Good Friday is a great day in the Christian religion, the most widely practised faith among humans across the globe, estimated to contain one third of the world’s population according to Pew (that’s 2.3BILLION people).
Good Friday, the big day, is the celebration of a time two millennia ago when Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the religion’s founder, was tortured and killed by the Roman authorities for alleged insurrection against the state.
Jesus was supposedly a radical preacher who caused consternation to both the Jewish and Roman authorities at the time, and they conspired to get rid of him on the day that has since become known as Good Friday.
Whilst the historicity of Jesus is by no means a settled question – most scholars would agree a Jewish rabbi like him probably existed at that time – the question of his divinity is something that’s considered highly unlikely in academia.
However, for the purposes of this piece we’ll grant a Jesus Christ of Nazareth existed, and that he was even killed as part of a larger plan by the creator of this world to pardon all the sins of mankind.
Most Christians if you ask for their thoughts on human sacrifice would recoil in horror, and would no doubt condemn it with all the righteous fervour they can muster. Yet 2.3bn of them follow a religion that was founded on the principle of human sacrifice, that one God-man was killed to wash away the sins of all other humans.
And the death of Jesus can be called nothing other than a human sacrifice. One man, Jesus, was killed (sacrificed) as a lamb to God, to trigger his mercy and make his forgiveness available to all other humans. That’s generally how sacrifices work, in every religion that has ever been known to man, that something — be it human, animal or crops — are given up to the all powerful deity for something in return.
So why should a religion which purportedly condemns human sacrifice, exist purely as the by product of one? Our ancestors were told that Christianity is the one way to God and that their religions were barbaric because they practised human sacrifice, among many other things. Yet the replacement handed to them was a religion based entirely on a human sacrifice.
The truth is that Christianity, whilst pretending to condemn a lot of things, actually endorses those things. A Christian would tell you that killing someone is bad yet God himself has a kill count Hitler would be jealous of. The truth is that human sacrifice is not anathema to the God of the bible as Christians would like to think. He sacrificed his own son to himself, Jephtah sacrificed his daughter to him and Abraham was tested by his willingness to sacrifice his son to God.
“Christianity is not a religion that repudiates human sacrifice. It is a religion that celebrates a single human sacrifice, as though it were effective,” the brilliant Sam Harris once said. As you celebrate this Easter and the feeling of superior morality being a religious person brings you, you should consider whether human sacrifice is right or wrong, and if it is wrong, why the hell be part of a religion whose entire founding is based on a human sacrifice?