Tuesday, August 3, 2010

At the Altar of Convenience

I was thinking about child sacrifice this weekend.  Specifically, of the god Moloch and the practice of ritual infant sacrifice by incineration, as practiced in ancient Carthage in order to ensure the "continuing prosperity and well-being of the community.  From Diane Karkosh's  article "Child Sacrifice: Nothing New Under the Sun:"

"When a mother, willingly or not, released her infant onto the out-stretched arms of Moloch’s bronze statue, the baby consequently rolled off the arms and fell headlong onto a fiery brazier pit."

Sounds familiar.

Admittedly, I've got babies on the brain of late, what with the little one inside of me constantly making his/her presence known through a series of kicks, punches, and jabs to the ribs.  And I've had plenty of opportunity to wonder at the inconvenience and the real sacrifice demanded in order to bring new life into this world.  But in spite of every ache and pain, the idea of ending this little one's life in order to continue with mine, uninterupted, has never occured to me.

But I can understand how it might.  And I can definitely see how our cultural preoccupation with pleasure, success, convenience and wealth has programmed us to intensely resent any hindrance to our daily lives, and to resist it mightily... even unto death.

Because it's convenience that we worship in our society, and there is nothing sacred when that's at stake.  Not even the life of an 'other'.

For 2,000 plus years of progress, we sure haven't come too far.  We may not be offering ritual sacrifice to ensure the success of our military campaigns or our harvests... but is the abortion industry really so different?  Aren't the promises of freedom, unhindered future prosperity and atonement for 'sin' one in the same?  And aren't we as women still being assigned the same, tired second-class citizenship.  It's frustrating as hell, particularly in light of the lies most of us have swallowed as the gospel truth.

A feminist whose thought I greatly admire stated it thus: “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” — Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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