Political Pistachio

Blog Home of the Writer and AM and FM Radio Host, Douglas V. Gibbs.
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Killing Baby Turtles: A Window To Our Culture's Soul


By Douglas V. Gibbs

A student at Clemson University wanted to figure out a way to assist the small box turtles as they made their trek across highways towards the waters of the sea.  The numbers of these turtles are in decline, and the several minute journey across roadways don't exactly help out when it comes to their survival.  It takes many years before box turtles reach the age of maturity that allows them to reproduce, and of the hundreds of eggs laid by females, only a few of her offspring will grow to their own age of reproductive maturity.  Nathan Weaver decided to study the journey, and see what happens when the turtles make it to the highway.  What he witnessed was horrifying, and as Associate Press Writer Jeffrey Collins puts it, "a peek into the dark souls of some human beings."

Small, realistic-looking rubber turtles, were placed on the road.  The false turtles matched the size of the infant box turtles, no bigger than a saucer.  Then, for the next hour, Nathan Weaver watched as seven drivers intentionally ran over the turtle, and several more appeared to try to hit the defenseless animal, but missed.

I recognize that animals are animals, and I don't give them human attributes like some people try to do.  I eat meat, and I do a little hunting on rare occasion.  However, aside from the activity of consumption, or pest removal, I try to respect the lives of animals.  It is not their fault that they live among humans, and I would just assume leave them alone if I don't plan to eat them.

That said, I find it absolutely disgusting that the sick minds of people are willing to go out of their way to squash baby box turtles as they cross the road.  It reminds me of stories of people who try to run down rabbits with their cars on the road, or the story I heard as a child of the idiot that tied two cats' tails together on a short tether, and then hung them on a clothes line to fight it out, swinging back and forth, upside down, until one of them was dead.

These are the kinds of people that are so dead inside that they can walk into a school and shoot innocent children to death.

Our culture has a dark side because we as humans have a dark side. We are all sinners, biblical text tells us, and we all fall short of His Glory.  Some, however, are willing to embrace that sinful nature, and nurture it into a monstrous killing machine.

Sure, for some it may be an innocent sport, chasing little animals with a steel cage on wheels.  Perhaps that is how they try to justify it.  I wonder if these were the people pulling wings off flies as kids.

It takes real bravery to run over a helpless little turtle.

What did we expect would happen when we took prayer out of schools, and began working to remove God from the public square?

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