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First Christian Church /  Our brothers and sisters keepers…
Our brothers and sisters keepers…

This week’s news is covered up with the story of Walter Palmer, DDS, of Minnesota. He’s a long—time bow hunter of exotic game. In his time he’s claimed trophies from around the world including an elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, elk, cape buffalo, big horn sheep, polar bear, a black bear (that earned him some legal trouble in his home state,) a mountain lion and an African lion 10 years ago. Unfortunately, he recently killed another one, a black—mane African lion in Zimbabwe who turned out to be Cecil, a celebrity of his species. Although Palmer paid his fees, got his license and used a guide, Cecil seems to have been lured off a protected preserve with food, and that’s poaching.

Regardless of what comes of this, Palmer’s dental practice and name are casualties. I’m not one who’d assault him as a criminal for being a trophy hunter. If you disagree with trophy hunting, even though it’s legal, you’ve probably got a bigger complaint with the law, not the dentist. However, neither am I sympathetic to hunting enthusiasts who feel some visceral need to defend him as it eventuates he took careful aim at an animal wearing a collar. If he was misled by a crooked guide then the illegal acts can be held against them both.

What intrigues me is the hue and cry of those who’d disregard anything inhumane, or illegal, done to “a stupid lion” in the face of other endangered species, neglected pets, starving children and neglected veterans. Some of these are reduced to rants that attack people for caring about an issue that isn’t the ranter’s issue. Here’s the deal: all are worthy concerns. Rapid depletion of wildlife, large and small, due to pesticides, poachers and nuts in China who think elephant tusks will make them men again, is a problem. Irresponsible persons who take on responsibility for horses, dogs and cats they won’t shoulder are a problem. Certainly children anywhere, any time, being robbed of the prospects of a full life due to abuse, neglect and exploitation is absolutely a concern. Citizens put in harm’s way on behalf of their nation’s interests are a concern to all of us when they return.

There’s no one cause to the exclusion of all others and this wasn’t presented as an exhaustive list. Indifference and studied ignorance are sins of omission as deadly as those of commission. We’re responsible for all the created order and we’re our brother’s and sister’s keepers.

Glad to be your pastor,


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