What the Gorilla’s Death Teaches Us About Our Culture

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As I scrolled through my Facebook feed Memorial Day morning, I saw this letter: “An open letter to the mom of the boy who fell in the gorilla enclosure“.

Having not yet heard about the boy who managed to get in with gorilla at the zoo, I was naturally intrigued by this title.

The letter was kind and gracious….but the comments revealed a whole different side to the way our society thinks today.

Here is what the gorilla's death has taught us about our culture and what happens to a culture when we remove God from society.

Let me start out by saying this:

There are many people out there who, despite not having been present when this situation occurred, seem to have intimate knowledge about how well the mother was watching over her child.

I find this puzzling, because those who actually were present when the boy got in the enclosure with the gorilla paint a whole different picture of this mother.

And I must insert myself here, being a mother of two boys – one of which is extremely active and at time precocious. It doesn’t even take so much as a split second to take your eye off your child for him to get into something he shouldn’t.

This could have happened to any parent, and it unfortunately happened to her. I can only imagine the amount of terror she must have felt until her child was rescued.

And lest she thought that knowing her child – although seriously injured – did not have life-threatening injuries could bring peace to her mommy-heart, little did she know that it was only the beginning of the story.

Moms are incredibly hard on themselves. We blame ourselves for every cold, every flu, and every injury. The accusations in our head tell us if we “had only done ___________ (insert any number of helicopter-parenting skills here)” we could have somehow prevented whatever it was that assailed our child.

We are not God.

No amount of helicopter parenting can ever prevent bad things – even tragic things – from happening to our children. Much as we’d like.

And the most helicopter of parents will at some point sneeze, be distracted by a bird flying 3-inches above their head, or a voice that sounds familiar and take their eagle eye off their child…only to discover that this is the exact amount of time it takes for a child to go from the safety of his mother’s watchful eye to danger.

And beware that this ever happen to you because all of Hades will be brought down upon your head by the millions of people who have either never parented, and thus have no idea what it means to care for another human life who ever lives to extricate himself from his parents’ care, or who have chosen to raise their children on deserted islands where no danger ever exists anywhere, and thus have no idea what it means to raise children in the real world.

But there is an even more serious lesson to be learned from this tsunami of public shaming we’ve been subjected to on social media

It actually goes back 150 years to the theory that man was not created, but rather evolved from apes.

By erasing the hand of God from existence of mankind, and the very important fact that mankind was created in the image of Almighty God – as opposed to all other life forms, the value of human life was demoted to that of every other living thing.

But God, throughout His Word, expresses that human life has greater value that animal life.

This is why, in Genesis, He gave mankind dominion over the animal kingdom. The value of human life is not equal to that of animal life, but greater.

But, sadly, it doesn’t stop here.

40 years ago we chose to diminish the value of human life even further when we began rationalizing away the immorality of taking human life.



Doctor-assisted suicide

Ironically, many who support these issues when it comes to human life are radically against the same practices being done to animals.

And here we’ve come to a time when, for many, human life has lesser value than animal life.

The worst comment I read about this issue was on this Facebook thread:

The silverback gorillas are an endangered species. 4 year old boys are not.

Jesus warned of this when He said: “ And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12

As we have legalized increasingly more methods of murder in our society, the love of many has grown cold. In the Greek “grown cold” literally means that rigor mortis has set in.

The honor and respect we would naturally and instinctively have for human life has quite literally died in many and rigor mortis has set in, as they have elevated the value of animal life above human life, being willing to sacrifice an innocent child to save an endangered gorilla.

This is a clear and demonic distortion of God’s order.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice animals as a temporary way to cover their sin so that God could at least look upon fallen man, until Christ came and offered Himself as the final sacrifice.

Yes, God actually commanded the sacrifice of animals to save mankind from God’s wrath.

And yet now the cry goes out by many that sacrificing this endangered gorilla to save the life of a 4-year old boy was wrong and immoral.

The lesson we have learned from the death of this gorilla is that when we erase God from society, there is no end to how Satan distort the thinking of man.

We have been given over to such depravity that we have

  • Legalized mothers murdering their babies
  • Refused to make illegal in all States the neglect of babies who survive abortion
  • Legalized the murder of the elderly and terminally ill in some states

And now many even rationalize sacrificing the life of a preschooler to save the life of an animal.

If there ever was a time that the church needed to repent for having lost her salt and light it is now!

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

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  1. Yes, yes and yes. It has been breaking my heart reading these horrible comments. I understand people have a great love for animals but I have been wanting to scream from the top of my lungs….he is a kid!!! Can you imagine the outcry if something HAD happened to the child? I am so thankful his life was spared. I work with some tough kids (not saying this kid was a tough kid!) but as hard headed and hearted as some of the kids I work with are, as much destruction they cause in a day to themselves and to others, even if THEY had been in that enclosure because they WERE being bratty on purpose – still should have held a higher priority than the gorilla. I don’t understand why we have to even explain it.

