I started noticing “Cecil the Lion” trending on Facebook and Twitter at some point yesterday afternoon. By the evening, it was the most popular topic on social media, and stories about the lion were popping up on all of the national news sites.
Before I took the time to investigate, I tried to imagine if there could be any valid reason for a wild cat to become the biggest news item in the world. On a day when another undercover video revealed Planned Parenthood dismembering murdered children for profit, I strained to think if there might be some justification for ignoring the harvesting of human beings in favor of obsessing over a large feline in Africa.
I thought maybe the lion had cured cancer, or sprouted wings and flown into space, or stood on its hind legs and recited the Gettysburg Address. Surely, these developments would vindicate the disproportionate amount of attention it was receiving. But I quickly found out that the lion, from Zimbabwe, had done no such thing. Apparently, all it did was die.
Of course, lots of people died yesterday too, especially in Zimbabwe. Across the planet, human travesties continued to unfold – Christians were slaughtered in the Middle East, political prisoners were tortured and executed in North Korea and Iran, Americans fell prey to crime and violence spilling over our southern border, and about 3,000 human children were butchered in abortion clinics, some of which were then dissected and sold on the black market – but this one unfortunate beast in a forest 9,000 miles away trumped all of these. Human victims would have to wait yet another day to be noticed by our culture. Their plight just couldn’t compete with a cute, fuzzy mammal.
Poor Cecil, as I’m sure you heard, was ”murdered” by an American dentist named Walter Palmer. The dentist traveled there and paid some $55,000 for the privilege to hunt and kill the king of the jungle. It turns out that the hunt might not have been legal.He says he thought he was acting within the law, and that he didn’t know Cecil was a beloved animal celebrity in Africa. His pleads of ignorance may or may not be true, but they are called into question by the fact that he’s been convicted of poaching before.
This was all enough to earn him the wrath of progressive America, but none of these crimes compare to the fact that he is, evidently, a Republican.
We know these details about his life, and about the sexual harassment claim made against him in 2009, because the media has feverishly poured through his record and heaped more scrutiny upon him than they have on every Democrat politician in the last 40 years combined. Meanwhile, the internet lynch mob predictably leaped into action. Palmer’s personal address was released, death threats were issued, his business was attacked and shutdown, he was forced into hiding, and scores of drooling trolls flocked to Twitter to fantasize about all of the creative and violent things they’d love to do to him:
I want to shoot a particular American dentist with a crossbow #CecilTheLion
— Mark Lewis (@MarkLewisLawyer) July 28, 2015
— Shuja Rabbani (@ShujaRabbani) July 29, 2015
Some even began non-ironically using #LionLivesMatter
Absolutely disgusted that in 2015 a so called educated man would kill for fun. Let's hope Karma gets him pretty quick! #LionLivesMatter
— Laura Featonby (@LaurasTravel) July 29, 2015
Refusing to be upstaged in this contest for the title of Most Exorbitant Reaction, PETA proclaimed that Palmer ought to be “extradited and hung.” A bunch of famous people joined the dog pile, utilizing their platforms to declare Palmer “disgusting,” a “murderer,” and “Satan.” Other celebrities have asked that hiscitizenship be permanently revoked. Sharon Osbourne labeled Palmer a “killer” and said she hopes he loses his house and his business. According to Sharon, even his wife and children deserve to be homeless. Jimmy Kimmel, late night host on ABC, took time out of his comedy show to deliver a tearful rant, calling the hunter an “a-hole” and a “jackal.”
All of this, over a lion.
It bears repeating that this happened on the same day that a video was released showing lab technicians dissecting the body parts of murdered humans while discussing how much money they could get for each “item.” This footage was completely ignored. Our culture let out a massive, collective yawn, instead choosing to wail over the fate of some random hairy beast in southern Africa.
The whole thing transcends mere absurdity. It is beyond ridiculous. Far past anything that could be called simply exaggerated or irrational. The swarms of petty nitwits in our culture have finally outdone themselves. What we are witnessing is something worse than an Idiocracy; it is total moral chaos.
I’m not defending Walter Palmer, by the way. I don’t have any problem with hunters — and in most cases, African big game hunters help both the local economies in these areas, and the ongoing effort to preserve endangered species — but it seems that Palmer broke the law and killed a lion that was financially valuable to the locals. That was bad. He shouldn’t have done that. If the story we’re hearing is accurate (and there’s always a significant chance that it isn’t accurate, or at least isn’t complete) then Palmer was in the wrong.
Still, the reaction is so inordinate and overwrought that I have to laugh. I have nothing against Cecil, I’m sure he was a swell chap, but no dead animal could ever justify this excessive and callous backlash from such a frantic mob of vindictive, retaliatory buffoons. Even ancient pagan tribes that literally worshiped animals probably exercised more restraint when a heretic killed one of their animal deities.
It’s fine if you are opposed to what Palmer did, but that doesn’t excuse you from the duty to be sane and rational. It’s a lion, after all. An animal. If you want to be really agitated by a doctor who kills living things, you should probably be less focused on this dentist and a little more focused on abortionists like LeRoy Carhart, who murder actual people. Carhart has killed both unborn and born humans, and likes to do the former by ripping the child apart while it’s still alive. Maybe the media should be camping out in front of his house instead of Palmer’s. Maybe we should be asking why doctors are allowed to execute babies, not why dentists are allowed to hunt African game.
This dichotomy has become, perhaps, the most bewildering and confusing thing about our culture. Progressives actively celebrate the most depraved evils, and then make super villains out of folks who hunt, or fly Confederate flags, or refuse to bake gay wedding cakes. It’s like they’re standing on a street corner simultaneously applauding a thug as he murders a man for his wallet, and calling for a summary execution of a pedestrian who forgot to use the crosswalk. This isn’t just a matter of misplaced priorities; this is unadulterated lunacy.
Yes, I realize that liberal hypocrites aren’t the only ones upset about the lion. Some people are animal lovers, but they put that love for animals in perspective. They might cry for the cat, but they cry more for humans who are murdered, persecuted, or exploited. Compassionate souls love animals deeply because they possess a profound respect for all life. In the mode of St. Francis of Assisi, their mercy for animals stems from their love of God. I take no issue at all with the people in this category, obviously. I love animals myself.
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