A Sane Christian Response to the Conservative Call for Human Sacrifice
Guest post by Dana Porter
Greetings, Church, gather around please because we need to have a conversation that has been long overdue. First, to make sure we are on the same page, here are a few ground rules.
- The world is currently experiencing a pandemic that is deadly and no amount of sticking one’s head in the sand can deny this reality.
- Many scientific experts whose day jobs involve preventing the 1995 movie “Outbreak” from becoming a reality state that the best way to contain this virus is for most people to live in isolation for weeks.
- Human beings are notorious for missing the obvious and needing Truth repeated and, at times, beaten into our skulls, i.e. God telling the Israelites to not sacrifice innocent lives to the pagan god, Molek. Scripture records eight separate reminders, including Leviticus 18:21 and Leviticus 20:5.
- I am tired, disgusted, and enraged at my faith being co-opted by corrupt politicians.
It’s important to understand how much God loves the widow, the orphan, and vulnerable populations. Christians in the first several centuries were known for their sacrificial love and care for those who were rejected by society. They took the words of scripture seriously that “real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” — James 1:27 (The Message)
So, what should the Christian response be to a global pandemic?
Outreach, comfort, calling those who may be neglected, offering to buy groceries and medication. There is no way we could show enough practical love during these harrowing times.
We should also remember that when there is chaos and an opportunity to profiteer, the wolves will reveal themselves. We live in a world where politicians are happy to attend church and wear the title of Christian to secure a vote from a certain demographic. For those who have not paid close attention to the news, these wolves are willing to sacrifice the vulnerable populations in a foolish attempt to jump-start the economy.
And why? While these wolves claim that the country is on the verge of economic collapse, their reason to sacrifice others is far from altruistic. These alleged Christian leaders are willing to push people to die so that the poor millionaires and billionaires won’t run the risk of losing percentage points on their portfolios and hedge funds.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is on record saying: “No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
Dan Patrick advertises himself as “a Christian first, Conservative second, and Republican third.”
When you look at the context of current events, Dan Patrick is attempting to justify Donald Trump’s desire to jump-start the economy at the cost of spreading the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations. The ones who are going to suffer from this foolish endeavor are the minimum wage workers.
These are the workers in the lower class who have little-to-no access to health care and live paycheck to paycheck. They are employed by the millionaires who have no problem with begging for socialized handouts for their companies but scream in protest at the idea that their employees should earn a living wage and have health care.
The worldview employed by Patrick and Trump is narcissistic. It says that people have value only in terms of the money they produce. These politicians think of workers as cogs in the machine of capitalism. As long the engine runs, it doesn’t matter if the cogs break. If you take an honest look at it, unbridled capitalism thrives off the blood of the poor.
The notion that these men claim to be Christian would be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that their actions are resulting in needless death and misery.
While talking this out with my wife I couldn’t help but think of the number of times God admonished the Israelites to not make sacrifices to the pagan god Molek. All through the history in the Old Testament, God told his people to not take babies and burn them alive as a sacrifice to this god.
Why in the world would parents willingly offer their children to the flames? What was the purported benefit? To stand there and listen to the screams of their children burning alive? What was so vital that the pagan priests would guilt, cajole, and demand that others make this sacrifice?
A good economy.
The pagan priests promised their followers the crops would be plentiful, and they would grow wealthy, if they would but burn their children alive. And guess who would benefit from such a surplus?
Any leader willing to sacrifice the vulnerable to “save the economy” is a fearmonger obsessed with greed and power. These politicians today are no better than the pagan priests trying to coerce the Jewish people into burning their children alive.
Do you hear the screams of the babies burning alive?
Would you be willing to watch and see your grandparents, the elderly in your church, and the greeters at Wal-Mart die a slow and excruciating death of the Coronavirus so that the billionaires get that extra quarter of a percentage point?
Is this really what the Republic Party — the so-called “Pro-Life” party — considers more important than human life?
We can no longer be quiet as we see our faith, our churches, and our communities being exploited and hijacked by evil men who are happy to call themselves Christian and then proceed to profiteer off human misery. I don’t care if I’m labeled liberal, progressive, or socialist — the Christian thing is to call out evil when we see it.
The uncomfortable truth is that there are no political parties who are allied with Christ.
Christ was above politics when he was walked the earth. He was above politics but had no issue calling out the religious leaders and their abuse of the Jewish people. Those who ran the temple didn’t believe in the existence of angels or the afterlife, but they sure believed in exploiting the poor who came to the temple to make sacrifices and offer prayers to the Lord.
Jesus saw these exploitative practices and it made his blood boil. He was so enraged that he took the time to make a whip out of leather cords and then proceeded to clean the house by tossing over tables and used the whip to chase the loan sharks out of the temple.
Why would any thinking person desire to attend church when these are the examples of Christianity that they see? What appeal does Christ have when there are ministers tripping over themselves to praise a leader who opposes science and who, as of January 20, 2020, has made over 16,241 false or misleading claims during his presidency?
Where are the Christian leaders willing to tell these men that they are not welcome and that they have no right to the title of Christian?
Who is willing to stand up and tell them to stop using the Bible as justification for their institutionalized racism, blatant sexism, and classism?
We are on the cusp of a new era. The time for people to stand up is quickly running out. The choices we make as a Church and community will result in either the life or death of many.
To our fellow believers, please remember this:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’ — but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So, you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” — James 2:14–17 (The Message)
I have a word of scripture for both Donald Trump and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
– Galatians 6:7–8 (The Message)