Easter Foolishness

People who celebrate the Christian version of Easter are honoring the age-old practice of child sacrifice, the most despicable religious tradition of them all. The belief that God had to kill his firstborn to appease God (who happened to be himself) stems from the ancient, (devastating) belief that to seek the approval from the gods, one must shed human or animal blood. This was a primitive practice that extended into the times of the Old Testament.

A real god can forgive without anyone having to murder another living being. Seriously. If I can do it, so can “God.”  If the Biblical God were real, he would have used Jesus’ life to expose the absurdity of child sacrifice, not to perpetuate it.

Here’s a link to KIA’s blog post, which inspired my thought this morning!

60 thoughts on “Easter Foolishness

  1. A real God would never require such a barbaric act of blood letting and murder to forgive offenses to Himself. Suicidal Human blood sacrifice? From sacrament to excrement.

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  2. I once appeared in the play “J.B.” by Archibald MacLeish. It’s the story of Job in a modern day setting. After God has done all the meanest, hideous things to Job one could possibly imagine, Job asks God, “WHY?” In the play Job says that “God answered me with the stillness of a star.” To me, I took it that it meant there is NO GOD, at least not one willing to answer Job. That was just one of the MANY reasons I lost faith in God. The God in the Bible is one of the most petty and vindictive characters in all of literature. This meanness was perpetrated to test Job’s faith. I just learned that the Coen brother’s version of Job is on Netflix. It’s called “A Serious Man.” I want to watch it, but I’m sure it will just make me mad. . .when I think about all the people who have faith in this ghastly, detestable god.

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      1. Oh, KIA, but he gave him a whole bunch more kids. So all is well. What’s that they say? The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. (Especially when he’s bored and gambling with the Devil.) 😉

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      2. Yeah, but Job got back double what he lost and his replacement daughters were considered the most beautiful women in all the land. So he couldn’t really complain because he came out ahead. Praise YHWH!

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    1. Job pretty much exemplifies the falsity of the Judeo-Christian god, beginning with the flippant nature of God’s betting with Satan and his willingness to basically follow Satan’s suggestion of torturing one of his faithful followers.

      That said, I have a love-hate relationship with the Book of Job. I was drawn to it as an angst-filled teenager, because I related to the idea of a unviverse that just tossed tragedy and blessing around like salad in a bowl, with no motivation beyond folly (or the boredom of the gods as it were). I still appreciate Job for its poetry and imagery. But if taken as a metaphoric testament to God’s goodness (much less a true account), well then…..yikes.

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    2. @Steelmanthehumanist

      “A Serious Man” is a good film, very disorienting, even off-putting in the way things continually keep going wrong, but now in the modern era the “traditional” answers offered by Job’s friends in the original version have been transformed to vapid allegorical tales and everything remains vague and uncertain, including the existence of God in the “world” of the film and even the way the film seems to raise the question of how much science or mathematics can give us the answers we really care about in modernity.

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  3. Very poignant post Danica and spot on! Bravo! And I’ve always asked, If God wanted to make humanity and Earth better… WHY IN THA HELL did He and His Son waste 17-18 years of nothingness!!!??? Does anyone realize the implications of total apathy for 17 missing years!!!??? 😨

    But alas, I found out the truth and more importantly the LIBERATION!!! Wooohoooo!!! 🤩😎

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    1. Especially when (as clearly demonstrated by our nation’s youth last weekend) kids are pure at heart, determined, energetic, and undeterred by the status quo. If there was ever a time to change the hearts of his generation, it would have been during his formative years.

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      1. I guess as long as you’re careful not to use the Easter Bunny’s name in vain, I’ll let you off the hook just the once. Hahaha! (You have yourself a Merry Easter Fool’s Day, Nan. 🙂 Sending lots of smiles your way!)

