Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Nature Eats Up Grace

The Ape Versus the Toddler

The unfortunate death of Harambe, the silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo resulted in a public outcry.  It's the kind of outcry we have seen and heard more and more over recent years.  The brouhaha over the death of the gorilla, and the intent to place blame, even criminal blame upon the temporarily neglectful mother, indicates that something deep in the magma is boiling away.  Every so often, it erupts forth.

The case of Harambe is summarised by the following media report:
(CNN)The mother of the 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo will not face charges, an Ohio prosecutor said Monday.  "By all accounts, this mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said.  "She had three other kids with her and turned her back. ... And if anyone doesn't believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they've never had kids."

After the boy slipped into the enclosure May 28, he had a 10-minute encounter with Harambe, a 450-pound gorilla. A witness told CNN the boy's mother was temporarily distracted by other children when the boy fell into the exhibit.  Harambe pulled the boy across a moat and was fatally shot by zoo personnel.  Deters said the zoo lost "a beautiful animal" that was beloved in the community, "but it's still an animal. It does not equate [to] human life."
It's that final statement by the County Prosecutor that roils the magma.
 It seems there is a growing number of people and institutions which regard killing animals as tantamount to the murder of human beings. A hard line of equivalence is being drawn.

This should not be surprising.  The Judeo-Christian tradition places human beings at the crown of creation, unique insofar as men, women, and children are made in God's image.  No other creature is so designated or honoured.  Therefore, human life is sacred, of greater value than any other living being.  The Judeo-Christian ethic forbids the murder of human beings: it does not forbid the killing of any other creature.  Deters's statement to the effect that the zoo had lost "a beautiful animal, but it's still an animal.  It does not equate to human life" reflects the worldview of the first three chapters of Genesis and the Ten Commandments.

But the Judeo-Christian ethic is waning in the hearts and minds of most in the West.  It is being supplanted by different, radically different, beliefs.   The first of these (and most influential) is Evolutionism.  It is followed by a loosely defined pantheism/spiritualism that expresses itself in Greenism.  "The tree is spiritual, sacred, a life-force.  It is to be honoured, worshipped, protected.  Men who cut down trees are committing a form of murder."

Evolutionism and Greenism are kissing cousins, and co-habit "naturally".  Evolutionism proclaims that "we all came" from trees and great apes; therefore we are to love them as we love ourselves.  Greenism proclaims that if we all share the same life force, so to kill and ape is to attack our own life force.  Either way, those who kill the ape are committing an evil act.

One gets the strong impression that if Harambe had killed the young toddler, many would see it as a form of justice, or at least part of the natural order.

In the Judeo-Christian frame, man is at the apex of creation by an act of Divine grace.  As long as man has self-regard for his place and position and responsibilities, Nature and Grace work together, mutually reinforcing each other.  But when God is rejected by man, Nature eats up grace.  Man becomes enslaved to Nature, and subjugated to those who claim to represent Nature.

The Psalmist asks, "What is Man, that Thou art mindful of him?"  The Unbeliever retorts, "Man is nothing."  Better a full grown gorilla than a human infant. Thus the boiling subterranean magma that will eventually erupt upon Western civilisation.

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