Showing posts with label islamic terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label islamic terrorism. Show all posts

3 Aug 2016


18thC German depiction of Moloch

During a memorial Mass for the murdered French priest, 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, the Archbishop of Paris accused the young men responsible of crying Allahu Akbar in order to disguise the fact that they actually worship at the altar of Moloch - the ancient pagan deity who gloried in human sacrifice.

Essentially an Old Testament take on the official line that acts of Islamic terrorism have nothing to do with Islam, Cardinal Vingt-Trois told the faithful not to be fooled by these self-proclaimed jihadists, whilst warning the latter that those who wish to serve and promulgate a god of death - one who demands bloodshed and promises paradise to those who slay the innocent - cannot expect all of humanity to surrender to their madness. In the face of evil, he concluded, Christians must do what they've always done; spread the Gospel of Jesus and find their strength, their courage, and their salvation in Almighty God, the God of Love.
Of course, this is as mendacious as everything else that comes out of the mouth of a religiously motivated speaker. For acts of Islamic terrorism have everything to do with Islam and, more widely, with Abrahamic monotheism in general; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are apocalyptic spiritual traditions with a common origin and they share many beliefs, traditions, and moral teachings.

And so, just as there is very little difference between Yahweh and Allah - both are judgemental and jealous gods who demand submission and sacrifice from their followers - there is genuine theological kinship and continuity between the God of Love worshipped by the Archbishop of Paris and the Canaanite idol known as Moloch.

Indeed, reviving a medieval rabbinical tradition, both Georg Friedrich Daumer and Friedrich Wilhelm Ghillany published influential works in 1841 arguing that Moloch and Yahweh were actually one and the same figure and that the cult of the latter developed out of that of the former. 

It's probably best, therefore, that Cardinal Vingt-Trois doesn't say anything else along this line in future; 'cos he's on a very slippery slope. Modern followers of the major religions are essentially no different from ancient pagans with their savage superstitions. Muslims and Christians, for example, are often just as willing to martyr themselves for their gods (and to kill others) without ever asking - or even caring - whether their gods are worthy of such fanatic devotion.

Bertrand Russell - not a philosopher I would normally turn to for support - sums this up nicely in the following paragraph:

"Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods ... The religion of Moloch - as such creeds may be generically called - is in essence the cringing submission of the slave, who dare not, even in his heart, allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. Since the independence of ideals is not yet acknowledged, Power may be freely worshipped, and receive an unlimited respect, despite its wanton infliction of pain."

- Bertrand Russell, 'A Free Man's Worship' (1903)