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  4. I was at quilting class on Monday and someone mentioned the fact that Easter Sunday was on April Fool’s Day. I said (to no one in particular), “Just as it should be”. My friend – who was two sewing machines down from me looked over (she knows my views) at me sharply and said, “CarMEN!” I shut up. 🙂

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  5. Zombie Jesus is not going to be happy with you. I think he’s headed, right this minute, to give you a big bite — his infection, after all, has spread to billions of folks… A pretty potent viral strain if there ever was one.

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  6. Yesterday a friend of mine (a non believer) had to go to her parks service, as she sings in the choir. The pastor said people get cancer and die because they have sinned. This is the god these idiots worship.

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    1. Ultimately, that is the message of Christianity: that we brought death upon ourselves because of “original sin.” Doesn’t even have to be our own sin. We were intended to live forever in the perfect garden of Eden, but since the first two people sinned, we now have sickness, death, work, labor pains, yada yada. So I guess I’m not too surprised that a pastor would believe that, but to hear it out loud so blatantly must have been weird to anyone in the congregation who was slightly rational.

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  7. Danica, I want to also share somewhat along the lines of what Mitch has posted.

    I certainly do not think that Christ died so God could simply vent His wrath, extract His Shylockian pound of flesh in order to somehow let us off the hook. I would not be a Christian if I thought this was objectively true. God would be a monster.

    There are many analogies and ways that the church has conceptualized the atonement of Christ through the centuries. All of these analogies are crude in comparison to the thing itself, IMO. Even the imagery used in Scripture falls short of the depth of it. It’s something that our finite human minds can’t completely wrap around, I think.

    What speaks to me in a deep way is the reality expressed that God so cared for His creation that He entered into human life and suffering and absorbed the consequence of our brokenness into Himself in order that we might be changed and enabled to share in His life. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself..”

    Think CS Lewis has some good insights into this in his book “Mere Christianity.,” also.

    I want to add that I think the book of Job is a parable written to illustrate the spiritual truth that people can experience deep suffering and trouble in life not because of sin or through some personal fault of their own.

    It also illustrates a deep faith and trust in God through everything on the part of Job when life doesn’t make sense, and the pain is almost too great to bear.

    I don’t believe for a minute that this story is literally or historically true., however. Does this sound anything like the mind of Christ that God would be interested in inflicting suffering on some one to prove some kind of point to Satan.

    Of course not. It doesnl’t make sense.

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    1. Rebecca,
      I’m sure you mean well and, in your own mind, have come up with a way to rationalize the brutal side of the war god, Yahweh. But your defense of the mythical entity falls completely apart with the statement about the god of the Bible who “cared so much for his creation that he entered into human life. . .” The one that it supposedly created – you know, the people who were created to screw up. Does this make ANY kind of sense to you? It certainly doesn’t to me, or to many others who actually dissect what’s included in the ‘good’ book. (Tongue in cheek)
      What DOES make sense is the realization that MEN wrote the Bible – men who couldn’t understand their beginnings, had no understanding of science, and relied on superstition and – essentially – fairy tales to attempt to guide (and certainly to wield power) over people who were asking hard questions.
      I’m sure you’re a lovely person but it’s apparent you’ve internalized the pap you’ve been fed for years.

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      1. Carman, I don’t have a fundamentalist view of the nature of the Bible. I would agree with you that Scripture was written by men who grew over time in their apprehension of the nature of God. It is possible to trace this development and growth even in the text of the OT. itself. If space permitted, I could share examples of this.

        I think Scripture does reflect and contain the word of God, but also the words of fallible humans as well. It seems important to me to separate this out. When I read of violent acts supposedly commanded by God in the OT, I don’t suppose this is objectively true and I am reading the “word of the Lord.”

        How does the supposed command to massacre the ancient Canaanites including women and children square with the words of Jesus to love even our enemies? If Jesus shows us what God is like then both portrayals of God cannot be equally and fully true. I feel that we need to use reason to sort this out as well as common sense.

        I would agree too that the Scripture is not written as a book of science. I would read Genesis One as poetry given to express to people in ancient times the sense of God as the creator and sustainer of life, humans made in His likeness, but not as a modern day scientific treatise relating to human origins. Would this have even made sense to the people of ancient cultures? Many Christian people fully embrace science and are theistic evolutionists.

