Tonight I helped my 13-year-old daughter compare the Aztecs to the Mayans. She is studying for a test in our homeschooling curriculum. Both the Aztecs and Mayans, though centuries apart were in Central America, had large cities, wealth, and accurate 365-day calendars. Both had nobles, warriors and priests. And both had slaves — lots of them. The Aztecs had human sacrifice.
Daily human sacrifices were made in major Aztec cities “to make the sun rise” each day. My daughter’s 8th grade history book says 10,000 people per year were sacrificed. I had no idea that many native Central American people had their hearts cut out by their own people, to be held aloft still beating at the top of one of those stone Temples. This was done in what is now Mexico from the 1300’s until the 1500’s when the Spanish conquerors put a stop to it (by killing and/or enslaving the killers). The Spanish killed the priestly class, or most of it, and any nobles who resisted them, and took control of the vast slave population. Ten or more surrounding tribes had helped the Spanish take over, so sick they were of their family members being collected by the Aztec theocracy government to feed the blood-thirsty savage gods of Tenochtitlan. The blood bath had been going on for centuries before the Spanish arrived.
Some writers today bemoan that 50,000 Aztecs were killed by the Spanish during the takeover. Those deaths were largely the Aztec army, priests and nobles who were benefiting from this perverse demented human-eating religion-government. We always here how evil those Spanish were, those white men from dastardly Europe, to “invade” and kill all those sweet, wise and noble natives. Yeah, right. Tens of thousands of native Central Americans fought under the Spanish officers’ leadership. There were only so many Spanish present. It was an overthrow of something evil and sick which had persisted for centuries. Yes, the Spanish wanted gold and glory out of it, and their own priests came in the wake of the take-over with the ultimate religion of human sacrifice: Christianity. The rest is history – Central and South America are earth’s current strongholds of Christianity, far more fanatically devoted to the Faith from Jerusalem than Europe, Greece and Turkey, the cradles of Christianity. They say the next Pope will probably be a South American.
Tangent: The news says 50,000 descendants of the Aztecs still living in the homeland (Mexico, in other words) have died very bloody deaths in the past few years in the drug wars. It’s almost as tho that ground down there is thirsty for blood. Gives one a creepy feeling that something supernatural is down there…somethin’ blood-thirsty and not-so-human. There have been positive supernatural events in Mexico and South America, too, as we know – Our Lady showed herself in Guadalupe and millions make pilgrimages across that ancient blood-thirsty land to see Her.
Some Catholic missionary-priests in the 1500s wrote that the native Mexicans (Aztecs who survived the takeover) embraced Christianity with unbridled zeal, almost a desperate grabbing on to it. The reason? Because they would be killed if they didn’t? Were the brown-frocked and black-frocked holy men from Europe converting them by the sword out in their sun-fried extremely remote villages? No. The people willingly, hurriedly, desperately converted because for ONCE, for once, they could embrace a religion that did not daily demand their children, their youth, to die meaningless deaths. The ultimate human sacrifice was paid when a god came to earth and was sacrificed instead of just a human. It happened in the land across the sea in the center of the earth, taught this Christianity. This sounded GREAT. Yes, they thought, we can get into this! And women even have souls. The women probably realized they were finally considered almost equal to men, which although they wouldn’t probably know it, is unlike every other religion on the planet. How cool is that?
The last human sacrifice took place in South America in 1974 and some wonder if that’s just the last one we know about. The victim was slain and his blood allowed to gush onto the ground in order to feed some angry god, said the village. They believed like their ancestors that the god would feed them back by blessing their crops that year. Ugh. We can’t get this out of our system. Think of India sacrificing wives, every single wife on her husband’s funeral pyre up until the British conquest.
Think of Perseus in Greek legend saving a human sacrifice victim – about to be “fed” to a monster-son of a god. Princess Andromeda was chosen as the offering after thousands of other virgins had failed to appease the monster. Human sacrifice was so very common to our ancestors.
