one thing, there are too many in our time who do not understand the difference between right and wrong. And the problem is not limited to the minuscule numbers who commit the school murders, evil is pervasive in all segments of society from children in schools to the highest echelons in our government. Those in charge pass and defend laws that make it legal for hunters to send hounds in to tear coyotes to pieces and be torn to pieces by wolves while at the same time banning dog fighting. And they even have the gall to force the taxpayers to cover the financial losses if the so called hunter’s dogs are killed. We have leaders of entire popular movements jumping up and down and screaming about gun control while at the same time advocating for the right to stab a baby in the head on his or her way out of the birth canal, hypocrites.

In these modern progressive times, those who are qualified to teach right from wrong are mocked and shouted down, kicked out of office or sued for their faith which is ridiculed on popular television shows by the revered talking heads who are devoid of any wisdom or understanding. God, right and wrong, the Ten Commandments and prayer are banned from the schools while our children are taught to decide for themselves the difference between right and wrong. Why should we be surprised when children choose evil over good when evil is celebrated over good in the media or the video games that they are glued to every day of their lives? It’s time for us to get a grip on the evil that is overcoming this nation. It’s time to start rooting out evil where ever it can be found, no matter how high the perch from which it is preached. In order to do so however, we cannot forget the Source of the Good and also the source of the evil.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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What about One Sparrow

I have heard it said recently, “God does not care about one lion.”. I beg to differ. The earth and all that is in it is a masterpiece created by the hand of God and there is nothing that was created that was created by accident. From the book of Matthew it is said, Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”. So if God has His eyes trained on each and every sparrow, how much more is a sentient lion with offspring and emotions worth? Or for that matter, an elephant or rhino or monkey in a cage at a testing lab terrorized every day for it’s entire miserable life?

Sparrow in the Pike National Forest of Colorado

Sparrow in the Pike National Forest of Colorado

From the very first man Adam, it has been the responsibility of man to name and care for the animal kingdom and we are not doing a very good job of it. According to the Washington Post, lion populations in Africa have been reduced from 100,000 to 32,000 in fifty years. The Guardian quotes Dune Ives regarding elephant populations, “This species could be extinct in our lifetime, within one or two decades, if the current trend continues,” Dune Ives, senior researcher at Vulcan, a philanthropic organisation run by US billionaire Paul Allen, said. “In five years we may have lost the opportunity to save this magnificent and iconic animal.” Many other predator species including America’s treasured wolves and wild cats are rapidly headed for extinction at the hands of poachers and trophy hunters. These animals are important to their Creator and to the environment itself. When too many of them are killed the species lower on the food chain tend to overpopulate causing habitat destruction and sometimes even rampant disease affecting both animal and human populations. Even though the current outpouring of grief is for one animal who endured terrible suffering for a day, the bigger issue is the massacre of wildlife that cannot be replaced once extinct.

I have heard the animal rights activists who were broken hearted over Cecil called wimps for their grief over “one lion”. Would be somehow be tougher and more manly if we were impervious to the suffering of one of God’s creatures forced to endure an entire day of agony from having been wounded by a trophy hunter’s errant arrow? Even if no human being cared about the “one lion”, the God who makes sure that not one sparrow falls to the ground without Him was with him every step of the way. God cares for the “one lion”, all the wildlife on the continents, the Marines killed at Chatanooga and the millions of babies murdered in the slaughter houses of Planned Parenthood. His love is not limited to one species, one race of people or people of a certain age. And He has appointed watchmen to care for it all, some for the animals, some for the babies, some for the poor and some for the sick. Recently hundreds flocked to the Salt River to save a band of beloved wild horses. Are they somehow evil because the did not instead flock to Chattanooga to mourn for the Marines killed there? Of course not, they answered the call of their Creator and sprang into emergency action and saved the herd. Thank God for those who can still hear the call when it comes.

In the end, the Bible predicts that mankind will not be able to gain control of his hatred and greed. He will unleash his weapons of destruction to destroy the earth and it’s inhabitants, but God will not have forgotten His precious creation and will finally take vengeance on those who destroy it. From the book of Revelation, And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”. Best not to be on the wrong side on that day.

Diversity

The killing of Cecil the lion has surfaced some interesting animosity. It seems many people think their cause is the most important and everyone seems to think their cause is superior to those working to preserve wildlife and the environment. All causes are important and God has made all people with unique personalities and desires. All causes need the attention of of humans and God has mercifully spread out the burden by making each person different.

No one person could possibly invest time in each and every problem that needs the attention of someone so instead of disparaging someone else for working on something that is not important to you, people should be thanking others for taking care of the thing that isn’t first on your own list. That way everything can get done without overwhelming any one person with too much work to bear.

Furthermore, the people doing the disparaging are assuming the people working on one cause are not working on another when they have no idea what another person’s circumstances may be. Caring about animals for example, does not preclude someone from caring about babies starving in Africa. Caring about animals does not automatically stop someone from protesting abortion.  Caring about animals does not prevent someone from also working on behalf of homeless people. I applaud anyone who cares about something because the world is filled with people who care about nothing.

So stop making condescending posts about the causes other people are working on. Nobody knows what all someone is working towards and it is counterproductive to discourage someone who is passionate about something, whatever it is. The enemy is not other life loving people, it is the evil that is actively causing suffering and death in this world.