        Even though I was reared in the church, I was agnostic for a time as a young person, Carman. I certainly could be wrong on many points, but I have thought deeply about this as well.

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      2. Rebecca and Carmen, I have read both of your thoughts, and will add one of my own. Followers of the Christian religion hear the words “Jesus died for your sins,” and equate it with the most moving and loving experience they could ever feel (because they are taught to see it in this light). But in truth, the idea that God would have to kill someone else, or commit suicide to forgive you is a devastating message. It stems from the belief shared by early humans that someone-animal or human-had to be sacrificed to please the gods. Throughout the Old Testament, God is “pleased by the aroma of burning flesh.” It’s disturbing enough to think of the animals that endured this unnecessary cruelty over a myth. But in the New Testament God also derives pleasure from the smell of his dying son. (Eph 5:2) This warped and twisted mentality could only have been invented by people. Were there a god who reigned far above the limitations of the ancient human mind, it would have stepped down into the world and modeled a method of forgiveness which did not involve horrendous cruelty to another living being. What type of true joy and reconcile would my daughter feel if I killed myself to “forgive her wrongdoings?” It would leave a horrible scar in her heart and a lack of self-worth that would haunt her entire life. Sadly, this is how most Christians feel and they don’t even realize it, because they have been taught that they were born evil and someone had to die just to forgive them for living. This is not a message of love, in any way, shape, or form. It is a message used to beat down and control, to insert undue shame and sorrow into the hearts of children, and to live in fear of a “father” who (per the Bible) literally took the life of his son, and threatens to take yours if you do not follow and obey.

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      3. Yes, Danica – exactly. Which is why I am so bothered when I read Rebecca’s words. Rebecca, you don’t seem to realize that you are rationalizing the terrible acts perpetrated by the god that men made up and can’t seem to acknowledge that you’ve created another more ‘humane’ one so that you can still believe in your myth. It’s painfully obvious that you – and millions of others – must have your own unique take on what’s written in your holy book.
        I think you need to take a good look at your reasons for having to do that. The thing is, you are a better person than the entity you worship, Rebecca.

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      4. I have to agree with Carmen, Rebecca. You are a wonderful person. (You were born that way!) We, as humans, have a stronger moral compass than anything that can be found in religious doctrine. In fact, religion often overrides this natural moral compass that we each posses, enabling humans to commit atrocities against one another that we never would if we didn’t believe there was a “god” motivating our actions. Almost every great crime against humanity was spurred by belief in the guidance of a supernatural entity. If instead we embrace truth (the known reality of our one life on earth) we will be more apt to act in ways that protect and cherish all living beings, as well as our planet.

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      5. Danica … THIS sentence is PERFECT!

        In fact, religion often overrides this natural moral compass that we each posses, enabling humans to commit atrocities against one another that we never would if we didn’t believe there was a “god” motivating our actions.

        There’s more “truth” here than anything that comes from the pulpit or the bible. If only those who “believe” could recognize and accept it.

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      6. Nan, I would like to respond to your comment also. I can see some truth in this, but I think the problem is deeper than all religion in general.

        It seems to me that good people do evil things often when they stop thinking for themselves and give themselves over to some authority without question. A type of thinking which leads us to simply put our mind on the shelf, and follow after a charismatic leader mixes into a toxic brew. This is why I think that often the most extreme actions are committed by people caught up into cults or some type of fundamentalist mindset. However, I don’t think this describes all religious faith. And, even secular people can get caught up in this mindset as well.

        For instance, many of the people who followed after Hitler, and became caught up in the lies of the third Reich were not motivated by religious thinking at all, and some of those who opposed him were people of great faith such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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      7. Of course you must realize that Hitler was a Catholic.
        Rebecca, ‘atheist regimes’ is an expression coined by religious people. There’s no such thing. Hitler, Stalin, and many other leaders (including your present president) were/are motivated by their own personal agendas – they have a certain personality that propels them, which has little to do with religious affiliation, if any.

