SACRIFICE-RELIGION'S LEGACY

It's not what you don't know that's so dangerous.
It's the things you know that just ain't so.
-Mark Twain

According to Scripture, God creates all life; it is his to give or take as he wills. This would not be objectionable if such a taking was by natural causes or by accident. It is one thing for life to end naturally and another for humans to kill because they think god wills it.

The rationale for human sacrifice comes by, what believers call, revelation. By believing in revelation, a person can justify his actions by deciding which thoughts come from God and which are self generated. As history has shown repeatedly, revelation has provided a handy excuse for stupid and evil men to justify their wars and persecutions against others who don't fit their mold.

This time we turn to the grizzly topic of human sacrifice. It is grizzly because, in the biblical context, it is about murdering the most innocent humans possible-children-in order to satisfy what its adherents think will appease their god. Our purpose for studying human sacrifice is to define the basis upon which Judeo-Christian and Islamic beliefs exert a decadent influence on society. This comes about because each religion believes God is on its side.

Though child sacrifice is now expressly outlawed by these three rival monotheistic religions, they still haven't outgrown their legacy. This comes about by relieving their conscience of guilt by substituting another term for human sacrifice. Let us consider some examples.

Many upright Christians agonize over abortion. They define it as murdering the most innocent of all, the unborn. Yet their religion glorifies the violent death of a man who they believe was the most innocent human to have ever walked the surface of earth. "Wasn't it wonderful of God to have Jesus sacrificed to save us," they think.

Jews celebrate the Passover yearly as their release from bondage. It is too uncomfortable to think about to the mass murder of innocent Egyptian firstborn. Yet the Nazi Holocaust has turned into an industry bent on reminding the Western world about Jewish victim hood.

America's values are commonly thought of as being rooted in Judeo-Christian morality. That doesn't say much for the United State's bombing campaigns in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Give it a sterile name like "collateral damage" and the human cost of death and destruction doesn't enter Judeo-Christian consciousness. In this variation, the innocent must be sacrificed to punish the guilty instead of protecting the guilty.

Why is this? A pattern emerges in which religious doctrines encourage believers to justify murder at all costs. The typical Jew and Christian wouldn't kill innocents themselves, but it is morally necessary when their government does it in their name.

In fact, from the time the Roman Empire took Christianity under its wing, through the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the witch craze, the wars of the Reformation, the Civil War, the wars of the twentieth century, all the way to the Middle East conflict, the death and destruction of innocent lives has always had popular Jewish and Christian support.

There is an excellent book, The Black Book of Communism, the authors contend that the Communists killed almost 100 million people. Christians like to believe it was because of their godlessness. But when we consider the long span of religious history, the count may be greater. The roots of this insanity can be traced to the Bible.

There is hardly a culture, nationality, or religion in existence today that does not expressly outlaw murder, human sacrifice and cannibalism. While the later books of the Old Testament condemned the willful destruction of human life, the first sacrifice began when Cain murdered his brother Abel to please his god. We will meet the first Patriarch of Judaism, Abraham, who proved himself willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, if God so commanded.

The Israelite tribes sacrificed their first born sons under mandate from Moses. In the book of Judges, Jephthah sacrificed his daughter to honor a promise he made to God. Many Israelite kings, among them David and Solomon, participated in human sacrificial rituals. If this is not sickening enough, we learn that God made the Israelites eat human flesh, including that of their own children.

Of course there is the most celebrated human sacrifice of all, Jesus. If Christian theology is to be believed, we are confronted with a god so vengeful that he willed the sacrifice his only son to expiate human sin. The death of Jesus provides salve for guilt ridden Christians.

Now let us reflect the source of this so-called inherited human sin. It started when the first couple whom, out of innocence and curiosity ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because God forbade man to know the difference between good and evil, he condemned the whole human race. This is supposed to be the same god who, in the name of Jesus, teaches forgiveness.

Surely, this is not a belief system that deserves to be trusted and glorified. In the final analyses, monotheistic religions are founded upon the principle of sacrifice. Morally, it's a self-destructive principle, which if carried to its logical conclusion, would result in the end of the human race. Even today, if we scan the history of the three religions spawned from the Bible-Judaism, Christianity and Islam-they have been fighting and killing each other to determine whose side God is on.

End