Sunday, March 02, 2008

Dead Kids Don't Cry

One of the days of my Cancun vacation was spent on a day trip to Chichen Itza...those Mayan ruins with the big pyramids. It was a guided tour, and all quite interesting, though the business about the sacrifices was very disturbing.

Having helped my son with a school report last year, I was aware of many of the gruesome rituals of this tribe, but I was especially upset to learn that they apparently often threw children into a well as sacrifices to the rain God. They threw them in alive because it was believed their tears would bring rain. I think someone should have clued these guys in that those kids would have shed a lot more tears over the years had they been alive. Can you imagine that in today's world? People watching the weather report in dread. Dad saying, "Little Susie, I'm afraid it's no rain again, it's time to throw you into the well." Susie pleading, "No Daddy, please! I promise to cry more often! I know I haven't been crying enough, but I'll start right now and won't stop until the rain comes!"

It is hard for me to understand why ancient religions were so heavy into "sacrifice" to please the Gods. It seems so obvious to me that God would not condone violence, torture, or cruelty. But, I suppose that's because that is the image of God that I've grown up with and believe in... a God that is love-based, not one that is fear-based.

It seems outrageous to me that, today, in 2008, people are still killing each other in the name of religion. It seems outrageous to me that there is war at all! How can there still be so many people that think killing is the answer to solving conflict? I understand the need to defend and I respect our troops and what they do for our country, but sometimes I look at our society, and I realize our world is still not as enlightened as I hope it one day will be. I think in the future (or even now) people will look at our wars as I am doing with the Mayan culture, and say: "Those guys were lunatics to have thought that was the "right" thing to do! Couldn't they see how wrong and immoral their actions were?"

I know there are a lot of people in our world that promote peace and an end to violence. Unfortunately, there are also a lot with the opposite mentality... terrorists and crazies and people that somehow think war is the way to gain power. As long as we have those people, we will have wars. We cannot just lay down peacefully and let the crazies take over the world. On the other hand, I think the war we're in now could have been avoided. I don't know much about politics or foreign policy, but I do know killing people is wrong. Maybe it's a naive attitude and there are times we must defend ourselves, but the whole concept of war to me is as crazy as people throwing their kids in a well to appease the rain Gods.

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