In Christianity, baptism is the act of immersion in water which cleanses and purifies the soul and admits one as a full member of the church. Baptism entitles one to all of the privileges and responsibilities of a full member of the church.
Why then were 20 “baby gorillas” baptized? These 20 little gorillas join 65 others who have been baptized and named in Rwanda in the past four years. I am sure that the church is thrilled to have Apes in it’s ranks. Who came up with an idea like this in the first place?
I tried to find a response to this by the Christian church, but I can find nothing. All I have to formulate my response is the atheists view of how why it makes no sense to baptize an ape. Baptism is intricately tied up with the idea of original sin and is a ritual which supposedly purifies the soul.
The argument that baptizing the gorilla statues raises the awareness of this endangered species’ plight and is therefore a positive means of conservation is utterly absurd. What are we going to do next? Baptize a few Tumbling Creek Cavesnails? Thats right, cavesnails are endangered too, maybe we can save a few by bringing them into the church!
It would have been far more productive for the Rwandan government to donate their budget for this farce to the IUCN instead. This organization actually makes a difference by developing conservation science, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing together players from different domains and sectors to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.
And what makes the Rwandan government think these gorillas want to be Christians anyway?