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Child Sacrifice: Not So Far From Moloch

Child Sacrifice: Not So Far From Moloch

Sometimes some of the things we do in (home) school remind me of themes much bigger than school. Yeah, that happened again this week.

During our literature time, we read a historical fiction novel called Hittite Warrior. It’s set in ancient Mesopotamia, covering the saga of a Hittite man, named Uriah, who travels from Hatti to Canaan after his family is killed. In addition to telling a well-drawn, fascinating story, the book provides wonderful insight into the lives and cultures of Old Testament times. One of the most poignant and memorable elements of the story is its revelation of the practice of child sacrifice by the Canaanite people; a barbaric, horrific ritual in which they sacrificed their first-born children to the god Moloch, believing that doing so would put them in the god’s good graces and bring them protection and prosperity.

The worship of Moloch (also known as Molekh or Molech, and Baal) including child sacrifice is documented in scripture (Leviticus 18:21, 2 Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35, Psalm 106:37-38, etc.), as well as in Jewish and non-Jewish tradition.  The idol to Moloch was believed to have been depicted as having a bull for a head and the body of a man, and the worship of the god included a variety of sexual fertility rites, as well as child sacrifice. A 12th century rabbi stated that Moloch “was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.” Another rabbinic tradition stated that the idol was hollow, with a fire built inside it, and that the sacrifices to the god (including the child) were placed in seven compartments, so they would burn in the fire.

Just think about that for a moment, if you can. Can you imagine it? Can you even conceive of the horror? These people actually burned their children alive to their god. They had to beat drums and make noise to drown out the baby’s cries of desperation. We can’t, in our civilized day and age, even conceptualize performing such an atrocious, horrendous act against a child.

Or…can we?

In a saline injection abortion, performed after 16 weeks of pregnancy, a needle full of salt solution is injected into the mother’s abdomen, which then burns the outer layer of skin off of the baby, and also poisons him or her. It normally takes more than an hour for the baby to die.

I’ll bet that’s even longer than it took for a baby, who was sacrificed to Moloch, to die.

And we think of ourselves as being the humane ones.

Sadly, the large majority of America doesn’t even really know or understand what “abortion” is. They see it as some tidy surgical procedure which carefully removes “uterine tissue” (which is how it is described by most organizations that perform abortions).[1] They do not understand, until they see pictures. If they will look. Those who will should visit Priests For Life – a pro-life organization dedicated to helping American truly see what abortion is, and which has compiled an incredible number of medically-documented photos and videos of abortions and aborted babies (as well as explanations of abortion procedures). I defy any truth-seeking “pro-choice” person to actually look abortion in the eye, by visiting this site, and come away with an intact belief that what is aborted is simply a “clump of cells”. I can argue the ins and outs of the fact that life begins at conception with all kinds of well-reasoned arguments, but no words can possibly demonstrate the truth as well as seeing it first hand.

It is, shall we say, not a pretty view. One, in fact, that looks devastatingly close to that of ancient Mesopotamian child sacrifice.

I think about God’s prohibitions against child sacrifice  – Deuteronomy 12:31 “…They do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” I hear God’s voice to Jeremiah (1:5) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” I read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” And I hear the cultural mantra, “It’s not a child.” “It’s a woman’s choice”. And I want to weep.

Because we are ancient Mesopotamia. We are Canaanites sacrificing our children, in the most horrendous of ways. Only, the Canaanites sacrificed because they believed they were placating a god who had control over their lives and well-being. We are sacrificing our children simply because we believe it is our choice to do so; simply because it serves our best interests to do so. In that way, we’re even one worse than the Canaanites.

We’re sacrificing our children. But we’re doing it to the god of self.

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