Molock rising

Long ago, in ancient Phoenicia, arose a religion reviled in Biblical as well as in Greek and Roman lore, that worshiped a deity most commonly known as Molock, Moloch or Moleck. To this deity, parents sacrificed their infant children by cremating them alive in the bronze hands of a bull-shaped statue of the deity (the golden calf all grown up?).

The religion generated revulsion among the Jews, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and other Mediterranean peoples of that ancient time. In Judaic and Biblical lore, Molock was associated with demonology and Satan’s reign. The Romans purportedly destroyed the last vestiges of this religion in the rubble of Carthage, destroying and scattering every structure down to the last brick, so that it could never ever spring back anew. However, this rationalization for infanticide, just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, makes me wonder if  Molock isn’t stirring anew in the ebb-tide of the Judeo-Christian West.

In my lifetime, I have been witness to the normalization of promiscuous sex, throw-away children, abortion, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, and now, the open rationalization of infanticide should parents change their mind about a living baby. This is the end game of secular humanism, where there is nothing more transcendent about human beings than simple utilitarian sacks of meat. It was observed by G.K. Chesterton that when cultures (or cults) begin to kill their weakest members, their old and their children, such cultures are in the final stage of collapse.

I came to my Christianity relatively late in life. My faith in my faith is absolute. The existence and/or nature of a force for evil in the world, however, has been a more difficult concept to grasp, as there are so many other ways to rationalize evil behavior – e.g., bad upbringing, mean parents, schoolyard bullying, chemical imbalances, mental illness, hubris, etc. Now, though, I am coming to the conclusion that evil is a palpably real force in the world. Either that, or a violently real, contagious, psychic virus!

Ann Coulter’s most recent book, “Demonic”, relates the proclivity of the secular Left (Democrats) for mob violence and bloodshed, tracing its bloody trail from the French Revolution through the Nazi and Communist abominations of the 20th Century, to the social-justice proclaiming Liberal/Left movements of today (oh, heck, let’s throw in the Marxist Jim Jones Cult for good measure). The violence that our society increasingly wreaks on our weakest members is all part of the same disease and I fear that it is going to get much, much worse.

For me, it’s simple: babies are for loving, not killing — I know, I know…others disagree! The publication of such an article under the guise of “medical ethics” tells me that something truly wicked this way comes. Today, the secular Left may feign indignation at the thought that their revolution will ultimately involve killing those that do not fit their Utopian ideals, but we can see how easily they are getting comfortable with the concept over time. It will be what it will be. I hope that I don’t live to see it. But, as the New Age of Molock establishes itself, I certainly will resist it to the end. I know that you will, too.



And, now, in support of the Secular Humanist view of human kind as utilitarian pieces of meat, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius shares her policy perspective that abortion and contraception means fewer babies, ergo fewer government expenditures. Human reproduction becomes a simple government-mandated budget line item.

One would have to be a total fool not to recognize that this is Government asserting its sovereignty over reproductive rights and life and death decisions.



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  • jj

    Everybody sacrificed first-borns, and every god, including Yahweh, absolutely expected it.  The most striking thing about Abraham and Isaac (aside from the fact that at the last second they were let off – which was highly unusual for the Old Testament, wherein nobody ever gets let off), was Abraham’s attitude to killing his kid: it struck him as perfectly normal!  He wasn’t happy about it, would rather not have had to do it, doubtless wished it was someone else – but he didn’t question it.  He didn’t look at the sky and say:  “What?  Are you nuts?”  He wasn’t pleased, but he wasn’t surprised, or put out, either.  Almost as though he came from a culture where sacrificing kids was more or less expected, or routine, or normative.  The idea certainly didn’t take him aback in any sense, did it?
    Everybody sacrificed their kids.

  • roylofquist


    I have not become a Christian, but my assessment of this world and eternity matches the words attributed to Jesus exactly and precisely. My reservations about becoming an active Christian, in the current understanding, are entirely due to the human interpretations of what He said.

    I agree completely with your post but I don’t think it goes far enough – in a backward sense.  There has always been unspeakable evil in this world. So of course I will speak – Visigoths, Barbarians, Islamists (1400 years worth) etc, etc.

    We have always been tested to both teach and to determine our place in the pantheon of souls.



  • Bookworm

    On my “real me” Facebook page, I shared with my friends a link to a newspaper article about this journal entry. One of my liberal friends said that this is clearly a Trojan horse article, intended to turn people against abortion.  She may well be right. Her theory we that the ideas expressed were so loathsome in their disregard for human rights that they could only have been meant to inspire repugnance for late term abortion and, by extension, for all abortion.

    Incidentally, although my friend find offensive the notion of killing a child with a birth defect, she strenously defends aborting that same child on the ground that the expensei of raising it would be horrendous.

    I’m beginning to think that, as much as anything, modern liberalism exists because schools no longer teach logical thinking.  

  • BrianE

    It is my understanding that sex selection infanticide continues in some cultures today.

    We are seeing a post-Christian descent into the barbarism that Christianity lifted most of the world from.  

    I’m curious, jj, how you arrive at the conclusion that Yahweh demanded human sacrifice.   

  • Michael Adams

    I used to be an unbeliever in the Devil, too. Now, I have no further doubts about his Satanic majesty. Indeed, in this world of woe, it is easier to find clear evidence for the existence of a Devil than direct evidence for God, Himself.
    As to the sacrifice of Isaac, it’s common in Semitic thought to tell a story, where the Greek or Roman would write a treatise. The point of the Isaac story is that God does NOT demand child sacrifice, whereas the nations do. It gets funnier to me all the time, the number of Fundamentalist Atheists out there. Job, the sacrifice of Isaac, very dramatic art, but, no, we must accept them as literal, and then defend such an immoral Deity. Not a rabbit trail I intend to walk, thank you.
    When good King Josiah cut down the asherah, sacred groves where Baalists sacrificed children, the King of Midian rode with him in his chariot as they surveyed the destruction. One such grove was outside Jerusalem, the valley of the Hinnom, converted to a garbage dump, from which we get Gehenna, Hell.

