abomination, abortion, activisim, ancient, Canaanites, child sacrifice, Christians, convenient, eugenics, exposure, Greece, infanticide, institution, Israelites, medical, Molech, Pagan, poverty, Rome, sex, sin
The greatest abomination committed in the modern, so-called “civilized” world is abortion. Abortion is not really anything new, it is simply the institutionalized, medically advanced form of an ancient evil: infanticide.
Infanticide was widely accepted and common in the ancient world. We should not think that because it was so widespread that is was morally acceptable.
The justification for infanticide then was similar to the justification for abortion now. In societies that practiced temple prostitution and were otherwise sexually liberal, a lot of unwanted children were produced. Also, many ancient societies justified infanticide if babies were deformed, the wrong sex, or otherwise failed to meet the parents’ expectations.
Now, as in many ancient societies, we have infanticide on demand as a matter of convenience or eugenics.
Most modern people would be (rightly) horrified if a mother slaughtered her children, and excused herself by explaining that they were inconvenient for her, or that she killed them because they were handicapped mentally or physically. For some reason, we justify our infanticide for the same sort of reasons as long as the baby is unborn.
Child sacrifice to the Pagan god Molech was the form of infanticide practiced by the Canaanites, and later adopted by the Israelites in the Bible.
Infanticide was strongly opposed by the God of Israel. Moses recorded, The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech (Leviticus 20:1-5).
Infanticide was also common among the Greeks and Romans. If a child was deformed, it was killed by exposure. The parents would simply leave the baby out in the city dump. Like the predecessors the Jews, the Christians were morally opposed to infanticide.
According to an article entitled Pagans, Christianity, and Infanticide,
Christians worked against infanticide by prohibiting its members from practicing it, voicing their moral view on infanticide to the pagan world, and by providing for the relief of the poor and actually taking in and supporting babies which had been left to die by exposure by their pagan parents. As [Robin L.] Fox explains, “to the poor, the widows and orphans, Christians gave alms and support, like the synagogue communities, their forerunners. This ‘brotherly love’ has been minimized as a reason for turning to the Church, as if only those who were members could know of it. In fact, it was widely recognized.” ….According to [Will] Durant, “in many instances Christians rescued exposed infant, baptized them, and brought them up with the aid of community funds.” …. Through these efforts, Christians worked to diminish some of the causes of infanticide.
Just as the first Christians opposed infanticide, today’s Christians should also opposed its modern form: abortion. This includes not only opposing the act as an abominable sin, but working against the factors of poverty, and sexual libertarianism that cause it.