Abraham: Old and New
Old Father Abraham
|Abraham is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, most fundamentally because he freed us from the irreparable error and irredeemable horror of religious child sacrifice. The ancient story of God's angel liberating Abraham from his religious compulsion to kill his son, Isaac, marks the long-awaited turning point in the obviously sincere but tragically mistaken human belief that God wants us to kill our children as a sacrifice to Him (Genesis 22).|
|After God's angel freed Abraham and Isaac, Abraham in turn freed his people from their fear-driven religious compulsion to sacrifice their own innocent children. Just as Abraham had received Isaac back alive and well through God's saving angel, so Abraham gave his people back their own living children from their earlier lethal misunderstanding of God.|
|Through his courageous example, Abraham proved to them that God is far more just, kind and loving than they, until then firmly in the grip of their deadly fundamentalist religious terror, ever had dared even to hope. They had been blinded by their fear of God, but Father Abraham helped them see God more clearly. As a result, their babies, our ancestors - spiritual, and for some, physical - lived.|
|No wonder we Jewish, Christian, and Muslim parents revere our common Father Abraham so deeply. He saved us and our children for all time from our old, imaginary, terrifying, child-killing god. We owe God's angel and Father Abraham our very lives, our children's, our grandchildren's, ...|
New Parents Abraham
|Abraham has legitimate heirs today. Our New Abrahams are all the men and women around the world working to help us understand that just as God does not ask us to sacrifice our children's whole bodies and lives to Him, so also God does not want us to sacrifice any part of them. The whole life of the child and the adult the child may become - living, loving, alive and well just as God designed, created and meant that whole human life to be - this is what God most wants from us as parents, grandparents, rabbis, priests, ministers, imams: Yes! Our children! But alive, whole, and well.|
|Protecting our children's God-given lives and wholeness is everyone's God-given right and responsibility.|
George Wald: One of America's Greatest Teachers*
|Nobel Laureate in Physiology and
Medicine (1967) and beloved Harvard biology professor,
George Wald - www.Nobel.se - was one of our wise and kind
New Abrahams, as revealed in his prescient but so-far
unpublished 1975 essay, "Circumcision": ** Here
are just a few sentences from that profound essay:
... It seems to me that a final consideration might bear upon this problem. Child sacrifice (to 'Moloch') was a common rite among the ancient peoples of the Near East, and Jews were forbidden it in the harshest terms (Leviticus 20: 1-2). When God laid claim to all firstborn males, he specified that though those of the domestic animals were to be sacrificed, children were to be redeemed. As Moses, having been instructed by God, explained to the people:I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem (Exodus 13: 15). And one of the ordinances that God gave to Moses along with the Ten Commandments states: The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me (Exodus 22: 29).
That command to sacrifice the male firstborn of a domestic animal, taking it from its mother when it is eight days old, makes one wonder whether the prescribed circumcision of sons on the eighth day was once a form of redemption, the token sacrifice of the foreskin to substitute for sacrifice of the child. In any case the principle of redemption runs through these commandments, not only the obligatory redemption of sons, but every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb... (Exodus 13: 13).
It is with the greatest hesitation, since I have no right and know so little, that I should like to suggest to my fellow Jews that perhaps the time has come to redeem the foreskin itself, rather than sacrifice it. Surely some substitute might be found for this rite, ... that would be preferable to this assault upon and mutilation of a newborn infant..."
|Once upon a time we humans had only our own tragic misunderstandings of God to guide us. Out of these came our religious murders and later - perhaps as substitutes for child sacrifice - our religious genital mutilations. Finally now we are reaching a new turning point in our understanding of God. One day soon we will complete Abraham's courageous revolution, and the just, merciful, and loving God we monotheists all worship in common at last, will get His ancient wish for the wholeness and goodness of human life that He originally designed and still creates and wills for all His human children.|
Reaping What We Sow
|Is there any hope for peace, we
ask, among Abraham's still mutilating, murdering, warring
descendants? Our violent Jewish, Muslim and American male
genital mutilations and their inevitable violent
consequences now are making God's good green earth into
hell itself. We now are reaping the full evil of the evil
sexual violence we still stubbornly but mistakenly sow,
inflicting it not only deeply within the outward private
parts of our own innocent children's developing bodies,
but at the same time deeply within the innermost private
core of their hidden developing sexual minds and brains.
What madness! Circumcision is primitive, barbaric, sometimes lethal sexual torture and mutilation, all done in God's good name. Surely - if anything is - this criminal sexual violence in His name is taking it in vain.
With the help of our new Abrahams we will end, at last, this ancient misunderstanding of God, this inhuman genital violence against our babies and children - God's very own.
Gifts from God
|Yes, aren't they. Human children are the finest thing God ever made (said this human dad). God's justice and mercy, Gods wholeness and goodness, God's wisdom in designing and creating us and His creation whole, God's forgiveness of us for our many misunderstandings of His will and for our resulting religious murders and genital mutilations, and Gods love for us, and in us, and through us for each other and for all of Gods children and God's holy creation - this is the way to peace on this long-tormented and tortured planet, one of many that God in His infinite wisdom, creative power and perfect love has made.|
|God's love IS peace; the peace
that passes all understanding. Nothing can cut us off
from it, except, temporarily, ourselves. We do that with
fear, child sacrifice, sexual mutilation, rape, hatred,
murder, war, and other repulsive godlessness. These
things are not Gods way. Gods holy way is
love, wholeness, goodness and life. God tells us to
choose life, as He does - life as God designs, creates
and wills it; every human life; every God-created part of
every human life - so that we, and our descendants may
live (Deuteronomy 30: 19).
What if, just for a change - on a lark - we started listening to Him?
|The author, George Wald's student in the early 1960s, lives on North Florida's Gulf coast and invites others to join in the worldwide uprising to protect the world's children from genital mutilation, first by endorsing The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide: A Petition to the World Court, the Hague, which can be signed at the web site MontaguNOCIRCpetition.org, and then by supporting the child-protective work of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child arclaw.org, DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org, The International Coalition for Genital Integrity icgi.org, JewsAgainstCircumcision.org, National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers NOCIRC.org, Nurses for the Rights of the Child nurses.cirp.org, StopInfantCircumcision.org, StudentsForGenitalIntegrity.org, and other important child-protective organizations.|
|* - TIME magazine named
George Wald one of the "10 Best Teachers in
America" in a cover story in 1966.
** - Wald's entire essay, "Circumcision", is available from the Harvard Archives in the papers he left there for us, in his box 103. A short description of how his essay came to be and how to get a research copy from the Archives can be found by clicking on Wald's name on the second page - called "Contents" - at the website MontaguNOCIRCpetition.org. Wald served from December 22, 1992, until his death on April 12, 1997, on the Professional Advisory Board of the Circumcision Resource Center. The CRC can be found at circumcision.org.