    1. We shouldn’t have to. Being made in the image of God is explanation enough. Sadly, this culture places a higher premium on animal life than human life…and that is why we even have to have this conversation. These are the days of Noah…when every intent of man’s heart is only evil continually.

  2. It is truly sad the comments I’ve read. All people care about is blaming the mother. We’ve made public shaming our top societal priority and it’s awful. No animal’s life is worth more than a child’s. It really is what happens when we try to remove God from society, we’re reduced to the depravity of animals. I pray for the family that went through this tragedy and continues to go through this unmerited backlash.

    1. Yes, me too. I can’t even begin to comprehend what it would be like to bear your on personal guilt PLUS the immense public flogging she has received. It’s almost too much to imagine. 🙁

  3. Thank you, this is beautifully written! This mother only deserves our prayers not to be condemed by us.

  4. Such a good Article and the scripture and thoughts on society today compared to what God has said to us about animals is so very scary where our country and world are today and so very true as well!

    This winter we got to a 4H meeting after dark at a Nursing Home all the 4H kids were going to go caroling to the residents rooms and do crafts and have treats with them. Our 5 year old daughters car seat is on my husbands side of the car. He got out opened her door our other 3 kids all hopped out as he went to the back of the vehicle to start pulling out all the craft supplies and goodies the kids had for the nursing home residents we all went in carrying full loads of supplies. All of the 4H families in our club have 3 to 4 kids except for a couple families that have 3 kids, so there were lots of kids around, and we instantly went into doing things with and for them. We had been in there at the very least 10 minutes but maybe even 15 minutes when another 4H family who happened to be personal friends of ours walked in with our 5 year old in their hands. She had been sitting strapped in her seat with an open car door in the complete dark of a chilly December night saying “Daddy….Mommy…..Daddy….Mommy….can you get me out please?” When they walked in with her we had never even realized she was not with us until that moment we were in the middle of 20 to 25 little kids and we did not know our 5 year old was not with us! Thank God our friends got to the meeting late, thank God they parked on that side of the parking lot and saw my husbands vehicle door open and knew it was his car. Thank God she had not been found by someone else and taken before they found her. Thank God we still have our 5 year old today! Let those without sin / mistakes cast the first stone, and not one parent (or non parent for that matter) on earth could cast that stone if they were completely being honest that they had never made a mistake ever! Reading through all the comments on the above article the ones that say there is no way she could have lost sight of him for long enough for him to climb across a 4 foot barrier then make it through another 4 feet of deep brush without her knowing is hog wash and I am here as proof of it our kiddo was out in the car between 10 to 15 minutes and we did not know it and are we bad parents because of it maybe I don’t know. I would never have thought the above could ever happen that my child could be not with us and I would not know it, we have 4 very well behaved good kids, but I do know exactly how a kiddo could be gone for long enough to accomplish what he did and a busy mother of little ones not realize it! The whole story is just sad but that media has created situations like this that few would ever have even known about to something the whole world is talking about is just sad because no one but those there really know what happened! I feel bad for the Mother and the Zoo respectively! Anyone looking at this situation with any real intelligence would know that what happened was the only way it could have been dealt with due to the circumstances they were in, and that lots more went into what was done in the end then what someone sending off a hateful message in 3 seconds of reading this would ever know!

    1. Thank you very much for sharing your story. Honestly, these things happen to so many moms, its just that her unfortunate situation was very public and there are many out there who just do not know how to show grace and kindness.

  5. It really sad situation to happen to anyone, as a mother and a teacher you are alway alert. Things just happen out of the blue.As parent you see God AMAZING GRACE,even in this situation.

  6. It’s very unfortunate to say that some members of society have lost their way. We are definitely living in the last days. Life has become devalued and no one can save us, not a Republican or Democrat, not a Minister or Bishop, but Jesus Christ himself. The Holy Bible is even being used to fit one another’s need. Desperate times stare us in the face but some of us refuse to acknowledge the fact that our home of the free and the brave is literally on its last leg…

  7. An excellent article. Thank you. I’m glad to have found it on Pinterest and will follow your boards. May God bless your mission work.

  8. My thoughts were exactly the same when it came to this issue. I couldn’t help but to think about how the first sacrifice of animal was made to cover Adam and Eve after they had fallen. And then on after that as your post states, for the cleansing of sin until Jesus came.

    Nevermind the fact that the little boy could have died. I don’t even want to imagine the comments that would have come if it would have been vice versa.

    It saddens me to see how far away some have gotten from God.

  9. Rosilind,

    Your post is an important response to this controversy. It was so difficult to hear about people not rejoicing over a human life being saved and being more focused on the death of the animal. I wish the ape would not have been killed, but I’m so thankful to God that nothing happened to that precious child. We have to continue to be prayerful.

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