The Blood is the Life

The blood is the life…and it shall be mine! ~ Bram Stoker, “Dracula”

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

I am alive today because I met Jesus at the altar of an Episcopal Church. I hadn’t ever been inside an Episcopal Church before then, but when the priest put the piece of bread he had just torn up from the loaf, into my cupped and waiting hands, and said “the body of Christ, the bread of heaven,” I took it and I put it into my mouth, and the effect was immediate. I said “oh shit, I just ate Jesus.” A woman came behind the priest, a chalice in her hands, and held it to my lips, saying “the blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” I sipped the wine from the chalice, and knew instinctively that it was the blood of Christ.

Miah Cerillo lived because she covered herself in the blood of her slain friend. While the life of her friend poured out onto the ground, Miah took it, and put it on herself, so that she could live. When eleven-year-olds are here today because they took the blood of their friend, something is seriously wrong. It’s so terrible that as a writer I have no words for this, and Miah will remember this trauma always, she will remember she lived because her friend died.

I grieve for Miah in a different way than I do for the other survivors, and those who were murdered. I weep in a way that I haven’t wept in a very long time. This is a totally different, very horrific trauma and nobody had the right to put her in that position ever. This is horror that is in a totally different headspace than the other. The blood of her dead friend was her ticket to life. We cannot tolerate this.

Something like this changes a person’s life forever in ways not easily understood, and I know this because of the intentional blood rites I have participated in my lifetime. Thankfully I’m a completely different person today, and I’m so thankful to Jesus for that, but this shit fundamentally changes a person forever. I have what is often called carnal knowledge, or forbidden knowledge, about blood and life.

It’s knowledge I have no business having, hence why it’s forbidden, and it is something I chose. Miah did not choose, and what she did was an amazing act of courage and quick thinking. In our insistence on sacrificing our children to the god of guns, we also are partaking in not only ritual murder, but blood rites; forcing the children to make incomprehensible choices.

I was thirteen-years-old when I first began to participate in the sacrificing of my own blood. It was an unholy ritual and I instinctively knew this. When I got older, I participated in blood rites in a particular cemetery in honor of Baal. I watched blood rituals. It’s evil, horrific, and disgusting. I consumed my own blood when I was young because I instinctively knew that it was a sacrificial substance.

I also had an obsession with vampires, not because I liked Twilight as a cool, sexy story (I didn’t like Twilight at all), but because of the fact that they consumed blood, and this was a deeply spiritual thing for me. I understood somehow the idea of blood atonement for my sins, I understood that there was power in blood, I understood that blood was a life force.

When I first met Jesus in the Eucharist, I finally began to understand why I had connected vampires to the idea of atonement, and had understood them as deeply spiritual, rather than deeply and transgressively sexual as most literary scholars. I wanted to study the spirituality of vampires as part of my graduate studies. I was not interested in sexuality, just spirituality.

I had no right to participate in blood rites, it was an evil thing to do, and I make no excuses for it. Those rites used my own blood, but it was still evil. Miah didn’t participate in anything evil. She is a little girl who was forced to make a horrific, terrible choice in the moment to live. I’m glad she was so smart to think of that under so much pressure. She did the right thing. The sinister, evil side of this whole thing is that she never should have been in the position to make that choice.

Little girls should not have to cover themselves in the blood of their dying friends in order to live. Jesus offered his body and blood willingly that we might live, and that was a once for all deal. It was not something that children were supposed to have to ever do in order to not die.

I think Miah was wise beyond her years, it was something she instinctively knew could save her life. This was something that came to her in the moment, her one chance of survival, and she knew. Seeing her classmates shot and killed is a trauma I’d never wish on anyone, but the way she survived is life shattering and she deserves action, not thoughts, not just prayers, but actions.

It’s time to get louder and more obnoxious than the ammosexuals, who seem to be unable to function if they can’t have a bunch of guns. I don’t actually give a shit about their perceived rights anymore. If people can’t lay down their guns so that people like Miah don’t have to bathe themselves in blood in order to live, there is no hope.

I have no tolerance, no good will, no patience, no sympathy left for those still stomping their feet like two-year-old’s and shouting about their rights. Nobody has the right to keep clinging to their toys, in this case, expensive killing machines, at the expense of all these dead children, and at the expense of all the living children.

These articles are about a Christian response to violence, and my deeply Christian response is to say that as valuable as prayer is, it’s also a worthless sentiment, and a fucking pathetic non-solution. If we are not, as a society, as individuals, willing to repent of our selfishness, to confess these atrocities, to stand up to the gun rights bullies, and remind them that Jesus wants us to give up our weapons, and follow him, then nothing will ever change.

These are the prayers we need to be praying. Prayers of repentance and sorrow. Things need to change, so that never again will there be another child covering themselves with the blood of another in order to live.

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

Continue the Series:

Child Sacrifice is Ancient, Child Sacrifice is Modern: Sacrificing Our Children on the Altar of Guns

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

Executing Justice: State Sanctioned Murder is Still Murder

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MaryClare StFrancis

MaryClare StFrancis

My friends assure me that I am never boring, so hopefully you won’t be bored either.