“For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, defile it. And they have built the high places of Topeth...to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, when it will no more be called Topeth but the Valley of Slaughter.”
Distant stories of an idolized golden calf and Korah’s rebellion ring a bell of familiarity when we speak of the Israelites’ insubordination while wandering in the wilderness. The story of the People of God in the New Testament is a story of pursuit and defiance, miracles, and consternation. Their lack of obedience provoked fiery words of warning that were often unheeded. This imprecation, among the starkest in the Old Testament, testifies to the fact that amongst the most egregious crimes against Yahweh, child sacrifice reigned as the most startling and gruesome – a macabre level of human immorality.
The story of human depravity scarcely stops there. There is no bottom to the abyss of sinful man. Thousands of years ago- the mad emperor Nero would set “blasphemers” alight to illuminate the garden paths he loved to walk, all the while plotting uniquely vile assassinations against those whom he was supposed to protect: his family. Roman Citizens left undesired babies to die on the outskirts of town- their cries ignored by their parents and kin. Was it the barbarians that sacked Rome? It appears as if barbarians were in Rome well before the Visigoths were driven down the Danube River.
Ancient history is rarely ancient. In fact, it was only a few years ago that archaeologists reported that they had disentombed over 200 bodies in what they believe could be the world’s largest child sacrifice. The Chimu people of what is today Peru participated in religious sacrificial rituals often offering up the most vulnerable amongst themselves.
Our society can hardly imagine such a culture – just like we can scarcely envision more recent acts of atrocious human depravity: the Cambodian Killings Fields and the Tutsi Genocide – words that shout volumes of such human disgust that all there is left to say is Kurt Vonnegut’s famous words: “so it goes”.
We like to think of ourselves as an evolved human race, enlightened beyond the bestial nature of our sword-swinging ancestors. We pretend that we are a society of sophisticated elites and fighters of social justice. To us, only our generation is intellectually refined, and we are grotesquely eager to exalt ourselves at the expense of our forebears. Ours is the generation where sons cast stones at their fathers because we are omniscient and superior to those whose shoulders we recline.
But have human beings miraculously changed at the flick of a switch? Are we really in an era of true moral exceptionalism?
Conservatives know better than this. It is the long centuries of belief stemming from Christian-Judeo ideology that has ennobled us to protect the innocent and to defend the most vulnerable amongst us, and when we throw those principles aside human, barbaric savagery returns.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that five viable and presumably partially born aborted babies were found outside of a clinic in the most powerful and influential city of the world: our nation’s capital. Five of the most innocent and vulnerable among us were sacrificed at the altar of a society that promotes the destruction of anything that robs from the idols of self-indulgence and self-prosperity, human butchery stamped with a Rosie the Riveter poster.
In fact, over 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe V. Wade. That is a jarring number compared to the Chimu’s child sacrifices of 200.
The apostle Paul was not sanguine in his understanding of human degeneracy: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the Light”. Were the Israelites blind to the horrors of their own child sacrifices in the name of the idol Baal? Were the Romans blind to their lust for blood in exchange for power and debauchery just like our forefathers were blind to the sin of bartering slavery for their deep pockets?
As we hopefully draw near to the end of federally imposed abortion, we are reminded once again that the story of this cruel practice is even now being written. Chroniclers of our age will look at our deeds with horror just as we look at our forebearers with disgust, and we too will be judged beyond the grave.
The Canaanites sacrificed children for fertility; the Chimu sacrificed children to appease the weather gods. Claimed by witnesses, the aborted waste that those precious souls were packaged with was going to serve as fuel for electricity here in DC. Perhaps we are not so different from our fathers after all. Sacrifices for fertility, sacrifices for crops, sacrifices for safety, sacrifices for iPhone chargers. Lord have mercy.
Congressman Madison Cawthorn is the representative for North Carolina's 11th Congressional District. He sits on the House Education and Labor and Veterans' Affairs Committees.