Child Sacrifice??

I am reading “The End of Everything,” the newest work by Professor Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow in military history and the Classics at the Hoover Institution at Stanford and Professor Emeritus of Classics at California State University. Not wanting to misrepresent him (I, being, far less brilliant and knowledgeable: actually quite dumb) nonetheless, I still thought it noteworthy—even if “out of context” to refer to a couple quotes from his book as they relate to the city of Carthage which the Romans “leveled” in 149 BC and the Aztec civilization which Hernán Cortéz “annihilated” in 1521 A.D. In both cases, the Italians and the Spanish, respectively, found the practice of killing children— I might say “even”—in the name of religion an unconscionable act worthy of cultural extinction. I was wondering if God felt the same way!

In the Bible the Ammonites also practiced human sacrifice which God forbade in the most absolute and demanding sense on ban, the curse, of death [Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5]. In Jeremiah 32:35, we are told Judah practiced child sacrifice to Molech, the ancient God of the Ammonites, which, alone can explain  the exile. God called this abominable. We might explain this word: It speaks of utter rejection and is represented by the carrion that vultures eat (necrotic tissue). The word itself in Hebrew sounds onomatopoetic, spelled “To-a’-Vah” as if gagging or in the process of vomiting [Revelation 3:16]. The place of child sacrifice was given a special name: “Topheth” [2 Kings 23:10], coming from the Hebrew term for “spittle”

Cortez wrote Charles V of Spain about the Aztecs: “They have another custom, horrible, and abominable, and deserving punishment, and which we have never before seen in any other place. As often as they have anything to ask of their idols [their gods], in order that their petition may be more acceptable, they take many boys and girls, … and in the presence of those idols, burn [them] offering that smoke and sacrifice to [their gods].” Professor Hanson explained, “Both the god of rain and the god of war were carnivorous and to be appeased by frequent gifts of human flesh and blood. ” [226].

In Carthage [an ancient city in Northern Africa, in what is now Tunisia] the Romans, too, found what the Greek’s would rightly call barbaric: “Carthage’s social identity was … influenced as well by its mother country  [an ancient country on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean Sea], Phoenicia, [supporting] a … retention of the rights of child sacrifice…. Archaeologists have noted that the prevalence of Topheths, sanctuaries used for child sacrifice, increased during the fourth through second century BC… Greeks [we might add] found the notion of killing children repugnant” [69, 72].

We would be self-deceived if we had not learned from this history that killing children—even if we call them by a different designation (a zygote or embryo)—cannot go unnoticed and unaddressed by God. Explaining away the act as mere paganism—as surely it is—does not exonerate the person who supports it. Because it is a moral issue, it is a religious one, and children should not be offered on the altar of a selfish motivation that simply doesn’t want them.

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