  • Ron19

    Everybody sacrificed first-borns, and every god, including Yahweh, absolutely expected it.  The most striking thing about Abraham and Isaac (aside from the fact that at the last second they were let off – which was highly unusual for the Old Testament, wherein nobody ever gets let off), was Abraham’s attitude to killing his kid: it struck him as perfectly normal!

    Abraham had doubted God before on His announcements, and God always turned out to as good as His word every time.  By the time Isaac was to be sacrificed, Abraham was convinced that God knew what He was talking about, he should do as he was told. 

  • Charles Martel

    If you were to divide leftists according to their consciousness of how they propagate evil, I think you would end up with two groups: There are the truly evil, people who consciously understand what horrors they are trying to wreak upon the world; and there are the acquiescent ones, the dimwits, the run-of-the-mill “progressives” that Book and I encounter daily in places like Marin County, who go along with the most vile things simply to get along.
    Examples of the first would include people like Obama, Holder, the would-be murderers who wrote this thesis on killing babies, Ayers, Wright, Pelosi, Maddow, Matthews, and all the other moral dwarves who are in a position to exert their warped sensibilities upon the rest of us.
    People like them have always been with us. They do not bother me as much as they might because my eye is on their enablers. Sad to say, someone very close to me is among them. I cannot forget my wife’s reaction to the controversy over the murder of Terry Schiavo in 2005. She saw nothing wrong with it, and no amount of pleading on my part could change her mind. I realized that anybody with a honeyed tongue, citing the sacred leftist virtue of “quality of life,” could turn her head. If I were to become disabled and in need of an advocate to keep me alive, I feared that her advocacy could easily be persuaded to be directed toward my death. (I quietly changed my power of attorney after that revelation.)
    It is a dismal world that we have come to. The Culture of Death has almost overtaken us. I do not, and cannot, understand the worship of death. Or perhaps it is better to say the worship of power over life. Many leftists are their own gods, and they rage jealously that that they lack God’s power to create life. Their consolation is to exert a godlike power in destroying it.

  • jj

    Brian – I read. 
    James Hastings (The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, p. 863), flatly states: “Hebrews: This member of the Semitic family was no less prone than the rest to human sacrifices…”
    And even the more conservative concepts, such as expressed by Harper’s Bible Dictionary, pps. 824-5, shows the relationship between Arabians, Hebrews, and human sacrifice.  “Human sacrifice was exceptional among the ancient Hebrews, although we still read: ‘The firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me’ (Ex. 22:29, cb. 13:2).
    The first-born was sacrificed as the supreme gift to the deity… the immolation of Jephthah’s daughter (Judg 11:30-40) is the result of a vow made to the deity to obtain a victory.
    In The History of Childhood Lloyd de Mause writes: “Child sacrifice was practiced in certain periods by the Israelites.  Thousands of bones of sacrificed children have been dug up by archeologists, often with inscriptions identifying them as first-born sons of nobility.”
    Of course in Palestine the Canaanites had the custom of sacrificing first-born babies and putting them beneath the foundations of town walls, temples, etc.  The somewhat indistinct boundaries between them and the Israelites led to a certain cross-pollination of the custom, as baby bones have been pulled from beneath foundations in Israel, too.  (Also in Turkey, Sumer, Babylon – all over the place.)
    Ezekiel tells us that JHVH was a particularly monstrous god.  Ezekiel 20:25-26: ” Wherefore I gave them also statues that were not good, and judgment whereby they should not live: and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb” (that would be the kids) “that I might make them desolate, to end that they might know that I am the LORD.”  This practice of child sacrifice was eliminated in later commentaries, for a variety of reasons – most especially the obvious, one might suppose.
    In Numbers 31: 1-54 everybody ends up dead except the women who had not “known a man” – whom Moses gives to his army to rape.  After that entertaining interlude a tribute is given to the Lord of the virgins.  31:40 “And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the LORD’s tribute was thirty and two persons.”  31:41  “And Moses gave the tribute, which was the LORD’s offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the LORD commanded Moses.”  Do we need to argue about the meaning of “tribute” and “offering” in those days, or can we just accept that Eleazar did not take them out to lunch?
    The Abraham and Isaac story comes from the “E” source of the Pentateuch.  The angel’s message is somewhat open to interpretation.  Look what the angel says (speaking for JHVH): “that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son… Because you have obeyed me…  Etc., etc…” could be – and is, obviously, interpreted to mean that Abraham was willing to obey, but taking the message on its own it’s at least as reasonable – maybe more so, given the language – to interpret it as meaning that Abe actually did obey the order to sacrifice his son.  Especially in the light of the fact that in verse 19 it’s Abraham and only Abraham, not Abraham and Isaac, who comes down from the mountain and rejoins the servants. More tellingly still, Isaac never again appears as a character in the E part of the Pentateuch.  I wasn’t there, I don’t know, I didn’t see it; but I’d say a hell of a case could be made for the idea that Abe went ahead and did it.  And, as already noted – by me, yes – the concept didn’t strike him as odd at all.
    Charles Pfeiffer tells us in Old Testament History that there are contending theories.  One is that the “passing through fire” stuff refers to a harmless rite that leaves the child OK.  There are problems with this, though, a major one being that Ezekiel complains about it.  “You took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them (made them pass through the fire).”  The evidence is clear that children were slaughtered and burnt like other sacrificial victims.

