Yahweh is Evil - Human Sacrifice Edition
Welcome atheists, infidels and believers to a very special holiday installment of Yahweh is Evil. With Easter just around the corner (or not if you are reading this at a later date) I figured we'd take a look at the God of the Bible's fascination with human sacrifice and his reliance on the ritual slaughter in the first place.
Most Christians are more than familiar with the Jesus story, as it is the very foundation of their religion, but few Christians know that Jesus was not the only instance of human sacrifice practiced in the Bible. In fact I'd wager that most believers think that Yahweh is against human sacrifices because of the strict rules about the Israelites slaughtering animals, not people, to atone for their sins in the Old Testament. In this hub I hope to discuss the truth about human sacrifice in the Bible and question, once again, how anyone can possibly defend such an evil and obviously fictitious deity in this day and age.
Few Christians will have heard this story from the pages of the Bible but I assure you it's in there if you look. In the latter half of Judges eleventh chapter we are presented with a cautionary tale of sorts. A brave warrior named Jephthah is about to go off to war against the Ammonites who have been rude enough to demand back the land that the Israelites took on their way out of Egypt. After cutting their violent and bloody swath of conquest across that part of the world and displacing numerous civilizations the Israelites finally reached the “promised land” and people have been and still are trying to take that land back.
The Bible states that the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Jephthah and before departing for battle he vows to God that he will sacrifice whatever comes out of his house to greet him upon his return. The options for what this could be seem slim, perhaps a goat, a sheep, a house cat were more what he had in mind.
I should also point out the cruel reality of the Biblical God's decision for humans to honor him and atone for their misdeeds by senselessly murdering an animal and then sprinkling its blood and organs around in a ritualistic manner. So even if it was an animal coming out of his house to greet him that's still pretty screwed up and it makes no real sense for a God who can forge an entire vast Universe of galaxies and stars to require such a thing (sounds like some made up human bullshit to me).
I imagine that when most Christians think of Satanism, in its pure and non-ironic form of actually worshiping Satan, they imagine blood animal sacrifice and perhaps even human sacrifice. Ironically this is exactly the sort of bloodlust we see from the Biblical God which is, even in the New Testament were Satan is fully put in his place as God's main antagonist, never outdone by Satan.
So back to Jephthah. God, of course, grants him victory on the battlefield. He returns home and what is it that comes out of his door?
It's his only daughter. Rather than simply change his mind about the whole thing and rather than simply substitute an animal for his daughter and assume that God won't mind Jephthah goes through with the sacrifice. Did I mention that it's a burnt offering? If you read Leviticus it gives a pretty graphic depiction of how such burnt offerings were to be done for animals, starting with killing it, skinning the offering and then chopping it into pieces.
The most telling part of this story is that God never intervenes or says a word on the matter. The Bible never condemns the act in the slightest and even the daughter who is about to be sacrificed is accepting of her horrific fate asking only that she be allowed to “weep for her virginity” first.
The story concludes by saying that Jephthah did what he said he was going to do and that his daughter “never knew a man” which tells you about the value system of the Biblical authors. This poor girl had to be killed because her Father cared more about a promise he'd made to an invisible God than he did about her life and in the end they tell us the only thing they truly value about a woman, her sexual value. Despicable in the extreme.
Passages and stories like this demonstrate that the Bible is a collection of stories written by primitive and often foul-minded men. Any decent human being who believes it is the word of God and then reads the entire thing should come away with grave doubts that it is anything of the sort.
Jesus, Isaac and Sacrifice
Most Christians know only vaguely of why Jesus had to be slaughtered for their sins, whipped repeatedly and nailed to a piece of wood. Jesus is a vicarious savior, he is a scapegoat into which all of the sins of the world are poured in order to cleanse everyone. The very idea should be deplorable to any rightly moral person. The idea that rather than take any responsibility for your own misdeeds you can simply pass them on to an innocent man. This is especially disgusting when you consider that Christians are meant to LOVE Jesus.
It doesn't seem very loving, to me, to pile more sins on top of Jesus' already overwhelming burden. It seems to me that if Christians selflessly loved Jesus they would take responsibility for their own sins and resign themselves to Hell because it was the right thing to do.
