Human sacrifice

David Norris, Pottsville. 

Many ancient religions believed that the ritual of human sacrifice was needed to gain favour and appease god’s wrath.

Every Easter I am reminded that Christian belief is founded on the sacrificial slaughter of a human male virgin.

The bible says sin must be punished. Anyone who bares unforgiven sin faces a horrifying eternal prospect.

Under Moses animal blood had to be continually shed because it was believed animal sacrifice only delayed god’s wrath and that only human blood could cleanse human sin forever.

Christians believe the Easter Jesus sacrifice washes away our sins and saves all Christians from judgement so they don’t have to fear eternal hell.

Locally, regionally and globally the news is becoming more and more confronting.  I think relying on human sacrifice to solve our problems has failed and we should all look to find a different  way to peace of mind.


2 responses to “Human sacrifice”

  1. Petrus says:

    Putting aside the questions about your interpretation of sacrifice and the resurrection story, I thought it would be useful to address some errors in fact that lead to your conclusions. It is a minor point but I am not aware that the bible states that Jesus was a virgin, nor am I aware of any convincing evidence that suggests he was. More significantly though your suggestion that human sacrifice has not solved our human problems relies on the news becoming more confronting. That has been so, but that is more about the confronting news than any measure of increased suffering. When I was growing up in Byron Bay on the 50s our news came from the Northern Star and the ABC radio. While international events were reported on there was nothing as confronting as we see on any national TV news; nor did we have to confront every shooting or other violent incident anywhere in our country. However the reality of suffering, war and poverty has actually diminished over the lifetime of my generation. Compare the the scale of human suffering in what was the area of greatest human deprivation – South Asia. Geoffrey Moorehouse in his book on Calcutta describes how the wartime governor of Bengal, R G Casey – later Menzies’ greatest minister and our Governer-General – was profoundly affected by the tens of millions who died under his watch during the war from famine as, opined Moorehouse, only an Australian or perhaps a Swede could be. The rest of humanity were more inured to widespread human inequality and suffering. In the following decades millions died in floods in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but with better disaster management and a better-off population the impact of disasters there has been reduced to some thousands – still tragic but of a completely lesser dimension. Oft maligned economic growth and targeted poverty relief is reducing poverty across that region from over half the population to single figures. The progress in China has been more dramatic, but slower in Africa and there are plainly horrors being wrought in the Middle East; overall however the lot of mankind has improved. Of course Christianity is not directly responsible for this improved situation – Churches and their NGOs have contributed very little to the improvements and most betterment has flown from better economic management, globalization of capital and trade, better governance, and improved family planning, health and education – particularly for women – and better access to economic and technical knowledge. But it is not enough to know how to improve human lives; you have to care to do so. Non-Christians like Gandhi and many secular people in the west have shown Christianity does not have a monopoly on caring, while technical and economic experts whose beliefs are immaterial to their work have provided the means for betterment that caring but misguided people like Gandhi lacked, but the radical idea that humans should live in peace and prosperity is rooted in 19c Christianity with its concern for a decent life and opportunity for the deserving poor regardless of race or continent (for eg the anti-slavery movement). As such it is a positivist and practical exposition of the risen Christ, that has flowed far beyond those who darken the doors of the churches at Easter. Sister Joseph taught us at St Finbarrs in the Bay in the 60s that non-Catholics and non-Christians who were of good heart and adhered to their faiths were saved from hell. In a similar way, my Aussie Christ does not care if people believe in his resurrection – he cares that they are not harmed or in poverty, and that they care about those that still are – as commendably David you plainly do.

  2. andrew says:

    On religion……it is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

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