    Check out Isaiah 30:29 – you’re reading a good description of a ritual killing.  Paul Mosca’s analysis of it: “we begin with the fire – the lightning – of Yahweh’s storm theophany and end with the fire of ritual sacrifice.”  All of the mountain god’s weather powers – lightning, thunder, hail, rain, snow, and wind – become weapons by which Yahweh conquers Sennacherib and then sacrifices him.  (Remember – as most people don’t – that Yahweh started out as a mountain god, a storm god, before he got promoted.  In this great bit of poetry from Isaiah he takes the roles of storm god, warrior, and sacrificer – just as the Andean mountain gods did.) 
    And while we’re playing with Isaiah, note an interesting omission: he has nothing negative to say about King Ahaz or King Manasseh – both of whom sacrificed their children.  Isaiah was fine with it.  May I suppose that this interesting omission was likely because it wasn’t Isaiah’s first rodeo, he’d seen it before?
    Now, I’ll grant you that this stuff did get cleaned up.  Between the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah, a period of about a century, Jewish thinkers radically redefined Yahwism and suppressed human sacrifice.  Which is swell, and all fine – but to pretend it was never there and part of the deal right from the beginning is – put politely – disingenuous.  And one could be forgiven for the slight suspicion of a quick rewrite of history, too.  It was the high priest Hilkiah (Jeremiah’s father) who, while collecting tribute from all over Judah and Israel, “discovered the book of the law of the LORD which had been given through Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:14).  Well, golllleee, looka that!  A new book of Moses, found in somebody’s cellar, behind the oil burner!  Howzabout that!  This “discovery” – pardon the cynicism of those quotation marks – of a new book of Moses, completely unheard of prior to this appearance, was to revolutionize the rules of Hebrew worship – and anathematize human sacrifice.  In these new teachings of Moses (ahem…) he repeatedly attacks human sacrifice.  (Which is in itself informative, isn’t it?  If his people didn’t do it, would he need to be attacking it and telling them not to do it?)
    Sources all over the place, Brian.  And new discoveries, like Gobekli Tepe, clearly proving humanity was up to all kinds of stuff thousands of years earlier than we thought.



  • Old Buckeye

    Charles, you nailed it in two sentences: Many leftists are their own gods, and they rage jealously that they lack God’s power to create life. Their consolation is to exert a godlike power in destroying it.
    I used to think there couldn’t possibly be anyone in hell. Who could ignore the mercy of the Creator when facing Him at their last judgement? But a wise friend schooled me in the evils of those who relentlessly seek power and who are unable to relinquish it. It was the downfall of the first inhabitant of hell, and continues unabated to this day.

  • Ymarsakar

    Abortion is just another form of population control. The Ancients practiced it because of a scarcity of food or for other reasons, such as Spartan grimness and eugenic perfection. The Nazis practiced it in their form. The American Left practices it to control the “black blood” and other race impurities, only later progressing to a welfare and Master Slave owner type of mentality.

  • Ymarsakar

    JJ’s conclusions are incorrect.

    He gives archeological evidence, but the problem isn’t that this evidence is erroneous but that he didn’t put it in the proper context. The Old Testament God and the New Testament Gods were very different divinities. Much work has been spent attempting to reconcile the two, because that’s how humans are. They did so in the time of Constantinople and they will continue to do so. Human sacrifice was endemic in the ancient world, for various reasons. The expansion of Christianity did not outright wipe such things out, it wasn’t like an Islamic conquest: do this or die by the sword. Christianity spread by word, deed, and the strength of the various believers and their martyrdom or sacrifice. Also, many people flocking to the new Word carried over their old ways and attempted to appease the New Gods with what the Old Gods commanded. So the connection between Yahweh and human sacrifice isn’t material. That is not what mattered. The fact that such goings on happens, leads JJ to conclude that everyone did it. He misses the crucial point that it didn’t matter how many people did whatever bad things they did. The crucial point is when they stopped doing it and why. The answer is, of course, Christianity. While Christianity, in Rome, underwent some changes due to Mithradic customs, it did so peacefully and by incorporating the mass and ritual worship of the locals. The same was true of pagans and Christmas, historically the celebration of winter solstice when everyone is in home and the outside of Europe was covered with snow unbroken for leagues. They rebranded it, because to do otherwise, would require the sword, the fire, and ruthless will to suppress local “insurgents” the only way the insurgents understand. By killing them.

    To avoid this, Christianity was forced to change, because the believers chose to change it of their own free will. Periodically, questions of power, faith, religion, and state interests would intertwine and get corrupted in Europe as well as Rome’s war with Carthage, but overall Christianity was both the cause as well as the symptom of a changing climate in human social perceptions.

    JJ can dig up as many baby bones as he wishes, yet he cannot change that basic and pure conclusion to the obverse.

    Divine powers and existences, Gods in other words, don’t demand anything. It is humans that decide what to do. Trying to blame it on God is about as useful as blaming Demoncrats for being Demons or the government for being greedy and incompetent.


  • Danny Lemieux

    JJ, that was an excellent review! It will actually help me in an ongoing discussion that I have with a good friend very fundamentalist Christian, about the literal interpretation of the Old Testament.

  • jj

    One of the things that strikes me, Danny, is the way the choice is made to be sometimes literal, sometimes not, according to the need of the moment.  In other words, if being literal works against the point of view you’re espousing, then it’s a metaphor, or something.  Red is not red, and black is not really black.  If reading it literally supports the point of view, then all of a sudden – obviously – no interpretation is necessary, you read it as written.
    Kind of like the cave paintings, and the South and Central American carvings.  You walk down a line of them, and the first one is a big deer.  “That’s a big deer.”  Then comes a buffalo.  “That’s a buffalo.”  Then a guy with a spear.  “That’s a guy with a spear.”  Then comes a couple of guys chasing a buffalo with and throwing their spears.  “A couple of hunters chasing the buffalo.”  Then comes a guy in a capsule, wearing a helmet, working some controls as the thing zooms across the sky with flames coming out the rear end, with tubes leading from his helmet to some kind of cylinder.  “That’s not a guy in a capsule wearing a helmet zooming across the sky; no, no, no!  It’s a fanciful rendition of Kwango, the god of dreams, appearing to an eight-year old after his first hit of mescaline.”  What?  Excuse me?  All of a sudden the artist morphed from Og the painter/carver who strictly reproduced what he saw to Salvador Dali?  Pardon me?  How did that happen?  And – where are some other samples of the work of the world’s first, by thousands of years, Impressionist?  Oh, there aren’t any, this is the only one.  Just the guy in the spaceship is non-representational, everything else is as straight as a photograph.  The deer’s a deer, the buffalo’s a buffalo, just the guy in the space ship is not a guy in a spaceship.  I see.
    If you’re taking it literally, then you don’t need to “interpret” it – it’s just a history.  If you think it’s a giant metaphor, or series thereof, then you do, or can, subject it to interpretation.  (Most religions prefer to interpret, it gives them a lot more freedom, and they can disavow the potentially embarrassing stuff they don’t like.)  Interestingly, Islam is, (for public consumption, anyway), trying desperately, (after centuries of saying it was literal), to pretend the Koran requires interpretation, and doesn’t really say what it plainly says. 
    It’s difficult to have it both ways.

