Child Sacrifice is Ancient, Child Sacrifice is Modern

The history book on the shelf, is always repeating itself — ABBA

I sat on an altar dedicated to the worship of Baal, an ancient Canaanite god that the Israelites kept getting caught up in the worship of in the Old Testament. It was in a whole different time and space, I was a completely different person, and it was a very long time ago. I had a consecrated host on my naked breast that I’d obtained by giving a priest a blowjob. I was just barely an adult, legally able to obtain smokes and drinks for myself.

I’ve seen and participated in some of the most blatantly evil things the world has to offer because I was willing to worship demons to get what I wanted. In Canaanite religion and mythology, in the Old Testament stories, the Canaanite gods demanded child sacrifice, which almost any person alive on the face of this planet knows is pure evil.

We instinctively know that child sacrifice is wrong. We don’t have to be told this. Children in Canaanite mythology were sacrificed by being held over a raging fire in the arms of a statue of the god, whose stone palms were facing upwards, arms extended in front of their chest. The still living child would then be placed on the statue, being heated by the fire until such time as it became too much to handle, and the child’s body slumped into the space between the arms of the statue, and fell into the fire.

It’s horrific, an evil that is incomprehensible to our modern sensibilities, and rightly so. This demon worship, this idolatry, was banned by the Judeo-Christian God in the ancient world because it was known to be evil and barbaric even then. Some things just don’t need explaining. It’s evil, and there is no excuse.

I used to be a lover of horror novels. I wasn’t so much into the movies, because the books can be savored much longer, and I’m not talking about Stephen King, who I must say is a brilliant, brilliant man. Stephen King’s horror wasn’t horrific enough for me. I needed to read something more extreme, more evil, more depraved, more horrific, more brutal.

Nothing was off-limits to try, at least once, and I always justified it because I said the stories weren’t real, but part of the reason I read them was that the base evil in some of those stories was something I could relate to as a victim of ritual child abuse, and the stories made me feel not so alone.

Horror stories were so much a part of my life that I carefully constructed a large part of my identity on my love of horror. I read extreme horror because I related to it. I understood the stories because I’d been through such awful things in my own life that the stories brought a sense of normalcy to me that I couldn’t find elsewhere. One day this all blew up in my face because Jesus asked me to give up horror. I had kind of suspected that might be coming, but I was upset and fought it for months.

When I finally did say yes to Jesus, I grieved the loss of it, but I have not read or written horror since that day. I deleted the stories from my Kindle, I put hard copies of books on the curb for the trash truck, and then I cried. It was a loss I felt deeply for quite a long time. I deleted files on my computer that I had spent a lot of time writing. I knew it was necessary if I were to be a true follower of Jesus, for he himself had come and asked me to do so. Giving up horror gave me an identity crisis that only Jesus could solve.

Child sacrifice is alive and well in modern day America, where conservatives fight like hell to not regulate or take away guns because of their “rights,” despite the fact that gun violence kills so many people, especially children. We are going to hell in the express lane, no hand-basket needed. When a society is pleased to sacrifice its children, it is so evil it doesn’t deserve to survive. In the myths of the Old Testament, God wiped out entire nations for worshiping Baal and other foreign gods, because child sacrifice was evil and distasteful to him.

On May 24, 2022, a young man with a gun walked onto an elementary school campus in Texas and opened fire, murdering nineteen fourth graders and their teachers. Nineteen children no older than ten years old, who had gone to school that morning to learn things they needed to know to function in society as educated and well-adjusted adults.

Every time America has a mass shooting, politicians give lip-service to “thoughts and prayers.” I’m a huge believer in prayer, but I’m also a huge believer in action. Conservatives are hell bent on defining aborting a fetus as murder, but don’t care about saving the lives of children. As a country, our solution to gun violence has been to insist that it’s not the gun’s fault because it is an inanimate object.

The altar I sat on to sacrifice the body of Christ to Baal was also an inanimate object, a slab of stone, but it was used for ritual sacrifices. Gun violence in America has become a ritual sacrifice, one that we insist on making over and over again, offering mere thoughts and prayers as part of the grotesque ritual. We offer these children on the altar of gun rights, consequences be damned, because of our addiction to and love affair with violence, horror, and weapons.

This is a now-common ritual sacrifice that we have become largely desensitized to. It ends in a bunch of people who are striving for more and more power and money doing an elaborate song and dance offering thoughts and prayers, and then bowing down to the god of gun rights. These are sacrifices that society feels are acceptable to make, in order to appease those who worship guns.

Ultimately I gave up worshiping demons so that I could worship Jesus Christ, and our society needs to give up worshiping guns, and turn to Jesus. We cannot worship guns and Jesus at the same time, just like I could not serve Baal and Jesus at the same time.

I desecrated Jesus to worship Baal, and today we desecrate Jesus to worship guns, and the only way we can break free of any kind of addiction, even gun addiction, is to admit we have a problem, and be willing to do something about it. The question is, have we, in our addiction and worship of guns, come to the point where we have reached the level where we are overwhelmed with our own shit, and begin to do the hard work of asking God to change us?

This is the third in a series of feature articles about Christian thoughts about violence.

Continue the Series:

The Blood is the Life: Our Need to Put Down Our Weapons and Follow Jesus

Arming the Altar: We Don’t Need Weapons in Church

Executing Justice: State Sanctioned Murder is Still Murder



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MaryClare StFrancis, M.A.

MaryClare StFrancis, M.A.


She/her. I write memoirs, feature articles, essays, poetry, and more.