Religion in Society

Christian Group: Ignoring Bible Led to SeaWorld Trainer's Death

| by Mark Berman

An interesting take on the death of that trainer at SeaWorld from a group called "American Family Association." In a blog post titled "Bible ignored, trainer dies," the conservative group claims that according to the Bible, Tilikum should have been put to death years ago after his first kill. So now, SeaWorld is also responsible for the trainer's death.

Read the entire post:

You are aware by now that a 12,000 pound killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando killed his trainer Dawn Brancheau yesterday by pulling her into a pool and dragging her around until she drowned, in front of a crowd of stunned guests.

Chalk another death up to animal rights insanity and to the ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture.

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, "SeaWorld Orlando has always know that Tillikum (sic)...could be a particularly dangerous killer whale...because of his ominous history."

The Sentinel then recounts that Tilly, as he was affectionately known, had killed a trainer back in 1991 in front of spectators at a now defunct aquarium in Victoria, British Columbia.

Then in 1999 he killed a man who sneaked into SeaWorld to swim with the whales and was found the next morning draped dead across Tilly's back. His body had been bit and the killer whale had torn off his swimming trunks after he had died.

What about the term "killer whale" do SeaWorld officials not understand?

If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone's misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.

Says the ancient civil code of Israel, "When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable." (Exodus 21:28)

So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:29)

If I were the family of Dawn Brancheau, I'd sue the pants off SeaWorld for allowing this killer whale to kill again after they were well aware of its violent history.

SeaWorld is apparently, however, unrepentant. Chuck Thompson, its curator in charge of animal behavior, says Tilly continues to be "a valuable asset not only from a breeding standpoint but from a behavior standpoint, too." Chuck might want to ask Dawn's Mom what she thinks about that.

Thompson did add, helpfully, "I think we need to evaluate his behavior and everything that's happened up to this point." You're about 19 years too late, Chuck, and the blood of Dawn Brancheau is on your hands.