  • Danny Lemieux

    JJ, unlike the Koran (which is supposed to be the direct written word of their god and therefore not open to interpretation), Christians (I can’t speak for Jews) consider the Bible “divinely inspired”.

    Before I continue, please understand that I do not pass judgment on the faith of any Christian…that’s way above my fallible human pay grade, so I don’t go there. I may be wrong, they may be right…but none of us can be all right about something so much bigger than us.

    However, I do see the Bible as Man’s record of our evolving relationship between humans and their Creator. I therefore make a big distinction between the Old Testament, which I consider to be highly fallible (but less fallible with time) and highly open to interpretation, and the New Testament, which I consider to be pretty infallible but nonetheless still open to interpretation (otherwise we wouldn’t have so many arguments among theologians, would we!). One of the important breakthroughs of the Protestant Reformation in Western Christianity was the recognition and importance of a personal relationship with God rather than theological subservience to a clergy. Even the Roman Catholics buy into this now.

    Personally, I believe that the more fundamentalist Christians among us spend way too much of their time and effort focusing on the Old Testament (I refer to them as “Old Testament” Christians), whereas the more Liberal/Left “Social Justice” Christians don’t spend nearly enough time in the Old Testament. Me? I love to read the Old Testament for the wisdom, knowledge and insight imparted within, but my focus in most definitely on the revelations and Covenant of the New Testament. Like I said, I am not claiming infallibility on this issue, it’s just the way I see it in my own personal relationship with God. 

  • beefrank

    “Everybody sacrificed first-borns, and every god, including Yahweh, absolutely expected it.  The most striking thing about Abraham and Isaac (aside from the fact that at the last second they were let off – which was highly unusual for the Old Testament, wherein nobody ever gets let off), was Abraham’s attitude to killing his kid: it struck him as perfectly normal!”
    jj’s post is evidence of what BW was noting.  It illustrates how pervasive Moloch-worship was during Abraham’s time.  It was so pervasive in the culture that Abraham misread God’s revelation, hence, why Abraham’s attempt to kill Isaac was stopped. In Genesis 22, God commanded Abraham for ‘a burnt offering’ which is Eastern custom for ‘total dedication’, ‘commitment’ and not necessarily requiring fire.  If you read the text, God did not say anything about wood nor killing anything.  The text indicates God’s promise that Jesus Christ will be conceived from the offspring of Abraham via Issac which is why the angel, Gabriel, had to stop Abraham.  I realize there is a ‘mainstream’ interpretation for this record, however, the ‘mainstream’ does not coincide with other records in the Bible in Old and New Testaments regarding ‘sacrifice’ and ‘burnt offerings’.  The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ required only the life of one man, his Son Jesus Christ, to pay for the redemption of the fallen man which began at the betrayal of Adam who chose to obey Satan.

  • Simplemind


       Nicely put.  No question Evil is a real force in this world. Sad that the deluded do not realize what they are doing. I really don’t think most liberals are consciously evil, they have just lost the ability to discriminate between good and evil. Mostly because they are kneejerk relativists looking to weigh motives and consequences and balance shades of grey. They think they are enlightened when all they are is blind. One day the “scales” will fall from their eyes (double meaning  “scales”) and they will regret the chance they lost to stand for something of meaning. Instead they “fell” for something that means nothing.

    Note to JJ.

  • jj

    That particular breakthrough pre-dated the Protestants, Danny.  Only the Cathars, Bogomils, Berghards and Beguines, Apostolici, Donatists, Patarines – and twenty or thirty other groups who believed in a far more personal idea of, and relationship with, God – couldn’t withstand Rome, so they disappeared down the rat-hole known as “heresy.”  One of the reasons Luther, Wesley, Knox, et al got away with it was because the world had divided into true countries by that time, who might have said: “hey, hold it!  The only army permitted in our country is our army!  Wait just a minute, there, Pope…” to a papal army crossing their borders to go draw and quarter, say, Luther and his followers – so Luther got away with it.  The Cathars, just to take the most well-known example, didn’t have anyone to say that when the papal army whirled down on the Languedoc in 1209, and spent the next forty years ramping the countryside, pretty much slaughtering everybody, and incidentally giving the sainted Dominic Guzman, Inquisitor #1,  his start.  This, the Albigensian Crusade, is credited with being the origin of the charming saying: ‘Kill them all, God will know His own.”  Luther’s timing was much better – he never had to contend with that!  He never looked out his bedroom window and saw forty guys advancing across his back yard, with swords drawn, spears leveled, and torches to burn the house and occupants down if he didn’t come out and surrender to the Inquisition.
    I wonder how he would have reacted if that had been a real possibility.

  • jj

    I report history, Simplemind.  I offer no opinions, and you have no clue what I believe.  I am sorry you don’t like history – but that’s a big club, take comfort in numbers.  You’re not alone.

  • Ron19

    Just because there are Christian leaders, in many different sects, that molest children, it does not mean that the Ten Commandments that they say they believe in should be abandoned by everyone else.  The actions of some do not invalidate God’s teachings, or the goodness or good actions of other people.

    All of a sudden the artist morphed from Og the painter/carver who strictly reproduced what he saw to Salvador Dali?

    If you think about it, Salvador Dali must have morphed from Og to Salvador Dali.  The model that descended the staircase did not change from a normal woman to the strange looking person in Dali’s painting.  My understanding of God has morphed from Og to a guy looking at the screen of his digital camera; it’s not complete.  I’m the one who has changed and keeps changing, not God.

