Animal Worship and Human Sacrifice

Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience. -G.K. Chesterton

Now that we have seen the 6th Planned Parenthood video, along with the Cecil the Lion uproar, Chesterton looks like a certified prophet. Wherever there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice nearby.

I was reading in 2 Chronicles the other day about King Ahaz, King of Judah between Jotham and Hezekiah. King Ahaz’s reign is notable mainly for how ungodly it was. Here is how the Chronicler reports it:
Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done, but he walked in the ways of the Kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 2 Chron. 28:1-3

The symbol for Ba’al/Ashteroth worship, which is what Ahaz crafted metal images for during his reign, is the bull. And then he “burned his sons as an offering,” or, literally, “made his sons pass through the fire.” This was an act of ritual child sacrifice to appease the pagan animal gods.

So, in one king’s reign, he sets up images of animals for people to worship and sacrifices his own children to those images. It followed the culture around him and was not limited to ancient Israel/Canaanite people. The animal worship/child sacrifice dichotomy can be traced through ancient history fairly easily. Chesterton was right, historically speaking. But does the adage hold true for the current age?  If we look around us, do we see both animal worship and human sacrifice in the same culture?

The events are not hard to miss, but interpreting the signs may present difficulties. Anyone can be a “Monday morning culture-back,” but can we see what is going on around us? Cecil the Lion, killed by a big-game hunter, nearly shuts down the internet with rage against the hunter, an American dentist. The outrage and threats have been so severe that even the Zambian conservationists are confused. They hunt lions all the time. In the wake of all this, people begin calling for protests of parcel carriers (like FedEx, UPS, etc.) until they agree to cease all shipments of animal remains, if those animals were killed for sport.

At the very same cultural moment, we have witnessed the unfolding of what really goes on behind Planned Parenthood’s doors. The abortion mill is being exposed for what it really is: child sacrifice to appease the god of this age, sexual freedom. Yet we as a society have been complicit (and supportive) of this practice for decades, resulting in the sacrifice of literally millions of children.

Somehow, through all the irony, the same group of people elevate animals to human status, yet find it unthinkable that a woman would be prohibited from sacrificing her child to the god of convenience. Wherever there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice.

When we depart from worshiping the God who created both human and animal life, we lose the ability to value human life as God values it. And when we exchange the worship of God for the worship of created things, we distort the true order of importance for creatures. Man is no longer considered made in the imago Dei, but rather another step in the evolutionary chain.

We often scoff at ancient civilizations that worshiped animals. “Offering children to appease the animal gods? How näive.” But are we really that different today?