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  8. Thank you Carmen and Danica. I think you guys are great, too. 🙂 And, I appreciate the discussion. I really do.

    I think we are looking at this through a very different lens, however.

    First, I want to say that I definitely agree that Jesus did not die for God to be able to forgive. Just look at the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father who is imaging God ran to meet the son when he was still afar off and then embraced him. He forgave him without any debt being paid at all.

    The penal substitutionary view of the atonement was not the prevalent view of the early church.

    I don’t feel that it’s so much that God needs to be reconciled to us as that we need to be healed and reconciled to Him and to each other.

    Here is a link to an interesting article relating to OT sacrifice. What are your thoughts?

    http://reknew.org/2014/06/why-did-god-require-animal-sacrifice-in-the-old-testament/

    I can also agree with you in part concerning the harmful impact of some types of religious faith? There is no question of that, I think. However, should we toss the greens out with the garbage? 🙂

    It seems to me that a deep conviction that all humans are of intrinsic worth and value apart from anything else being made in the image of God, and that the creation is a good gift along with a deep desire to follow the teaching of Jesus to “love our neighbors as ourselves” might go a very long way in healing the alienation and division between us.

    It also has to be said that great atrocities have been committed even in recent times under totally atheistic regimes where the prevailing paradigm seemed to be that the “end justifies the means” or perhaps people had fallen into nihilism.

    But, what do you think?

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    1. I hadn’t forgotten to read this, but finally had time this weekend. I took a line from the article to illustrate my point:
      The only way God could redeem us (why do Christians believe that is the only way God could redeem us? Did God not create an entire universe? Did he not create humans from dust? Yet he is severely limited in his ability to do something as simple as forgive?) from this dire situation (a situation God, presumably, had mapped out from the dawn of time. But suddenly he finds himself in a corner, with absolutely no way out but to commit suicide) was for God himself to become a human (because it wasn’t enough to be God, and simply teach us right from wrong? Why is God limited to acting within the mythological practices of ancient man? Why did he choose to write a story that was exactly like every other ancient god, involving virgin birth and resurrection, and sacrifice, etc? Why didn’t he simply reveal himself in a loving way, instead of copying all the violent and bloody myths that were popular at the time the Bible was written?) covenant partner (Who decided we needed a covenant partner? When I am dealing with disciplining and showing love to my child, I am above her. She doesn’t owe me anything. It’s not a covenant. It’s my duty, as her parent.) and to then bear the full death-consequences of our covenant breaking (did we break a covenant? Did god not give us free will? Why give us free will if we’re going to be killed for our choices?) on our behalf(why bother killing himself on our behalf instead of simply designing a rule from the onset which does not require eternal death for disobeying a single command? Wow, doesn’t that sound easier? Does it make sense that I would kill myself if my daughter disobeyed me? Or would it make more sense to extend her love and forgiveness without such dire consequences?), which is what Jesus does on the cross. (As ridiculous as it sounds to me, let’s assume for a moment that humans could be rectified to God through God’s own suicide. So why wait 4,000 years? What was the purpose, then, of all of the horrible threats God makes throughout the OT, and the countless innocent lives shed to “please him?” If he knew he could simply step down and remedy the situation by staging his own crucifixion and then popping back to life? Surely when you dwell on this for just a moment, it must strike you as a little bit fable-ish? If I were the CEO of a company that was miserably failing, I wouldn’t spend four millennia spanking everyone and sending flies to earth and demanding that innocent doves be sliced over my alter. Especially if I already knew and had planned the entire story of the resurrection, from the beginning. What is the purpose of torturing and threatening my own followers for thousands of years, instead of displaying actions exemplary of faultless love, and inspiring them to write a book which was filled with examples of this enduring love, patience, kindness, sympathy, etc?)

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      1. Excellent questions, Danica. All the more reason to believe that the whole myth was concocted by fallible men in a completely different, more primitive time. Nowadays, it’s fallible men and women who visit blogs to try to explain that there really IS an invisible, wonderful entity behind all that bullshit . . . Well, sensible, intelligent human beings know different, as your response to Rebecca has indicated.