    JJ, you forgot to mention all the Egyptians harmed and killed in the plagues.  Why did God harm these people?  I don’t know, other than what it says in the Book of Exodus, that God was showing who was really in charge.  However, the Book of Job does discuss this kind of thing. 

    Like all of you, I am being critical of others.  But I am glad you posted your comments, because it gets me to think some more about what I believe, and to convert some of what I believe to some of what I think I understand.

    All, keep up the good work!

  • Simplemind

    I like history and have no issue with what you recount.

    I think however many smart people do a fine job of avoiding the truth by sifting facts to find an equilibrium that justifies their Ego and/or Id.

    Wear it, JJ. Don’t wear it out.

  • beefrank

    BW:  Before jumping to Jim Jones, whom you are aware was appointed in the 70’s as San Francisco’s Housing Authority chairman commissioner by mayor George Moscone, was supported by then-Governor Jerry Brown and the toast of the town among Democrats including Harvey Milk, Willie Brown, Walter Mondale and Carter. And the Tea Party is extreme?!  Lets not forget the esteemable founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, who published her eugenics beliefs along with her ‘Negro Project’ and spoke at KKK meeting on the subject.  Gee, why did PP offices begin prevalently in the urban areas during the 60’s?

  • jj

    The fascinating thing about that event Ron, is why it kept happening.  God sent the first plague, which you’d think would have awakened Pharaoh to the idea that there might be an issue here.  But what happens?  God – himself – “hardens Pharaoh’s heart,” so he ignores the first plague – whereupon God sends the second plague.  Again, God “hardens Pharaoh’s heart” so he ignores that one, too – leading to the third plague. 
    I find myself wondering how Pharaoh would have behaved if God had just left him alone for a minute, to react as he might – heart unhardened – have reacted if he’d been allowed to just be himself.  Pharaoh wasn’t doing anything off his own bat – this was God playing solitaire.

  • Ron19

    JJ:  I sometimes wonder that too.

    I also wonder why my wife, after saying yesterday what a wonderful person I am, today says what a dispicable person I am.  Even though she gives reasons for both attitudes, it doesn’t all neatly add up.

    But I still love her anyway.

  • Jose

    Remember that before the 10 plagues, the Israelites had already been thoroughly abused under Pharaoh(s).  They had been subjected to the hardest working conditions as slaves, and basically subjected to genocide when all male children were to be killed, which is why Moses was hidden as a baby.  Their life in Egypt is later referred to as the “Iron Furnace” in Duet 4:20 and other passages. The Pharaoh was not a nice guy, but maybe more like Saddam Hussein.  When God hardened his heart, it was already stone.  God just redirected his actions for other purposes.
     The 10th plague, where the first born of the Egyptians were killed, was the final thing needed to convince the Pharaoh to release them (for a while).  When the Israelites are told to give their first born to God, it is a reminder of the 10th plague, when the Egyptian first born died, and the Israelite first born were spared.
    Exo 13:2  “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.”
    The following verses show that the first born child was then to be “redeemed”, perhaps by an animal or monetary offering.   Obviously, the children were not subject to sacrifice.
    Exo 13:14  “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.
    Exo 13:15  ‘It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’

  • Simplemind

    “I believe it would have been unthinkable fifty years ago that our nation would have legalized the killing of unborn children in the womb,” Jeffress said. “What is unthinkable today becomes a part of public policy ten years from now.”

    The slippery slope is real.

    When I was in law school I was arguing with a liberal prof over his “living constitution” nonsense and made the slippery slope argument.  The response was that slippery slope isn’t an argument. It was mocked as having no logic or weight. 

    History shows what people are capable of when they have nothing guiding them but their own wants/neurosis/rationalizations.

    Killing babies sucks.

    Sucks no matter when it happens, now or in history.
    Sucks no matter who does it.
    Sucks no matter where it is done.

    Relativism tries to cheapen the suck.  But Relativism is just kidding itself.

    Once the thing keeping the self hatred genie in the bottle is gone, society is toast.

    People who write medical ethics articles justifying killing of live born children loathe human existence. I would not want one of those people in my foxhole.

  • BrianE

    I don’t think any of the Bible passages you cite deal with my question that God demanded human sacrifice.
    Exodus 22:29:
    “The commandment to consecrate the firstborn to God is first given in ch. 13:2 – “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.” The book of Numbers specifies that every firstborn son has to be redeemed. We read: “The first offspring of every womb, both man and animal, that is offered to the LORD is yours. But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.””- from Mathew Henry
    Judges 11:30-40:
    The sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter is the consequence of Jephthah’s rash vow, not any requirement of God. In fact God makes it very clear that we are to be very careful about our vows. What would have been the result if Jephthah had gone back on his vow? I think the consequences would have been more with how those around him viewed his word. Our words, our integrity is the only thing that is really ours in this world.
    Should he have sacrificed his daughter. Of course not. Would he have paid some price before God. Probably. This was certainly not from God though.
    Ezekiel 20:25-26:
    Ezekiel spends the chapter recounting how unfaithful the nation of Israel has been to their Redeemer- the living God.
    “…I vowed I would scatter them among all the nations (for previous unbelief) because they did not obey my laws. They scorned my instructions by violating my Sabbath days and long for the idols of their ancestors. I gave them over to worthless customs and laws that would not lead to life. I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and show them that I alone am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:24-26
    Giving someone up to act a certain way isn’t in anyway causing someone to act a certain way. God has given us the ability to act contrary to his will. He may at times cause events that constrain our ability to act out our will, but ultimately we are responsible for the choices we make and actions we take. God was certainly not condoning the human sacrifice that was still too common among those worshiping false gods.
    Numbers 31:1-54:
    Yes we do need to argue the meaning of tribute and offering.
    “…16,000 young girls, of whom 32 were the Lord’s share. Moses gave all the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the Lord had directed him.” Numbers 31:32
    It’s quite a stretch to assume that Eleazar killed the 32 virgins. That’s nonsense. They would have become servants (slaves if you will) as was the practice of the day. As to the livestock, a certain percentage was given to the Levites as was also the custom, since the Levites did not participate in commerce, they were beholden on the other tribes to provide for their needs.
    But yes, a lot of Midianites died because of their part in leading the Isrealites into idolatry (including human sacrifice). To our sensibilities it seems rather harsh, but then we aren’t privy to the actual debauchery and harm the Midianites caused.
    Not even going to go there with the story of Abraham and Issac, it’s just not worth it.
    This is what God’s attitude toward human sacrifice:
    “The Lord said to Moses, say to the Israelites: “Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.” (Leviticus 20:1-5; see also 18:21).
    Read this for God’s attitude toward human sacrifice:

