Child Sacrifice is an Ancient and Shameful Tradition

Today as in the days of Moloch-worshippers, unborn innocents are sacrificed selfishly.

“Offering to Molech,” from Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster, 1897
“Offering to Molech,” from Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster, 1897 (photo: Public Domain)

“Do not hand over any of your children to be used in the worship of the god Molech, because that would bring disgrace on the name of God, the Lord” (Leviticus 18:21)

Moloch (AKA Molocha, Molech, Malcam, Milcom) was an ancient Canaanite deity associated with child sacrifice. The name is derived from the Hebrew word מלך (mlk) which means “King.” The name was also given to other minor deities in the same geographic region.

Rabbinical sources depicted Moloch as an enormous bronze statue heated with fire into which victims were thrown. Greek and Roman historians also reported that child sacrifice was more common in the ancient Middle East and Europeans than modern so-called “pagans” would like to admit.

First-century Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote (20.14):

There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.

Diodorus said that the children’s relatives were forbidden to weep and that when Agathocles defeated Carthage, the city’s nobles believing they had displeased their gods by substituting peasant children for their own children. In their attempt to make amends, they gathered up 300 children of the best families. In addition, these pagans would buy and raise slave children for the express purpose of sacrificing them to the demon.

In his De Superstitione (171) Plutarch wrote:

[Highborn nobles] with full knowledge and understanding they themselves offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds; meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan; but should she utter a single moan or let fall a single tear, she had to forfeit the money, and her child was sacrificed nevertheless; and the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums that the cries of wailing should not reach the ears of the people.

The 12th-century Rabbi Rashi, commenting on Jeremiah 7:31 explained:

Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between [its] hands, and it was burnt; when [the child] vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.

Rabbi Simeon of Yalkout wrote that Moloch idols were hollow and were divided into seven compartments. The first one was filled with flour. The second one was held turtle-doves. The third held a ewe and the fourth held a ram. A calf was sealed up in the fifth and an ox was sealed up in the sixth. Finally, a human child was sealed into the seventh. All of them were immolated as a sacrifice to Moloch.

The grace of the ancient Hebrews is that they willingly gave up human sacrifice to the ancient demons that plagued the world. At the command of God, the Jews instituted consecrated (i.e., given) all male firstborns ― human and animal ― to Yahweh (Exodus 13:2, 22:28). The grace and power of Christianity is that it destroyed paganism wherever it encountered it for the past 2,000 years — and it did it not through slaughter (like Islam) but through offering its adherents forgiveness, love and freedom from venomous and murderous demons masquerading as gods.

These human sacrifices were a condition for obtaining blessings from their “gods.” The Incredible Hulk would call these deities “puny gods” for demanding the torture and death of innocents for their selfish gratification. To paraphrase Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, “Why would a god need the blood of innocents to appease it?” Why indeed? Does Moloch actually need their blood to survive? He can’t be much of a god if his belly is his own god. Does this god delight in the torture, death and destruction of children whose selfish mothers don’t think them human? Or does he need selfish humans acting in such a way as to damn themselves to eternal punishment? That’s enough evidence to label the “god” evil.

It can be argued that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22) but this is a false and smug analogy. The correct syllogism is this: Whereas evil spirits posing as deities invite humans to slaughter their children for fun and profit, God called Isaac to sacrifice Isaac knowing he would stop Abraham before he did so. God then provided Abraham with a more appropriate sacrifice (Genesis 22:13). Clearly, Yahweh never wanted blood. Instead of human blood, God insists on something very different:

It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices. (Matthew 9:13)

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

I do not reprimand you because of your sacrifices and the burnt offerings you always bring me. And yet I do not need bulls from your farms or goats from your flocks; all the animals in the forest are mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the fields. If I were hungry, I would not ask you for food, for the world and everything in it is mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God, and give the Almighty all that you promised. (Psalm 50:8-15)

Infanticide was practiced by pagan Hindus before they were colonized by Great Britain. The same horror occurred in Central and South America until the Spanish put an end it. The Aztecc often slaughtered up to 11 thousand children on a major feast day in honor of one of their bloodthirsty gods.

Christ died for our salvation. We do not sacrifice any living beings for his sake ― we never have and never will. His sacrifice was perfect. So perfect, we commemorate and represent it with each and every Mass.

Whereas a priest of Christ says, “This is my body which will be given up for you” (Luke 22:19), morally corrupted pagans say, “This is my body.”

Nowadays, Moloch doesn’t call himself “King Moloch.” Now, he goes by his battle cry, “Choice,” “Reproductive Health Care” and “Bodily Autonomy.”

Either way, under any of Moloch’s ancient and modern names, unborn innocents are still sacrificed for selfish fun and profit.