Monday, July 04, 2005

Offerings of blood

Psalm 16
Journal entry dated March 8, 2005

"Never again will I make them offerings of blood"

In this psalm, the psalmist renounces the false gods of his age. What are the false gods of our age, to whom we make offerings of blood? There is, of course, the god of war, Mars, the blood-soaked planet, demanding ever more victims. There is the god of productivity, upon whose altar we sacrifice all those who cannot keep up, in the name of consumer demand. The god of competition is an especially bloodthirsty deity, to whose worship we train our children from an early age.

The gods of a particular age are cultural loci, representing the shared values of a society, the pillars upon which it is founded. To call these gods into question or renounce them altogether is a dangerous act, threatening the community with non-existence, and is therefore always punishable by banishment or death, as the early Christians were punished when they refused to go to war or swear allegiance to the state.

Who are the gods of this age, demanding their offerings of blood, whom we must renounce in order to join ourselves to the Lord?

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