Child sacrifice then and now

Collin Garbarino tells of a controversy in archaeology about whether or not the ancient Carthaginians practiced child sacrifice, as the Romans always said they did.  Recently, evidence has arisen that they did, in fact, sacrifice children.  Some archaeologists, though, just won’t believe it.

Mr. Garbarino says that the Carthaginians sacrificed children for the same reason we do.

From Collin Garbarino, Child Sacrifice, Ancient and Modern | First Thoughts | Blogs | First Things:

Some things are just so horrible that we do not want to think about them. We do not want to believe they are true. This archeologist correctly notes that we ought to look at the Carthaginians honestly. But I think we need to look at ourselves honestly too.

She said, “We like to think that we’re quite close to the ancient world, that they were really just like us—the truth is, I’m afraid that they really weren’t.” I, on the other hand, am afraid that we are too much like them.

How is American abortion so very different from what the Carthaginians did? Priests killed their children in a temple, and abortionists kill our children in a clinic. Carthaginian parents expected favors from their gods if they offered their children. They expected a better life. Why do we abort our children?

Americans abort their children because they believe they’ll have a better life. Maybe they want better health by not undergoing the rigors of pregnancy. Maybe they expect that their career opportunities will be better without a child. Maybe they just don’t want to shop at Costco.

Carthaginians killed babies because they wanted a better life. We kill babies because we want a better life. The only difference that I can see is that the Carthaginians sacrificed children to their gods, while we just sacrifice them to ourselves.

But this level of selfishness is too terrible to think about, so most of us will turn a blind eye to our atrocities, just as most scholars have refused to see the atrocities of the Carthaginians.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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