I travel often to the Middle East in my capacity as the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition. Many times I am exposed to locations and situations that most people, travelling on tour buses or part of official delegations, do not see when in this area of the world. In June of 2010, I was in Samaria dealing with issues of religious freedom. NOTE: Western leaders and the media refer to Samaria as the “West Bank.” Those who refer to Samaria as the West Bank do so because they refuse to admit that it was ever a part of Israel, even in Biblical times.
Recently I stayed in an apartment in Samaria belonging to friends, a Messianic Jewish couple whose son was severely injured in a bombing in 2008. A short distance from their apartment in Ariel is located a newly found sacrificial altar to the god Moloch, which was carved from rock about the time Solomon became involved with pagan gods. Seeing this alter first hand and actually touching it gave me chills as I recalled its use in Biblical times.
Typical of all altars of that day, including altars to Jehovah for animal sacrifices, the stone had been carved to show four horns, one at each corner. However, altars to Moloch were used for the sacrifice of human beings, not goats or lambs. As I looked upon it, a sense of how little has changed in 2,000 years overcame me.
Moloch was one of many pagan gods worshiped by means of human sacrifice. Pagans who worshiped Moloch often sacrificed one of their own children, who was ritually murdered and then placed in a sacrificial altar of fire. The sacrifice of the child was to assure a blessing of prosperity for the family. Some followed the Canaanite practice of placing under the front doorstep of the family home, the bones that remained after the burning of the child.
In short, a child was murdered for the promised convenience and prosperity the family was to receive from Moloch. This sounds barbaric to those of us living in the 21st century. It seems barbaric until it is realized that since the Roe v. Wade decision, nearly 50 million babies have been murdered legally in the United States for the convenience or prosperity of their mothers and other family members. Abortion has the same intended outcome of personal and family prosperity as did the sacrifice of a child at the altar of Moloch.
There are some differences between abortion today as a means of obtaining prosperity, and human sacrifice to Moloch thousands of years ago. For one thing, the pagans actually buried their dead children whereas in the United States and other Western nations their little bodies are flushed down toilets, tossed in dumpsters or used in medical experiments. Other than burial method, there is not much difference between the ancient ritual killings and today’s medically sanitized disposal of the young to somehow benefit their elders.
William J. Murray is the chairman of Washington, DC based Religious Freedom Coalition and the author of The Pledge: One Nation Under God