There is evidence of human sacrifice in Northern Europe, even among the Druids where we just wish we didn’t have to talk about it. Bogs have been uncovered with the victims ceremonially bound. Ick. Freedom from the practice of human sacrifice is another reason why Christianity may have caught on so well. We are often told it caught on because women were treated equally at least spiritually, since just like the men, they would be eligible for “salvation”, “theosis”* – and souls. (*Theosis means the process of becoming divine and is practiced today in the Eastern Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia, etc)
The ancient world of the Bible gives us angry gods like Molech who demanded babies and toddlers daily be thrown into their furnaces. Hebrew scholars teach a fascinating theory that because it gave up human sacrifice early, Judaism was different from all the other religions of the ancient Middle East. This is why Judaism survived, and the other nasty children-killing virgin-killing religions became history. The people GLADLY embrace “decent” life-friendly religions. Okay, Judaism has its flaws, oppressive patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, lack of the Sacred Feminine, etc., but those are social products of the ancient dog-eat-dog illiterate world and are far more palatable than giving up your kid to the sacrifice collectors! This is why Judaism became the Religion of the Book, changing the world forever and spawning the other two world religions, Christianity and Islam (the Koran has Jewish and Christian bible characters all thru it. Mohammed got his inspiration from both Judaism and Christianity, and all three are collectively called the Desert Religions.) The proof of Judaism changing the ancient practice once and for all is right in the Old Testament. The Hebrew god finally got sick of this human sacrifice crap and decided to send a message, a special message. The spot where the message was delivered is the current Temple Mount so fought over by Muslims and Jews. He told Abraham to offer his boy as a human sacrifice as was his “right” as a god to ask. But the whole exercise was to teach a substitution practice – I PREFER RAMS! said God. Just like the Cain and Abel story taught – give me roast beast, not vegetables, and don’t kill your brother, just give me an animal. Satisfy your blood lust by offering animals to me. It’s worth mentioning that the priests and their families would eat the sacrifices at the Temple and earlier at the Tabernacle – these animals were not just wasted as in Rome and Greece when bulls and large animals were slaughtered, although even in those places the meat was not always wasted. Animal sacrifice could be thought of as religious slaughtering of livestock for food. Butchers who were priests.
God’s instruction to offer him only animals and not humans is kind of esoteric, and even though the great Temples were built on the spot, people today, and possibly in Jesus’ time didn’t quite get that message. But Jesus’ story really spelled it out. This time a god was sacrificed. So no more humans necessary – no more animals either for that matter, since shortly after Jesus’ lifetime the animal sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple ended once and for all. The kosher slaughterers still follow the rules for killing animals today, and they say certain ancient-sounding prayers when they kill the animals, but the large scale showy sacrifice to “appease” hungry gods and “pay” for sins/mistakes/offenses is no more.
We forget why our ancestors glommed on to the religion of the dying god. That whole “paid the price with his life for all of us” sounds like such a cliché to our ears. That’s ‘cause we weren’t there caught up in a world of blood-lusty perverted “clergy” coming into our towns and stealing our people on a regular basis. It was like paying a tax for the people in the Aztec cities and towns right up until the Spanish conquest.
Our DNA was there, even if “we” weren’t, so perhaps we can “know’ this (know with gnosis) liberating teaching and make it part of our ancestral heritage to be proud of. They were a violent perverted blood-lusty rapacious marauding sexist woman-abusing, child-abusing bunch of pigs, our ancestors, but by god they were the first to see the light and stop daily killing the weak for religious “sport”.
Wars still rage in battlefields and inner cities, but no blood-soaked stench-oozing altars sit in OUR town-squares. I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to walk by the funeral burning grounds in India as a young woman, knowing that was where you would die someday. And die a very unpleasant manner, being burned alive. What the hell is the matter with some people/cultures? Don’t get me started on the Chinese and what they did to THEIR women. Heck, they kill their female babies today even before they are born. Sonograms to tell the sex of the child are illegal now in China in order to stop the crazy population imbalance where men and boys outnumber girls almost THREE to one. Most Chinese men will never marry now, due to their culture’s stupid hatred of females. At least they are no longer sacrificing girl-babies as much as they used to. And it was never done to feed angry gods, so China’s story shouldn’t probably be in this discussion. They weren’t feeding their gods or blood-lust, killing daughters is done merely to feed egos who think “a son” is the only kind of child capable of “fulfilling” honor (aka the human ego). Dishonoring themselves by killing innocents all to obtain family honor by having a son…
Christianity had a lot to offer thru history. It came with war and pestilence. The pestilence being European illnesses that wiped out American native peoples like the Chinese-born Bubonic Plague wiped out one third of Europe a hundred years previously. Christianity didn’t cause those wars and pestilences to spread – – human greed did. Priests came in the aftermath of conquest to spread Christianity with their fanatical zeal, but good for them. They saved thousands more natives and gave them something to believe in that was at least mildly fulfilling to the beleaguered short-life-spanned souls, and more than mildly (yes, wildly) liberating from the vile sacrifice practices of the ancestors.
I grow weary of the propaganda that European people once had slaves. YES. They sure did. Romans had millions of slaves, Greeks, even the Norse had a few. But the Western Humans were the first to free slaves. The 2% that owned them were finally overruled by the rest of the population and made to give up the vile practice. But it is still going on in Africa, Eastern Europe and India. Sex slavery and hard labor slavery are alive and well. So if you are ticked at European slave-owners, at George Washington and Thom Jefferson for owning slaves, go scream at their graves, disturb their rest. But they are dead people. Nobody owns slaves in this part of the world any more. Better to go and rail at the slave owners who are STILL buying and selling humans TODAY. Do something about slavery instead of guilt-tripping our teenagers with social studies textbooks that imply the west was the only segment of humanity to own slaves. Puh-leese. The practice came from the East and from Africa where TO THIS DAY they still sell their own people into slavery. Yes, in 2011 it is happening. And not just for sex slaves (the worse kind, imo) but for hard labor. Google it. See the faces of those forlorn African girls sold by their own fathers, uncles, aunts, into slavery to harsh masters and mistresses hundreds of miles away from their hometowns. They have to live in closets or dirt huts on their master’s property and work 18 hour days with not ONE day of school, not ONE kind word, and only one meal a day. Shut up about people 200 years, 300 years ago owning slaves. My ancestors were Europeans but none of them owned slaves. Slaveowners were only 2% of the population in the USA and Europe and they are ALL DEAD. it ended in the 1800’s. If you really hate slavery and are out to help free some, go on a crusade, on a mission, to help those crying out for your help. Africa , Pakistan and India are calling your name. Begging for you to give a damn and go and help. Don’t forget the sex brothels of Eastern Europe and the Far East, while you’re at it.