    As to your characterization that Yahweh merely assumed the attributes of some former mountain god is confused by your assumption that the God of the Bible is merely another construct of a primitive people.
    The similarities to false gods and the living God of the Bible can be understood in the context of the common ancestry of man. The stories and practices and understanding of God were common among people. As they separated over time, the human heart constructed the false gods that have plagued mankind. But the Truth was revealed first. We (the fallen human race) have distorted the truth and turned it into a lie.

  • Jose

    As for Jephthah, he screwed up by making a foolish promise.  He was under no religious obligation to sacrifice his daughter, and none is implied in the passage.  He realized his mistake and gets no credit for his actions.  If fact, his daughter is shown to be the undeserved victim, when the passage ends with the statement” 
    “Thus it became a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.”
    Obviously her death was not a typical occurrence.
    None of this is to say that the Israelites didn’t kill a lot of people, or practice human sacrifice, but it wasn’t institutionalized in the law of Moses.

  • Ron19

    I just realized that my own comment #19 has another important truth:
    My understanding of God has morphed from Og to a guy looking at the screen of his digital camera; it’s [still] not complete [a complete understanding of God]

    I did not build this digital camera or even the screen, even though I understand how much of it works; in grade school I learned all I needed to know about building a pinhole camera.  But the shoebox with a piece of photographic film is not needed to build the digital camera I use, nor even Kodachrome film or a single-lens reflex camera (I used to have a film SLR). 

    The reason I have a screen to look at is because some people did the right things that provided me with that tool.  In the same way, some people have provided me with the right tools (Bible, Catechism, teachers, etc.) to make the “camera screen” that helps me to know and understand more about God.  I couldn’t be this far along if had only depended on myself.

  • MacG

    Y: ” The Old Testament God and the New Testament Gods were very different divinities.”
    You could not be further from the truth. Both faiths hold the Shema to be true. “Here O Israel the Lord your God is one”

  • Ymarsakar

    Like I said, there is centuries of attempts to combine the Old Testament and the New Testament, but since I’m not a believer, I’m more free to challenge the dogma of official Protestant or Catholic or other denominational beliefs on this matter. It just doesn’t gel. The Old Testament is completely different from the New Testament. If people wanted to reform Christianity and make it adapt to the times, that’s one thing, but trying to make things too consistent is going too far into deception.

    It doesn’t matter what people say their God is or even what they name their God. What matters is their behavior, conduct, and what they think is demanded of them. If they behave in a way that worships Moloch and Satan, and claims they worship God, you gonna believe them? I wouldn’t. 

  • Ymarsakar

    Most people didn’t even know how to read back in the Old Testament times. They weren’t exactly…. urbane or cosmopolitan or enlightened folks. In fact, they were much like the Islamos of today. Very tribalistic, and also very bloodthirsty like the Left and Al Qaeda.


  • Ron19

    You’ve got me convinced, Y.

    I’m going to ask my bishop to teach me all about martial arts.

  • MacG

    “Like I said, there is centuries of attempts to combine the Old Testament and the New Testament, but since I’m not a believer, I’m more free to challenge the dogma of official Protestant or Catholic or other denominational beliefs on this matter. It just doesn’t gel. “

    Your dogma also allows you (forces you?) to stop at base apparant contradictions without further examination.  Some future amateur historian of antiquities may come along and read about how George Bush refused to invade Iraq but then a new discovery is unearthed and this one says that George Bush launched an invasion of Iraq.  Or as a biblical example  Herod dies early on in the Gospel accounts yet at the trial of the adult Jesus Herod is involved in it.  These are contradictions for the one who has the apriori assumption that the OT deity is a different one when in fact it is only an apparent contradiction and it turns out to be the same on behaving differently.  It is a matter of emphasizing a different syllable of the same Word.

    “The Old Testament is completely different from the New Testament.

    Of course it is predominantly in style though being written by 7 or so Hellenized authors writing after a 400+ year prophesy drought.  It records the fulfillment of the days that Abraham longed to see.  A series of new chapters in a larger collection of works.

    “If people wanted to reform Christianity and make it adapt to the times, that’s one thing, but trying to make things too consistent is going too far into deception.”

    There it is, the deception bias that colors your opinion.

    “It doesn’t matter what people say their God is or even what they name their God. What matters is their behavior, conduct, and what they think is demanded of them. If they behave in a way that worships Moloch and Satan, and claims they worship God, you gonna believe them? I wouldn’t.”

    I would not believe them either. You and Jesus agree on that point as He said that you will know his followers by there love for one another.  One of those wrote about some people in the Church posing as sheep that had the right words but inwardly they were ravenous wolves.

  • MacG

    Simplemind “The response was that slippery slope isn’t an argument. It was mocked as having no logic or weight. ”
    Just look at the fine higher Ed institution found by Christians – Princeton and now through ‘tolerance’ and being open minded we have Peter Singer advocating post birth abortion.  Living proof of the slippery slope however for those who have ruled the number 4, there is no good answer for 2+2.  Once there even 2 must be brought into question and if 2 – well you see how we can eventually debunk math…

  • MacG

    JJ “One of the things that strikes me, Danny, is the way the choice is made to be sometimes literal, sometimes not, according to the need of the moment”
    Though some do do this, they err for they do not put their nose to the grindstone and would probably cut it off to spite their face.  Context is key is it not, to discern between a literal meaning and a figurative one or a poetic one or a parable.  We do not get to pick and choose the context and the context sets the genre.  As I have heard, “A text without a context is a pretext”.

