Human Sacrifice and State-Building

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] A while back I had a longish post that argued that the mass executions practiced by ISIS drew from the long pagan tradition of ritualistic human sacrifice. Today in the news, some social scientists see evidence of human sacrifice as the catalyst for establishing and maintaining stratified, hierarchical and (usually) oppressive […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

It’s not quite Easter yet (for the Orthodox)

[ by Charles Cameron — so I trust you’ll forgive me posting a couple of stunning movie crucifixion images ] . My first image comes rom the forthcoming Ernst Haas book, On Set, and features his sbehind-the-scenes shot of the crucifixion in The Greatest Stiry Ever Told: The second image turned up while I was […] Read more »

On ISIS and Crucifixion

[ by Charles Cameron -- of capital punishment, shock value and terror ] . ** Images such as the one above have been proliferating in western media recently. That specific image came from a Fox News report of April 29th titled Al Qaeda-linked jihadists accused of hanging victims on crosses — an interesting article on [...] Read more »