Brow Beat

Ethics for 7-Year-Olds

A child is sacrificed to Moloch in a 19th century biblical engraving.
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Charles Foster / Wikimedia Commons

Carthaginians do it.

They also alleged that Cronus had turned against them inasmuch as in former times they had been accustomed to sacrifice to this god the noblest of their sons, but more recently, secretly buying and nurturing children, they had sent these to the sacrifice; and when an investigation was made, some of those who had been sacrificed were discovered to have been supposititious. When they had given thought to these things and saw their enemy encamped before their walls, they were filled with superstitious dread, for they believed that they had neglected the honors of the gods that had been established by their fathers. In their zeal to make amends for their omission, they selected two hundred of the noblest children and sacrificed them publicly; and others who were under suspicion sacrificed themselves voluntarily, in number not less than three hundred. There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus, extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.

—Diordorus Siculus, c. 30 B.C.

Incas do it.

Next, Inca Yupanque ordered the lords of Cuzco to have ready within ten days provisions of maize, sheep, and lambs along with fine garments and a certain number of boys and girls whom they call capachocha, all of which was for making a sacrifice to the Sun. When the ten days elapsed and everything was gathered, Inca Yupanque ordered that a big fire be built into which, after having the heads cut off the sheeps and the lambs, he ordered them thrown along with the garments and maize as a sacrifice to the Sun. The boys and girls whom they had brought together were well dressed and adorned. He ordered them to be burned alive in the temple which was especially made where the statue of the Sun was. With the blood which had been taken from the lambs and sheep, he ordered certain lines drawn on the walls of the temple. All of this was done by Inca Yupanque and his three friends along with others. All of this signified a way of blessing and consecrating this temple. 

—Juan de Betanzos, c. 1550 (Tr. Roland Hamilton & Dana Buchanan).

Even Moabitic kings do it!

And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not.

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

—2 Kings 3:26–27, c. 550 B.C.

Let’s do it!

Yeah, it’s, it’s heart-wrenching, is what it is, and my heart goes out to the family—all of DHS. You know, this is just a really sad example of the dangers of this journey. This family chose to cross illegally. What happened here was they were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. They came in such a large crowd that it took our Border Patrol folks a couple times to get them all. We gave immediate care, we’ll continue to look into the situation, but again, I cannot stress how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.

—Kirstjen Nielsen, 2018

Let’s keep sacrificing children in the vague hope that a pile of dead seven-year-olds will somehow bring us good things in the future, either by serving as an example to other seven-year-old scofflaws, encouraging us to spend $5 billion on a border wall, or, ideally, appeasing Moloch so completely that he decides to build the wall for us as a way of saying thank you!

Our hearts break for the tragic death of the seven-year-old girl. The loss of that precious life is horrifying. It is a painful reminder of the ongoing humanitarian tragedy that is illegal immigration and the misery that it spreads. A coyote dropped off 163 migrants in an extremely remote section of New Mexico. Those individuals were found by border patrol who, many cases act as first responders. In fact Border Patrol saves about 4,000 lives every single year. Unfortunately hundreds die on the dangerous trek up. Smuggling organizations profit off death and misery. They are vicious, vile organizations. And it’s time that both parties had the appropriate level of outrage over the fact that these organizations continue to take advantage.

—Stephen Miller, 2018

The sad reality is we have a seven-year-old child who has died, and she should have never, ever made that journey. And that should be the message: Don’t make this journey, it will kill you. And that should be the message.

—Jason Chaffetz, 2018