        Rebecca, you are clinging to a comforting (for whatever reason) illusion. Face the truth like so many others have. It’s just us and always has been. That’s not so bad. 🙂

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      2. I can respond to some of these points. First, I want to say Carman and Danica that I don’t think that this is a matter of intelligence or of being sensible. Both Christians and nontheists can be quite intelligent and sensible, but we have different perspectives and ways of looking at the world and processing information.

        I do think the issue of culture is absolutely huge. My undergraduate major was cultural anthropology. We are conditioned by ethnocentricism to think in terms of our own worldview so what seems natural and sensible to us may seem ridiculous and even repugnant to people of another culture. So knowing this through my studies, it makes sense to me to understand that God would have to meet people where there were at and speak to them in terms of their own culture as well as to make some accommodation to that. I think the challenge for thinking Christians today is to discern which parts of the Scripture really do reflect myth and are culturally bound, and which are communicating timeless and objective truths.

        I think the timeline for all this is another issue that could be rightly addressed. We think in finite terms. God is eternal and stands both in and outside of time. In a sense, one day to HIm is as a thousand years. Also, I think that God created us to be more than just children. We are also co workers with Him in the Kingdom so to speak, and capable of independent thought, in some measure of making ourselves. What I”m saying is that I think it is considerably more complex than God simply teaching something with everyone accepting this revelation overnight. The whole point of the incarnation is that God did not just tell us what He is like or give us instructions in how to live. He showed us His love in a very physical and tangible way.

        I want to come back in and reflect on the judgment of God, and on the parallels between ancient myth and the Christian faith, but have to go for now. This is a great discussion.

        BTW, on another topic, did you catch the food revolution summit? I think we are making great head way in working toward advocacy for a plant based diet both for our own health and the health of the planet. It’s all pretty exciting.

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      3. Thanks Rebecca, for your continued contributions to this discussion and for the kindness and patience you exemplify throughout. It’s interesting that you think of God as meeting people where they are at and speaking their “cultural lingo,” if you will. Can I assume that you believe he sent different types of messengers to speak to different types of cultures? (ie Buddha to speak to Asians) Or do you believe that his cultural awareness only applied to his “chosen people” to whom he revealed himself in the Holy Land? Would he work with the whole “sacrificing animals” thing in Egypt and Babylon, while sending another messenger to speak against animal cruelty in Tibet? (PS, I’m not trying to make a point. I genuinely want to understand your thoughts on this.)

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      4. Danica, I currently don’t feel that this story of a world wide flood is historically or literally true. How could it be?

        But, I want to further share that the views I’m sharing relating to the atonement of Christ are not new, other than aspects of Girard’s concept which is very similar to the moral influence idea, but they reflect ancient views traditionally held in various parts of the church through the centuries. It’s just that often people coming from fundamentalist or very conservative evangelical Christian backgrounds are not always made aware of this in their churches.

        I definitely believe that God can and does connect with people through other expressions of faith when people are open and seeking Him. We can’t limit God, and we can always find common ground. Some Christian people would take this a step further and strongly feel that all of the expressions of religious faith are like wells through which people can access and connect to the divine life and energy which flows like an underground river to use an analogy.

        As the Scripture says, “It is in Him that we live, move, and have our being.” I need to think about this more deeply. However, I don’t feel that all expressions of faith can be equally true if they are saying contradictory things. What did you believe about this as a Christian? Did you feel that Jesus could show up in the middle of a Buddhist temple in some matter or form?

        I am heading out to help with an ESL class. But, I want to still come back and share about some of my studies relating to the similarities between Christian teaching and other near Eastern faiths and would like to further hear your opinions.

        We are definitely covering a broad swath of ground here. 🙂 Have a great day.

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      5. Yes, we certainly are! Are you an ESL teacher? I am an assistant teacher in a preschool, but I do a lot of translating for the program and have considered pursuing a certification in ESL.