  • BrianE

    “Most people didn’t even know how to read back in the Old Testament times. They weren’t exactly…. urbane or cosmopolitan or enlightened folks. In fact, they were much like the Islamos of today. Very tribalistic, and also very bloodthirsty like the Left and Al Qaeda.” –Ymarsakar
    They had oral historians. They had better trained and accurate memories than we do. We have become sloppy, relying on technology.
    I’m not sure what being urbane or cosmopolitan has to do with wisdom and understanding of the human condition, but I will still rely on the “enlightenment” of David or Solomon to the current “enlightenment” that is defending to the death a stubborn genocide of the very young and a instituting a new genocide of the very old and infirm.
    Yes, our intellectual “masters” tend to be the new fascists from the left, but this too is just a consequence of our condition.
    We certainly aren’t any smarter than they were.
    We have built on eons of incremental understanding of how God designed the universe, but I think it’s a mistake to assume our superiority intellectually. As to their tribalism and bloodthirsty nature, we killed several hundred thousand Japanese as the result of two singular attacks. Does that make us a bloodthirsty culture?
    Estimates are 100,000,000 to 200,000,000 people died in the 20 century due to our tribalistic and bloodthirsty nature. That makes them pikers by comparison.
    Our nature hasn’t changed. 

  • Ymarsakar

    Oral historians is another way of basically saying the head of the tribe is right and anyone else saying otherwise is exiled from the tribe.

     It’s not a substitute for independent thought.  Catholic priests could read Latin and none of the peasants could, making them the “oral historians” on what the Bible, and thus God, meant for people to do or be. There are always going to be problems when people take on more power than they know how to handle.

     The point is, a bunch of human idiots trying to tell me they know what God wants, is not going to last long near me. If you really understood human nature, you would already have contemplated how humans back in the Old Testament behaved the same as humans today. And then juxtapose that situation with the “oral historians” you remember. They weren’t enlightened. Solomon did not write the Bible. He wasn’t God. Nor perhaps even a prophet of God, like Moses. He’s just one character the Bible uses to teach people, like you, a lesson. The people who actually wrote the Bible, both New and Old testament, and the people who read and used the Bible, had just as many social problems then as we have now. There’s nothing special going on.

    Don’t ever use the word “enlightened”, when you are filling it with your personal prejudices and assumptions based upon modern life. You can bet your life that people back in the past used every ounce of their rage, hate, prejudice, racial and political discrimination tribal based policies, to determine what Religious Dogma was correct. That didn’t change back then, it didn’t change now, and it won’t change with humans later.

     Enlightenment means truly understanding information and seeking the truth. You bringing the modern world into this is a horrible red herring. But then again, that proves I am right. For everyone, from oral historians to people using the Old Testament in the old days, did something similar. They used their own prejudices to determine what Divine Power sought. You use your own prejudices the moment you use “enlightened” in a context based upon your own preconceptions, but not based upon the normal definition of enlightened. All that baggage, you cannot even drop, for one moment. And you somehow think the ancients thousands of years ago could do it? As if that would ever happen.

    The reason why you never think about all the corrupt human things that went on in the past, is because the Old Testament catalogs them but then makes a story to teach to future generations. You can’t condemn those stories because it would be attacking the Bible. However, there were plenty of people who were as evil, if not more evil, than whatever problems you have with political factions today, Brian. Maybe you should consider that.

     In case you hadn’t noticed, enlightenment is not an IQ test. Were you raised in a culture that defined enlightenment as IQ based? That’s a clue there’s something wrong with what you were raised in.

     Trying to make it an IQ test with me, I take that as people trying to tell me what God intends.

