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Cecil the Lion & Misplaced Outrage

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Published on: July 30, 2015

Walter Palmer, a 55 year old dentist in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN, and an avid big game trophy hunter, is currently getting a lot of national media attention he would rather not have. His latest kill was a male lion named Cecil who was an international visitor favorite at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa. Reportedly, with the assistance of his guide and an adjacent landowner, Palmer baited Cecil to lure him away from the park and then shot the animal with an arrow. As was also reported, it took about 40 hours to track down the lion and kill him with a gun.

According to within hours of the breaking news, Palmer’s social media feeds were flooded with harsh attacks and threats. There were media interviews with several of Dr. Palmer’s patients who declared they would be going elsewhere for their dental care. His Facebook account was soon shut down and his dental practice website kept crashing. Yahoo News reported, “By Wednesday afternoon, a petition demanding justice for Cecil had garnered more than 517,000 signatures and there were more than 6,200 messages on his practice on review site Yelp.”

Outside Palmer’s shuttered office a makeshift memorial of stuffed animals and flowers was created by those sympathetic to the deceased Zimbabwe lion. A local artist even painted a mural of Cecil on a nearby wall. Talk show hosts from television comedian Jimmy Kimmel to local radio personalities have had a heyday as they received live phone calls, texts and emails from outraged listeners over what was declared to be a senseless act of killing a beautiful animal for sport and ego.

The callers I heard on the air, for the most part, expressed intense anger and disgust at Dr. Palmer’s actions regarding Cecil and other past big game kills, including illegally shooting a black bear in Wisconsin, according to 2006 court records.

The issue here is not the actions of Dr. Palmer, but the storm of outrage surrounding the death of Cecil the lion. What stirs our disgust, anger and outrage reveals much about our moral character, values and priorities. Often these days we see a lot of misplaced outrage, people getting mad about the wrong things.

For example, one of the callers to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, WCCO Radio talk show host John Hines clearly pointed out the fact that we are outraged more about a dead lion in Africa than we are about the sale of the body parts of unborn babies here in the United States.

Why are we not outraged by the murder of an average of 3,000 unborn babies every day in the USA? How come as a nation we are not righteously outraged by the United States Supreme Court legalizing sodomite “marriage” and so providing a giant leap forward for the queering of America? How come we are not outraged by the mocking and beating of two street preachers in Seattle, Washington by a mob of participants in a “gay pride” festival? How come we are not outraged by repeated illegal and immoral actions of President Barack Hussein Obama as continues to lead the United States down a dark path to destruction? How come we are not outraged by rampant spread of Islam? How come we are not outraged by so-called Christian leaders who have compromised biblical truth in every way imaginable?

The time is overdue for godly outrage to be expressed through righteous, courageous words and actions by those who hold to the Word of God and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Will we stand up or will we stand down? Will we speak up, or be intimidated into cowardly silence by the continuous and confused clamor of misplaced outrage?

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