40,000 Visitors

Ota Benga at Bronx Zoo

A note on Sabbath desecration from the New York Times on September 18, 1906 (p. 9) regarding visitors flocking to a zoo to see Ota Benga, an African Pygmy, being displayed in the monkey house as an example of a lower-evolved humanoid life form [emphasis mine]:

“There were 40,000 visitors to the park on Sunday.  Nearly every man, woman and child of this crowd made for the monkey house to see the star attraction in the park — the wild man from Africa.  They chased him about the grounds all day, howling, jeering, and yelling.  Some of them poked him in the ribs, others tripped him up, all laughed at him.”

~”African Pygmy’s Fate is Still Undecided; Director Hornaday of the Bronx Park Throws Up His Hands.  Asylum Doesn’t Take Him; Benga Meanwhile Laughs and Plays with a Ball and Mouth Organ at the ame Time” qtd in The Darwin Effect: It’s influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism by Jerry Bergman (Master Books, 2014), p.183-184 (incorrect form of “its” occurs in original title)

I have had many conversations with modern professing Christians who say we no longer need to observe the Sabbath/Lord’s Day.  I was taught the same thing in many of the churches I used to attend.  This article shows that disregard of the Sabbath has been going on for over a century (in fact, far longer).  Here we see that for 40,000 people, going to the zoo to gape at an unfortunate man was more important than attending worship services or allowing others to do the same.  Should that really be cause for celebration?

Related:  It’s People’s Sunday! Thousands queue up for their seat at Wimbledon after 22,000 tickets sell out in just 27 minutes and touts hike the price to EIGHT TIMES original value


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