        The reason I asked about the “cultural sensitivity” possibility of God, is that another widely-held belief in Christianity is that Jesus is the only way to God and that those who reject Jesus will not inherit eternal life. So I found interesting the pretext that God might “lower his standards” and agree to an animal/child sacrifice model in order to meet the people where they were, but would refuse to embrace the very positive and beneficial cultural practices of the rest of his creation.

        During my time as a Christian, I was never truly able to accept the things I was being taught. I was definitely told that there was only one way to God and that I should be glad that God even provided that one way, because we were all sinners and deserving of death. I was expected to accept that gay people, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, etc. would not be spending eternity with me. I was allowed to love them, but was expected to “hate their sin.” I belonged to very modern, nondenominational Christian churches.

        The way you feel about the flood is the way I feel about the entire Bible. Demons being cast into pigs, people coming back from the dead, followers being granted special powers to speak different languages and survive poisonings, flying horses, a place of eternal torment and a sparkling city in the sky, a zombie apocalypse. I guess I just don’t feel the need to pick through a book a myths to find a few possible truths, anymore than I would marry someone who peppered all of our interactions with fantasies and lies.

        If there is a god, I believe it is everything and everyone, all of the glory of this beautiful earth and the universe. I don’t see the need to box myself into a religion that builds walls around me and separates me from the rest of my human family or from the appreciation of my life and this world. If a separate god does exist, I believe it would feel the way I do about others (loving and accepting of their beautiful diversity) and not the way god is depicted in the Bible (as angry and vindictive, and prepared to send most of us to hell.) If that is the god that exists, then I see no reason to do anything that might get me into eternity with it. I have no desire to worship the Judeo-Christian God, anymore than I would worship Donald Trump.

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      6. I’m part of a missional group at church that connects with and supports refugees from N. Africa and the Middle East. I’ve also started volunteering with another church group that reaches out to refugees in various ways, and am just learning how to help with ESL and also support people in preparing for the citizenship test. Eventually, I want to go for an online certification. I would like eventually to volunteer in W. Europe to help with the refugee crisis there. I’m sure any help you could provide in your area would be much appreciated. If you already have teaching experience that would be a huge plus.

        Danica, I don’t know how to bridge this gap between us. I certainly don’t see God as angry and vindictive either, wanting to send everyone to Hell. I don’t feel at all separated from the rest of the human family. I actually think that my faith has caused me to become more compassionate and accepting of people even through our differences.

        Part of the problem might be in how we view and interpret the Scripture. I think the foundation of Christian faith is found in God’s love expressed in the incarnation, and in the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. So, if I read something in the Bible that does not square with this, I would not look at it as God or people lying. I just think this reflects where they were at in their level of development and apprehension of God at that time. For me, Scripture is like this broken jar with the word of God still shining and reflected through it, but not infallible.

        Also, I don’t think the Biblical writers even mean at times for us to interpret everything in the Bible is a literalist way depending on the genre. For instance, how can our human mind comprehend all of God, or the majesty of the eschaton? There are some truths so deep that only story and symbolism can convey it. You know, I don’t expect to see horses flying in outer space, or literal streets of gold with walls of jasper, or to hear trumpets playing..But, I would not consider the use of these literary devices or symbolism like lying.

        I”m watching my granddaughter tomorrow. Her poor mom is sick with the dreaded stomach flu, so I should probably back away from our conversation for a while. Will listen to your thoughts.

        Every blessing, Danica.

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      7. Thank you for all of your thoughts, Rebecca. It does sound like our journeys with the Christian faith have been disparate, and that’s probably the root of our differing views. Truthfully, I never found that ability to loosely interpret scripture or claim that some of it was real and other parts of it were just stories. In my mind, a book that claims to be divinely inspired shouldn’t contain irremediable paradoxes, blatant untruths, or instructions to discriminate. I just find those things to be red flags and I weigh the worth of what I’m reading accordingly. That said, I am happy that you have found such peace in your faith and are able to reconcile it with your very ethical approach to life and toward others.