  • Ymarsakar

    The difference is that in the modern world, you don’t die because you made some mistake. Things were a little bit more serious in the Old Days. So they were not as enlightened as the modern individuals. Simply because if they made a mistake, they would be dead. While Westerners can make so many mistakes, they can even change POLITICAL ALLIANCES 20 years later. You think that could happen back in the Old Days of Moses leading his tribe of former slaves on a death march across the desert? As if that was going to happen. More people died than the sons of Egyptians on that march. Where was their chance to become enlightened, educated, and immersed in the truth? They didn’t have one, cause they got dead.
    You think dead people can achieve something akin to enlightenment? I don’t think that works the way people may think.
     So yes, people in Olden Times were suspicious, weak, stupid, uneducated, prone to insane rages and blood debts, and died long before they ever achieved enlightenment or even the ability to understand other fellow humans. That includes David. That includes Solomon. The Bible sought the best of the best, to give a lesson. That’s okay. But all the problems and mistakes Solomon made, isn’t really mentioned. But it happened. And we know it happened because he’s human. He’s also a human with political power, or was. Even a wise king will make a mistake… eventually. There would never have been a need for Christ’s sacrifice, if things were just peachy with the enlightenment of our fellow humans back in the Olden Days.
    The only way a human being can become enlightened is through several transmission methods. All of them requires them to not die, because if they die they cannot gain the life experience required to correct their mistaken world views or actions.
    Don’t talk about IQ here. Dead people don’t have IQs. Each human has the same brain, IQ is much less important than modern Western culture thinks it is.
     So if you die at 20 or 30 or 40, you don’t get to become enlightened or anywhere close. Because you didn’t live long enough. And in the past, they spent most of their time traveling from one place to another, or working to feed themselves. Didn’t really have time to educate themselves using books or other such things. Moses had to write on a stone tablet, because I’m pretty sure they ran out of paper and writing utensils.
     So do I think human nature changed fundamentally? Why no, what Brian said clearly demonstrates to all under the sun that “human nature” has not changed in any manner whatsoever. The difference between the Old Testament lifestyle of oral historians (Moses on the mount, slavery, and mercenary killers) is that modern life tends to have certain …. benefits for individuals that seek the treasure of truth. And if you, Brian, want to argue that modern individuals have not achieved enlightenment because they are…. somehow bad in character, why don’t you talk about that subject on your own and make your case. You don’t need me to make it, though.
     And if there’s something else you don’t see, just point it out. I’m sure there’s much more I can clear up. But don’t use words you don’t mean. Be very careful when trying to use my words against me, because they’re not your words and you aren’t allowed to define them for me. That gets in the way of something called… human communication. On that same point, think again before you try to use war statistics against me in an argument. You don’t really have a sufficient context to understand the difference between millions out of billions dying, and entire bloodlines and clans wiped out in the past. If you have been born, and your ancestors were in WWII, then you should technically be dead if you had fought in a war in the Old Testament days. In the Old testament days, your ancestors would have been chopped up, one way or another, and you would never have had a chance to be born. So yes, millions died in something we call WWI and WWII> But then billions were born later. The “baby boom”. In the old days, a couple thousand died. And then, nobody else was born later, because Carthage and certain cities got destroyed. Did you just not consider that, yet? Achieving enlightenment is hard, isn’t it. Especially when it requires you to delve deep into subjects you don’t seem to know enough about. It was equally hard for people on starvation ratios, with no internet, and who had to spend years traveling from one place to another. You know “a lot” about the problems modern life has, but not much about how things were for the people back then. That’s regrettable. You would have gained a greater understanding of humans if you had taken the time to try to see it from their point of view.
     “It is a matter of emphasizing a different syllable of the same Word.”
    People are allowed to interpret the Bible however they want. That’s because the Protestants and Catholics got into a little argument about that issue sometime ago. In the past, the New Testament and the Old Testament, did not really tolerate such interpretations. That’s why dogma was considered relatively very important. You had the dogma, and if you disagreed with it, you were a heretic, and heretics were punished and discriminated against. One way or another. Even in the cosmopolitan Roman Empire, the Egyptian coptics didn’t get much say about certain things. So when I say dogma, I mean that it still exists even now. It’s just hard to see what it is. But usually if many Christian denominations believe in the same thing, it can be considered dogma. And certainly if the Catholic Pope deems something to be scripturally true, it can be considered dogma. Galileo would have gotten away with a lot more things, if he didn’t try to personally insult the Pope and try to pass off his conclusions as if they were scientific fact (which he didn’t have).
    “I’m going to ask my bishop to teach me all about martial arts.”
    I don’t really understand what you mean here Ron, so you’re going to have to understand if I just pass this comment by without replying to it.
    “It records the fulfillment of the days that Abraham longed to see.”
    It also has things that were myths and probably exaggerated to boot, such as the various plagues in Egypt. It’s told in too much detail and too much like somebody using God to intimidate the readers. Which, I suppose, was a very important piece of propaganda back in the day, when religion was a society’s life blood. In fact, it had more detail than Genesis, and Genesis is actually more accurate than the whole Plague thing to begin with, with Phaoroh and Moses. Because Genesis didn’t have much detail, it actually boosted its credibility. Somebody that was divinely inspired with knowledge that he couldn’t get in mortal realms, would probably only understand a bit of it (the prophet not having achieved any state of enlightenment), and thus describe it in very loose terms, rather than too many specifics.

  • Danny Lemieux

    BrianE, I agree. People haven’t changed at all in thousands of years.

    This is why the Book of Proverbs remains my favorite book of the Old Testament, because it shows how people thousands of years ago wrestled with the same fallibilities and foibles of human nature and morality that we do today. Whenever I read Proverbs, I feel as if I am having a conversation with human beings thousands of years before my time.

  • BrianE

    OK, so we agree.
    As Jeremiah said, ‘the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?’
    The human race is fallen, sinful (as defined by missing the mark, the mark God has set for us), and it continues today as it did 3,000 years ago.
    The only thing that has changed in those thousands of years is the Redeemer has been revealed in Jesus, who made the claim, (not I) that ‘you must be born again’, which Christians understand is a spiritual birth.
    Jesus also made the claim, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me’. Now that, to me, is ultimate enlightenment.
    I understand you don’t believe that, and no one can force you to believe it, since that would be futile. That is the job of God’s Spirit.
    I must have mistakenly detected an air of superiority as you alluded to cosmopolitan man, as opposed to the tribal and bloodthirsty folks of 3,000 years ago. I was merely pointing out that not much has changed in the the millennia between them and us.
    As to ‘enlightenment’ you used the word. I was merely stating that I would trust the wisdom of David and Solomon to what passes for wisdom today.
    And those two include a murderer and a serial adulterer and idolator. Go figure.

  • BrianE

    My post in #40 was in response to Y’s post in #37.
    Interesting stuff in between.

  • Mike Devx

    Interesting debate going on here.  I have one quibble:

    “If people wanted to reform Christianity and make it adapt to the times, that’s one thing, but trying to make things too consistent is going too far into deception
    > There it is, the deception bias that colors your opinion. 

    I don’t like phrases such as “deception bias”.  They’re new-fangled code words that suppress argument.
    What is a ‘deception bias’?  It’s most likely just something axiomatic to my argument.  Everyone comes from a particular philosophical background; they bring that with them into any debate.  Sometimes what tascinates me the most in a debate, even with liberals, is understanding where they’re “coming from”.  It’s fun, in a superior sort of way, to call it this form of bias or that form of bias if you want to, but I don’t find that helpful at all.  It’s just the philosophical framework – for better or for worse – that they’re bringing to the table, is all.

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  • MacG

    I see bias as something more foundational to one’s worldview than being a philosophical framework.  Such framework is actively learned, debated, rehearsed etc.  and usually built on the bias that fills in the blanks when building an argument, rationalizing etc.  An example to me is how people identify with something because it is familiar or sounds good but without logically examining it.
    I said deception bias because Y projected motives of ‘people’ working on reconciling texts as deceptive versus honest.  Given his strong advocacy for self defense, self reliance, vigilantly being on point says to me he has an underlying filter that ‘looks’ for deception.  This means that he may not like being in dark public places like the movies because the dark hides the enemy or dislike illusionists because it proves that at times we can’t trust what we see or he could embrace it so he is less likely to be tricked.  Now if he is aware of it and caters to it then it is the cultivated foundation of his world view but even if it is what is running in the background driving him unawares to all of the self defense he so loves then that is what I referred to as his deception bias. 
    And I could be wrong it would not be the first time…