Warning! This post contains very graphic language from which you may want to shield young or impressionable readers. .
The jagged obsidian blade glistened briefly in the dazzling sunlight before it came crashing down forcefully, tearing the terrified victim’s abdomen wide open. Eight strong arms bound this unfortunate creature to the blood-stained altar of the vengeful god of war, Huitzilopochtli. The priest, whose coarse hair was thickly matted in dried blood, showed no sign of revulsion, nor even a passing glance of pity, as he performed his grisly task. Blood bathed every pore of his bronze skin as he thrust his right arm forcibly into the victim’s gaping wound. Piteous cries of agony were rendered inaudible over the din of an enormous crowd comprising 40 or 50 thousand frenzied spectators who choked the expansive plaza below. The huge pyramid upon which this human sacrifice was being exacted was deeply stained a dark, brooding maroon from countless other sacrifices; drenched down to its very base some 300 feet beneath the altar.
With the skill of a surgeon the priest’s fingers probed deep into the bloody entrails to excise a still beating heart. This grisly token of his enemy’s life force was raised triumphantly into the air even as the victim’s limp corpse tumbled to the base of the steep incline. There, other functionaries flayed away the poor man’s skin with brutal efficiency, butchering the carcass as one would carve an animal. These severed remains were immediately claimed by the frenzied mob in an orgy of ritual cannibalism. In horror and disbelief the traumatized Spaniards turned their eyes away, trying to erase the revulsion of that diabolic scene from their minds. Their captain, Hernando Cortes, instinctively made a sign of the cross while uttering a silent prayer for the helpless victims of such wanton butchery.
Five hundred years have now elapsed since that revolting scene played itself out 5,000 times or more in a single day. In actuality, though, very little has really changed, except that the crowd has been banished from this peculiarly vile ceremony. Now that same liturgy is performed clinically in an antiseptic chamber, entirely out of public view, some 5,000 times daily. High up on the 15th floor glistening sunlight penetrates the so-called temple of women’s health. There, a new high priest of death wears a blood spattered smock. He places the woman on the operating platform, a kind of altar with stirrups and clamps to keep wayward limbs from interfering with the impending sacrifice. This physician/priest raises a pair of stainless steel forceps which catch a glint of sunlight just as the physician/priest inserts them into the hapless body cavity.
These forceps too are searching for a beating heart ~ not to appease any mythical god of war but rather in the service of a new god called “convenience.” In a moment the instrument locates its victim, writhing in a cold panic to elude their fearful grasp. But the physician/priest is even more determined to perform the sacrifice. Having located his victim he methodically draws it out with bloody latex gloves. At some point he drives a sharp scalpel into the neck of the victim who then ceases the struggle. Triumphantly, the physician/priest draws the entire child clear of the womb it so recently inhabited, holding it high with a look of grim satisfaction.
The tiny heart continues to beat weakly. The warm mass of tissue is quickly weighed then tossed into a receptacle for disposal. “This specimen has very serviceable organs, doctor,” announces one of the team who rushes the remains to an adjoining lab where heart, liver, and kidneys are quickly removed and packed on ice for transport to a nearby research hospital. A young nurse’s aide turns her head away from the scene reflexively, hoping to erase the image from her mind. She wants to vomit, but an older nurse steadies her with the reassurance that she will soon get accustomed to such sights.
How uncanny are the parallels between the ancient Aztec civilization and our modern way of life. That astounding Messo-American culture built gleaming cities supported by a sophisticated technology that left the Spanish Conquistadors dumbfounded. But it was also a cruel, dark, and fatalistic civilization feeding on the incessant destruction of innocent human life to insure its prosperity. Likewise, our modern civilization feeds on the destruction of innocent human life in the womb, purportedly to insure the prosperity of women. The abortionist and the Aztec priest have much in common, after all, in providing such “services” to the respective societies they represent.
Pagan civilizations invariably resort to human sacrifice hoping to mollify their bloodthirsty gods and insure prosperity. For Christianity the roles are completely reversed. It is God who sacrifices Himself for the sake of humans in order to give us the hope, not of material prosperity, but eternal life. Our modern day Aztecs have yet to note this crucial distinction.
Pray that, like the Aztecs of old, today’s neo-pagan adherents and physician/priests serving that “culture of death” will eventually see the light. But, as Mexico’s history has already shown, complete conversion will only happen after the gruesome temples and death rituals have been swept away. For the insatiable demons of human sacrifice can never be appeased. They must be completely rooted out of any civilization if God is to have any meaningful place in that social order. Not long after the Spaniards extinguished the Satanic rites in the Valley of Mexico some 8 million Aztecs were baptized into Christianity.
We find ourselves at a similar crossroads today. Americans claim to be “One nation under God,” but are we not deceiving ourselves? In truth we have become little more than Modern day Aztecs. Let us fervently pray that our eventual conversion will be as complete and long lasting as was theirs. To paraphrase the famous words of President Ronald Reagan, set in today’s context, “Tear down that temple!”
Fran Pierson +a.m.d.g.