        I’m sorry your daughter (or daughter-in-law?) is dealing with the stomach flu. That’s awful. I hope you enjoy your time with your granddaughter and hope to converse with you again in the future. 🙂

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  9. Guys, also wanted to jump back in and share the views of Rene Girard who did so much work relating to mimetic theory and the scapegoat mechanism. He was an atheist as a younger man but became a Christian believer through his research into anthropological literature.

    Here is a link into his insights relating to the atonement of Christ.

    This particularly speaks to many people in the traditional peace churches.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2012/03/07/a-better-atonement-the-lastscapegoat/

    Anyway, thanks so much again for the discussion.

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    1. I’m a little lost on this article. As I understand it, sacrifice has always involved the innocent, pure, and best. In fact, most tribal religions sacrificed children, or virgin girls, for this very reason. The notion of sacrificing a blameless being to appease the gods certainly did not begin with Jesus, not even the OT. It’s a practice that extends back at least 10 thousand years before the Bible was written. The final sentence of the article suggests that if Jesus had not sacrificed himself, we would still be snatching victims from adjoining tribes, strapping them to trees, and lighting them on fire. Do you believe this to be true? Because if the story of Jesus is the only thing keeping Christians from committing acts like human sacrifice, there is a serious problem in the community. No, what has actually happened here is our morality has evolved. We no longer (generally, worldwide) believe human or animal sacrifice is morally acceptable. (In the same way, we have agreed that slavery is wrong, though Jesus clearly condoned it.)

      The Bible and the story of Jesus do not mold our morality, prevent us from committing atrocities, or “free us from having to commit them.” In fact, how would you explain the lack of modern human sacrifice in religions or worldviews that reject the story of Christ? There are four billion human beings that do NOT believe Jesus died so we can stop the practice of sacrifice, and yet they aren’t out there tossing virgins into volcanoes.

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      1. I think people today attempt to scapegoat others in different ways. If I understand Girard correctly, his premise is that Jesus models for us what God is like and serves as an example by not calling for retaliatory violence. Jesus instead chose to pray for forgiveness for his persecutors. He was recognized as the innocent victim.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think cultures in general always do recognize this insight or follow the example of Christ.

        Danica, what I’m really attempting to share at its core is just that there are different ways that Christians interpret and conceptualize the atonement other than the notion that this was some kind of sacrifice to appease a wrathful God, or that Jesus had to die for God to somehow be able to forgive us. But, as I’ve shared the model is not the thing itself. Every analogy will in some measure fall short of the deep reality of God reconciling the world in Christ.

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      2. I agree that Christians find new ways to conceptualize the stories of the Bible, and thereby mold them into shapes that are more ethically sound in modern-day society. I question why Judas Iscariot is not lauded as a saint for fulfilling perhaps the most difficult role in the resurrection story, second only to Jesus’ own. In initiating the act that led to Jesus’ crucifixion, he did far more for the kingdom of god than any of the other disciples. Would any of us have turned Jesus over to the authorities, if doing so would bring about his death and seal the eternal blessing of every future believer? There are too many moral paradoxes in this scenario, at its very core.

        After one of god’s greatest genocides (the flood) he produced a rainbow, and man understood that all was forgiven. (Ironically, it was god forgiving humans, not the other way around.) There is no need for a crucifixion when the god of the universe can simply create a celestial phenomenon and speak into the hearts of men. The one and only reason there is a child sacrifice story in the Bible is because humans created a myth in which gods needed to be appeased by bloodshed, whether or not we invent new and clever reasons for the story now. The material you pointed me to affirms the Christian belief that humans could only be redeemed through a sacrifice of a pure and blameless creature (like a child, or an animal.) You may have a very unique Christian viewpoint about this, but there is no question that the core message of the Bible is that Jesus was sacrificed to redeem us from our sins. This is repeatedly referred to as “the blood of the lamb,” from the OT to Revelation.

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    1. I went ahead and edited it for you. No worries. Late night posts can be tricky, haha! I’m glad you found that mine made sense, because I was little tired when I tackled that last night.

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