Would You Sacrifice Your First Born For God?by jason on Dec. 29, 2011, under Arizona Families, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Clarity, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Faith, God & Bible, History, Islam, Logic, Reason, Religion, Sanity, That's Life!, Willful Ignorance
By Jim Wilson:
“Moloch demands fresh blood to maintain the appetite of his mechanical heart. Would you sacrifice your first born as Abraham would his Isaac?” -Clutch, Shiny Mr. Cadillacness
In the 22nd Chapter of Genesis Abraham, a man in his hundreds, has his faith and dedication tested by God. He is asked to sacrifice his 12 year old son Isaac in a burnt offering to God and is shown to be ready and willing to do this. Abraham builds an altar, binds his son to it, and has taken his knife in hand about to take his son’s life. At this moment an angelic voice calls from heaven and orders Abraham to cease, instructing him that he has passed this test of faith. A sacrificial ram is provided to replace Isaac and Abraham is consequently told that because of his obedience, his descendants will be numerous, conquer the cities of their enemies and bring about a blessing of the world.
Abraham’s willingness to slit his child’s throat is revered by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, who view his obedience as something to be celebrated. To me this is a most horrific tale. Any being that would ask someone to murder a child, especially their own child, is a complete monster. I can only imagine how going through an experience like this would traumatize the individuals involved. Also, I cannot help but be disgusted by this God’s lust for human and animal sacrifices as shown throughout the bible.
The fact that the Monotheisms have warped people’s minds to think that an act like this is moral and good is positively disgusting and disturbing. This is especially true since the book states Abraham was at least partially motivated by fear. Murdering your child out of fear is horrifying, and intimidating someone into being willing to do this is completely immoral.
It does little to soften the issue that God takes back his request at the last minute. Putting anyone through such an experience is extraordinarily cruel, and the cold way the author/authors report this illustrates the complete disregard for human life that they must have had. I cannot help but see the irony of so many people in our culture viewing the book this story is found in as the basis for human morality. Apparently this includes many people who have spent little actual time reading it.
Interestingly, some proponents of the documentary hypothesis point out that there are reasons to believe that part of the story where Abraham and Isaac climb the top of the mountain and prepare the altar is written by a different author than the part where Abraham is told not sacrifice his son. This implies that in the original version of the story, Isaac may have actually been sacrificed. It is also interesting to note that this chapter, 22, refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son, despite his other son, Ishmael being born in chapter 16.
So here is my question for all of our God-fearing readers out there… If the God you believe in made it known to you that he wanted you to engage in some horrific act like killing your first born child, would you do it?
Penn Jillette once posed a similar question and came to the conclusion, that if you say yes, you are danger to yourself and those around you (after all, all you need is to hear a convincing voice in your head before you are willing to take a life) and if you say no, you should reconsider how strongly you believe in this God, and where you do get morality from. Saying no implies you have some moral values above and beyond your God’s dictates. I personally agree with this conclusion.