My daughter’s history book says yes, the Aztecs had slaves but the victims were mostly — it uses the apologetic vague weasel word “mostly” — criminals and prisoners of war. I have to say criminals make sucky slaves. They kill you and or your family in your sleep, kill other slaves, fight, batter, burn crops and barns, cause mayhem, dissension in the ranks, are impossible to keep a lid on, impossible to get quality work out of. The criminal mind cannot be governed, ruled, it’s in its genetics from childhood to be first oppositional, and then to be criminal. Just ask the kindergarten teachers of future criminals. It’s in the DNA, sadly. So nope, criminals were not slaves, unless you mean a few one-time offenders who should not be called criminals in the first place. Maybe a few hardened “real” criminals have worked successfully for a short time in chain-gangs, but only in chains can you get a criminal to work. Chain-gangs are short-lived – it’s hard on the body – with high turnover due to death and not much profit possible. The slave-minders are so worn out from flogging and chaining and getting them to work, that they say to hell with this and get me some docile obedient personalities to enslave or I will do this work myself. It’s easier on the overseer. Most slaves were (and still are) normal people stolen or sold from other villages and tribes. Prisoners of War says the textbook – as if that makes it okay. Yeah, they fought a war with their neighbors those Aztecs during the 200 years of their empire, so making slaves of the POWs and their entire families/villages is acceptable.
Man am I glad to be born in the West. The West is definitely Best, as the saying goes. Or at least we can say the West is the luckiest. Sheesh. Christianity has its failings, its many sins, and its lackings such as God-the-Mother and the Bride of Christ, but it kinda beats the competition hands down. I follow the esoteric versions of the Faith, but I am glad for the existence over the years of our exoteric Christian cousins. Even if you are a misogynist lot we’re hoping to reform, you are no longer a violent lot.
Back to my original reason for writing/blogging tonight. It came to me while helping Tia with her Aztec assignment that maybe Yeshua had one more reason to submit to death. He allowed his death to be turned into a public “human sacrifice” because he knew it could turn into an excuse to stop human sacrifice (and animal sacrifice was stopped by early Christians) the world over. He could have died of old age after coming to earth as a human to deliver the amazing news, the awesome message that we are all part of a Plan for Freedom. He knew when he was born of a woman he would die like everyone else, because bodies do that. He could have insisted on a calm private death. But he went along with Satan’s plan and turned his arrest and execution into a good thing. I bet the Evil One hates how the Good does that, turns such a victory for the Darkside into a liberating doctrine for millions of humans. Not only did Yeshua offer up himself in exchange for letting his students and family go free – and to keep them all from being killed while authorities searched for him – but he gave the world a story, an excuse, to free millions and millions of people from the horrors of the culture of human sacrifice. His death was 1500 years before the Aztecs (modern Mexicans) would grab onto Christianity in a desperate attempt (which turned out to be successful) to escape the vengeful daily murdering state religion of their ancestors. Others before the Aztecs found liberation in Christianity, even some of those supposedly converted by the sword.
I am reminded of the book What’s So Great About Christianity, but its author Dinesh D’Souza didn’t ponder Yeshua’s possible inner decision-making process on what might become of his life, what religion might be founded out of his decision to be viciously executed. Yeshua decided to be like Isaac on the Temple Mount, or rather be like the ram in the thicket. His story (or Paul’s interpretation and spread of it!) created an excuse to stop ritual murder. It created a rather gruesome-themed religion, true. All those life-sized and neck pendant blood-dripping crucifixes adorned with his corpse creep me out. Children are not fond of them either. Christianity is “blood-thirsty” when the people eat the god daily, and drink his blood during the eucharist. We eat god instead of the god eating the people.
Hey, this dying-god cannibalistic religion put an end to human sacrifice and offers more than a little satisfaction to a billion people. Even the Chinese are grabbing onto Christianity with a fervor not seen since Roman times. Chinese pastors are this very decade, this very year, being beheaded for passing out Bibles in China or simply for having “unauthorized” churches meet in their houses.
There must be something to Christianity that satisfies so much among persecuted populations. Something is there at the heart of it, a mystery…
So there, say I, to the Christian-bashers, and don’t get me started on the Jew-bashers. Y’all need to go find the real enemy.
10-23-2011 3:33 a.m.