(Photo of the elk officer Sam Carter shot)
Sam Carter, a Boulder, Colorado police officer was on-duty when he came upon an elk he claimed was “aggressive and appeared injured.” He took it upon himself to shoot the elk but never filed a report on the use of his gun. Soon there was an outcry from the community and many are livid at the killing of this elk. The community organized a “Candlelight Vigil” for the elk where hundreds showed up (DailyCamera.com). They also had a silent march at the Pearl Street Mall to honor the elk (HuffingtonPost.com). One resident stated, “I’m mad just like everyone else. I want justice. Having grown up in Boulder, it’s more than heartbreaking. It’s a slap in the face” (Ibid). Some residents are even calling this act “murder,” and have gone so far as to say the police officer should be “executed” (Colorado 9News). Now the protest has spread and the Boulder District Attorney Office has received 15,000 emails and phone calls about the case (HuffingtonPost.com). An online petition has also been created which calls for the firing and prosecution of the officers involved; so far the petition has over 14,000 signatures (Ibid; IDAUSA.org).
While certainly the officer should have reported his actions, is this situation so serious that he should be fired or even executed? Like it or not, our culture is developing a mindset which drastically increases the value of animals, even to the same level of people. This raises a question: “Which is more valuable, an elk or a person?” Hopefully this question seems ridiculous and we would agree a person is much more valuable. So then, let’s rephrase the question: “Which is more valuable, an elk or an unborn person?”
Our society is crying out about animal violence and animal cruelty, yet in 2008 there were 825,564 unborn children killed and hardly a word was said (Wikipedia). This breaks down to over 15,000 unborn children killed every week, and yet tens of thousands are protesting the killing of one elk. Since 1973 there have been nearly 50 million abortions in the United States, and these are only the ones that were reported (Guttmacher.org). As a point of reference, the Holocaust was one of the worst massacres in history and it claimed about 11 million lives, not even a quarter of those who have been taken through abortion.
But what were the reasons for these abortions? A survey was conducted in 27 nations, including the United States, to find the primary reasons why abortions took place. Here were the results:
- 25.9% Want to postpone childbearing.
- 21.3% Cannot afford a baby.
- 14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy.
- 12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy.
- 10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job.
- 7.9% Want no (more) children.
- 3.3% Risk to fetal health.
- 2.8% Risk to maternal health.
- 2.1% Other.
(Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, and Ann M. Moore, “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives”).
Do any of these reasons seem selfish? The officer who killed the elk did so because he considered it a danger and threat to others. Now people are calling for his punishment, his job, and even his life! He killed one animal to protect people, yet millions of unborn children are killed because of selfishness. What a sad world we live in.
God has always placed great value on human life above all other living things (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:4-25; Matthew 6:26; 10:31). Scripture also shows that an unborn child is a person (Psalm 139:13, 15; 22:10-11; Galatians 1:15). Not only does God condemn the murder of people (Matthew 19:18; Exodus 20:13), but in the Old Testament there were severe punishments for the killing of a child in the womb, even if it was an accident (Exodus 21:22-25).
I have always loved animals, but it is completely ridiculous to put so much value on an animal and so little on a child in the womb. The value of people seems to be decreasing as time goes forward. Let’s remember that Christ died for people, not animals (John 3:16). Let’s remember that salvation is offered to people, not animals (Romans 1:16). Let’s remember that people, not animals, have eternal souls whose destination is either heaven or hell (Matthew 10:28; 16:26).
It’s way past time that we, as people, start giving appropriate value to our own, both in the womb and out.