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It was another thrill-packed day of adventurous learning for children in the audience at SeaWorld on February 24th when their amazement turned to horror as the news sank in that the horse-play between the star killer whale Tilikum and trainer Dawn Brancheau ended in the death of the 40 year old trainer. Tilikum leaped out of the water during Brancheau’s presentation, grabbed her around the waist, and took her under the water. Described by park manager Dan Brown as one of the most experienced trainers in the park, Brancheau drowned during the underwater thrashing. Come to find out, Brancheau was the third person killed by Tilikum, the other two being a trainer in Canada and a park intruder. The whale was also involved, along with two other whales, in the death of yet another trainer. Brancheau was the second killer whale trainer to be killed, worldwide, in the past two months.
Just a couple of what seems to me to be no-brainers. First, if the mammal in question here were human and there were eye-witnesses to four other humans he had killed, the killer human would be put away somewhere for life, at the very least. He would have no further contact with the innocent public. Period.
Second, the victim in the Sea World case should be viewed as the dead person. Listen to the guessing game played by killer whale expert, Nancy Black, after she said the killing could have been an accident in which the whale thought it was playing a game.
“They are very intelligent creatures. They have emotions and feelings. Maybe it was unhappy in the situation. Maybe it was bored.”
Again, picture yourself on trial for murder of any degree. I hope your lawyer can come up with some more plausible defense than the “unhappy plea” or the “boredom defense.”
“Now, how exactly, Cindy Colley, are you going to make this whale story ‘bless our hearts’ or will you draw any spiritual relevance at all from the sad events at SeaWorld last month?” As many of you know, the strange protective zeal about animal rights, even giving human rights a back seat to those of animals is directly opposed to the Word of God. In the very beginning chapter of the Bible, it was man into which God breathed the breath of life, at which time man became a living soul, the only part of creation declared to be made in the image of God. In the same chapter, God gave man dominion over every living creature that moves on the face of the earth (Gen. 1:20-30).
In the Levitical law, we find God not only allowing the killing and eating of animals, but actually commanding it. Lambs were to be slain and eaten at the Passover Feast (Lev.23:12). In the New Testament, God clearly endorsed the use of animals for foods and leather articles (John 21:9-13; Acts 10:9-16). Does God want us to be good stewards of the natural resources with which he has so generously blessed us? Of course. But man is the only creature that has a soul, thus possessing the qualities of conscience, free will, and eternality.
So the killer whale lives on as a result of the theory of organic evolution. That’s right. If I believe that man is no different from the animals about him except that he is a rung or two higher on the evolutionary table, then what on earth is wrong with a society ruled by the “survival of the fittest” law (in this case the “fittest” being the whale)? If I have already rejected out of hand the existence of a Creator, then I certainly do not believe His image is in any creature and there is nothing to call me to save the life of any human at the peril of any animal. I certainly have no belief in things eternal, so what exactly is wrong with the satisfaction of the strongest desires at any given place and time in the here and now? Nothing. That’s why the horribly degraded society that we read about in the bottom of Romans 1 existed. Because they saw His creation, chose not to glorify Him as God and became vain in their own imaginations (Rom. 1:20-32). “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” There are a lot of very foolish people clamoring to save the life of Tilikum, who has literally hurled three eternal souls to their destinies. They clamor because they fail to acknowledge the difference between men and soul-less animals. (Their forefathers, by the way, got it. They understood that it was men who are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. The America that those who clamor enjoy would not exist were it not for this recognition so plainly stated in the Declaration of Independence.)
The end result of the Tilikum tragedy? Unless clear minds yet prevail, February 24th was a day in which the value of human life took one more on the chin. Some people who are pro-life believe you can make a case against legalized abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research apart from God’s Word. I believe God is the only reason our lives as humans are infinitely more valuable than the life of Tilikum or any of the other creatures God placed under our dominion. That’s why, by the way, it is a sin to kill the fertilized egg of a human. Why is it legal to kill the baby humans in our country and criminal, in most cases, to kill the baby whales? It’s that theory again.