We’re Euthanizing Minors and Chemically Castrating 8-Year-Olds: Child Sacrifice Returns to the West
This weekend’s report that Belgium has euthanized its first terminally ill child marks a watershed in the West: the overt return of human child sacrifice to our culture’s religious rituals. We have crossed a chasm. The medical execution of a sick Belgian child, and the bizarre, taxpayer-funded experiments that American doctors perform on confused eight and nine-year-olds, wrecking their reproductive systems in the name of transgender ideology, are different even from abortion.
These are not semi-secret actions undertaken by desperate or selfish parents against children not fully seen or even named, whose humanity the doctors could help them to wish away. No, these new ritual sacrifices of visible children in the full light of day, of kids with names and legal citizenship of highly developed countries, are something starkly new, and genuinely religious in the sense that any anthropologist would recognize if they happened in the Amazon.
These violent, destructive decisions which Western-civilized parents have taken toward their children are distinctively religious because they flow not from cynicism or expedience, but are ethically driven choices taken in accord with the highest ideals of our elite culture. In that way, they resemble the Female Genital Mutilation and honor killings that pervade many Muslim countries.
That fact should lead us to think long and hard about the West’s new ideals, where they come from and where they are leading us. The fundamental “truths” that guide contemporary Westerners are the fruit of poorly popularized science, and a Christian image of man watered down to homeopathic doses. Let us start with the basic premises:
- Modern science has given us a god-like power over nature, including our own nature. We feel that we should be gods.
- Tragically, we aren’t. In fact, that same science “proves” we are nothing more than brainy beasts, who will die and not live again.
On the face of it, this stretches us on the horns of a painful paradox. Things don’t get any better when we tease out the implications of these basic “truths.”
- Because we have no sins to atone for, nor souls to hone, suffering is a meaningless horror — indeed, the worst thing in the universe.
- There may be no model of ultimate Good, but human suffering is pure evil, and animal suffering comes a close second.
- Diminishing such suffering is the only action we know to be purely good. Anesthetics, antidepressants, and euthanasia, then, should be treated as practical sacraments. So should medical interventions that help the sexually confused to mold their bodies to fit their perceptions.
- Any worldview that puts up barriers to mitigating such suffering, in the form of moral teachings or assertions about human nature, is evil and must be suppressed. Considerations of “freedom” are completely irrelevant here — they are leftover illusions from discredited religions, like the fear of black cats or broken mirrors.
With all this in mind, we can better understand the decisions of parents and doctors who are willing to actively end some children’s lives, or irreversibly damage their burgeoning sexual organs. These children, like their parents, have no intrinsic dignity or higher spiritual nature. They are merely potential sites for either suffering or pleasure. If we cannot guarantee their pleasure, we at least can end their suffering. Once you’ve redefined humans, it’s the only “humane” thing to do.
Welcome to Year Zero
The resurgence of child sacrifice in the post-Christian West is nothing if not historic. Centuries from now, chroniclers of events may point to 2016 as the year when our new and peculiar religion really took definitive form. Perhaps they’ll hit “reset” on the calendar, and consider this Year Zero. Like you, I feel privileged to be a witness.
G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man also addressed child sacrifice. In that great work of popular theology, Chesterton views the Punic Wars, between Rome and Carthage, as finally turning not on strategy or tactics, or even economic interests. No, Chesterton sees these conflicts as the war between two fundamental world-views: the benign, if trivial paganism of patriotic Roman farmers, who’d sometimes offer a bread roll to protective “household gods,” versus the cruel cult of wealthy, decadent Carthage, which purchased victory and riches from its bloodthirsty gods with the regular sacrifice of first-born children upon its altars.
That first paganism was foolish and flawed but not Satanic; the world it was creating would be fallen but still remain human, human enough to recognize the God-Man when He was preached there. The basic institutions of government, education, and culture that Rome created would be permeable to the Gospel. It was possible to imagine, and then to create, a Christian Rome.
It would not have been so with Carthage. Had that city and its dark gods conquered the Mediterranean world, the whole of Western culture would have been grounded in ritual murder. Each couple as it got married would see hanging over their heads the monstrous prospect of their first birth — and his or her death.
Chesterton could not imagine how Christianity could have flourished in such a world. So he speculated that God decided to snuff that culture out, giving Romans the rage against Carthage that Hebrew prophets had expressed against the child-sacrificing cults of the Gentiles. The God of both the Covenants rejects such sacrifice as itself the ultimate evil. No surprise, then, that faithful Jews and Christians alike today stand almost alone in rebuking the new religion — which has wrapped up in a scientist’s white lab coat the darkest and foulest superstitions of the ancient world. It’s our job to point out the innocent blood that stains the coat.
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John Zmirak is author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism.