April 4, 2012

Human sacrifice in modern day Mexico

This is an horrific story about human sacrifice in modern day Mexico.

Cult of the 'Holy Death': Eight arrested in Mexico after woman and two 10-year-old boys are 'ritually sacrificed'

The 'Santa Muerte' (Holy Death) cult in Mexico places great importance on the dead

Eight people have been arrested in northern Mexico have over the killing of two 10-year-old boys and a woman in what appears to be ritual sacrifices.

Prosecutors in Sonora, in the north-west of the country have accused the suspects of belonging to the La Santa Muerte (Holy Death) cult.

The victims' blood has been poured round an altar to the idol, which is portrayed as a skeleton holding a scythe and clothed in flowing robes.

The cult, which celebrates death, has been growing rapidly in Mexico in the last 20 years, and now has up to two million followers.
--
Mr Larrinaga said the murders took place at a ritual during the night, lit by candles.

'They sliced open the victims' veins and, while they were still alive, they waited for them to bleed to death and collected the blood in a container,' he said.

Many of those arrested belonged to the same family, reports said.

Silvia Meraz, one of the suspects, and her son, Ramon Palacios, were allegedly leaders of the cult, according to prosecutors.  Speaking to reporters, she said: 'We all agreed to do it. Supposedly she [one of the victims] was a witch or something.'

Human sacrifice has existed from the beginning of human history.  I thought immediately of Father Barron who says in his review of The Hunger Games that as society de-Christianizes, you can expect human sacrifice to return.

Brian Greene explains Rene Girard's theory of scapegoat and sacrifice - 'something is wrong and somebody has to pay for it,'  reality-TV, and Christ's sacrifice which exposed the scapegoating ritual thus ending it in Christendom.

You can read Shirley Jackson's story of The Lottery online.  One teacher who has taught the story over 20 years noticed a disturbing change in the attitude of the students.  Archbishop Chaput writes 

A few years ago, a college writing professor, Kay Haugaard, wrote an essay about her experiences teaching “The Lottery” over a period of about two decades.

She said that in the early 1970s, students who read the story voiced shock and indignation. The tale led to vivid conversations on big topics -- the meaning of sacrifice and tradition; the dangers of group-think and blind allegiance to leaders; the demands of conscience and the consequences of cowardice.

Sometime in the mid-1990s, however, reactions began to change.

Haugaard described one classroom discussion that -- to me -- was more disturbing than the story itself. The students had nothing to say except that the story bored them. So Haugaard asked them what they thought about the villagers ritually sacrificing one of their own for the sake of the harvest.

One student, speaking in quite rational tones, argued that many cultures have traditions of human sacrifice. Another said that the stoning might have been part of “a religion of long standing,” and therefore acceptable and understandable.

An older student who worked as a nurse, also weighed in. She said that her hospital had made her take training in multicultural sensitivity. The lesson she learned was this: “If it’s a part of a person’s culture, we are taught not to judge.”
--
Haugaard’s experience teaches us that it took less than a generation for this catechesis to produce a group of young adults who were unable to take a moral stand against the ritual murder of a young woman. Not because they were cowards.  But because they lost their moral vocabulary.

Haugaard’s students seemingly grew up in a culture shaped by practical atheism and moral relativism. In other words, they grew up in an environment that teaches, in many different ways, that God is irrelevant, and that good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood can’t exist in any absolute sense.
Posted by Jill Fallon at April 4, 2012 12:28 PM | Permalink