When I was a believer I misunderstood what was meant when I was told of Jesus' sacrifice. I, and I assume many other, Christians believed that Jesus was giving something up, as in permanently relinquishing something of value in order to save everyone. In actuality when people talk about Jesus' sacrifice they aren't, or at least shouldn't be, talking about what Jesus gave up on the cross (which was nothing) but instead are saying that Jesus WAS A SACRIFICE. They mean the word sacrifice in the most primitive sense of the word: A superstitious, ritualistic and evil practice whereby an animal or person is killed in order to please, appease or apologize to invisible supernatural forces.
In the eyes of the Bible the only difference between offering a bull in sacrifice to Yahweh and offering one in sacrifice to Baal is that Yahweh is the god of the Hebrews and Baal is not and thus it would be wrong for a Hebrew to worship and sacrifice to Baal. Yahweh is a petty, small, tribal God that rose to stardom becoming the center of the world's first major monotheistic religion. Reading through the Bible eventually made me realize that the God I believed in, the one I felt I was in communication with when I prayed hard enough, wasn't the petty, wicked, small-minded and clearly human-invented God of the Bible.
We are talking about a God who told Abraham to take his son up a mountain and sacrifice him and intervened only in the last few moments. A God who, according to modern Christianity, could have simply peered into Abraham's heart to see if Abraham was willing. A God whose idea of giving up his only son involves that son rising miraculously from the grave and ascending into the clouds to be at his side in power and glory forever and ever.
The longer you read the Bible and study its God the more you have to wonder why Christians fear and hate Satan when the God of the Bible not only commits evil acts on a far more regular basis and on a far wider scale but the God of the Bible never seems to do anything truly good or selfless. Even in sacrificing Jesus there is nothing truly sacrificed and the plan backfires as Revelation reveals the majority of humanity as sinners destined for the Lake of Fire.
Devoted to the Lord?
In Leviticus chapter 27 rules are given regarding sacrifices of animals but curiously enough rules are also given for devotions of human beings. These things that are devoted are meant to be destroyed as evidenced by verses 28 and 29. The verse is quite specific that nothing devoted to God, be it man or beast, can be redeemed or sold in order to circumvent this sacrifice and verse 29 specifies that this sacrifice involves being put to DEATH.
Regardless of where you stand on the barbarism of animal sacrifices it is hard, if not impossible, to defend the practice of human sacrifice. But there is so much more standing in the way of Yahweh's redemption. Even those who are not devoted to him must be subservient to him, they live under strict laws, perform obscenely strict rituals and must dedicate much of their lives and their wealth to Yahweh in order to gain his favor.
This is superstition of the highest order and those seeking not only to redeem their evil God but to also pass Christianity off as different from other religions, as not based on superstition at all, must explain why their God acts like a tribal ancient Middle-Eastern storm god who demands animal sacrifices for abundant rain and threatens to let the enemies overtake his people if they get on his bad side.
Whatever feelings of warmth and comfort your beliefs give you, especially at Easter time and other Holidays, or during prayer. Whatever sense of community and togetherness it gives you and whatever false hope it may offer of life after death. Surely it is not worth it to believe something so patently false and to worship a God so unequivocally made up! Surely it does more harm than good!
Many Christians bemoan the existence of Pagan symbolism at Christmas and Easter, the bunny and egg both being strong symbols of fertility at the turning tide of Spring. And yet their own Bible's contain brutality and superstition that far outdoes whatever surviving rituals the Pagans and Neopagans of the world possess.
Christianity is a death cult revolving around the death of an innocent man who turned out to not be a man and thus, rising again in his still injured body, sacrificed nothing and gained an eternity of power of glory. Christians perform a ritual in which they purge their hearts of sin to commune with the savior by drinking his blood and eating his flesh. The God that each individual Christian has conjured in their mind may be kind and gentle, may be loving and merciful, but the Bible actually paints a different picture, of an evil, small, jealous, unjust and petty deity who demands fealty and love under penalty of eternal torment and who demands worship after having created a fucked up and broken world and refusing to fix it.
This Easter, while attending your Passion plays and plastic egg hunts, take the time to actually crack open your Bible, read it, and decide whether you really believe in the supernatural power of ritual human sacrifice.
More by this Author
A hub about the differences modern Christians often overlook between the Old and New Testament regarding the afterlife, punishment, obedience, the Messiah and more.
A hub attacking the absurd notion that the Bible is a good book to live by.
A hub about the Problem of Evil/Suffering that attempts to rebut common excuses made on God's behalf. Also addressed is the new trend of saying the Problem of Evil applies to atheists.