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Western Culture, the Church and the "New Cannibalism" - Part I
Provided by LEARN, Inc. by James W. O'Clock, Doctor of Humane Letters in Christian Ethics & Pirkko K. O'Clock


Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son…’”  2 Kings 6:28


Western culture is often defined as or aligned with Western or European civilization, and stems from two major sources: the Classical Period of the Greco-Roman era and the influence of Christianity.  Western culture has achieved incredible success and influence in the areas of medicine, science, law, religion, architecture, literature, languages, and the arts.  It has provided a standard of living unsurpassed in human history, as well as created an environment where men and women can express their thoughts and beliefs openly and freely, while advancing the concepts of human rights, equality, and democracy. 

In casual conversation or in religious and academic settings, the topic of cannibalism is not usually considered to be a part of European, American, or Australasian culture, though some occurrences of cannibalism have been reported or witnessed, such as the tragic Donner Party incident in western United States (, or bizarre, sensationalized murder cases (  Unfortunately, Western culture has accepted and practices indirect forms of cannibalism, and it seems to be moving towards the unthinkable.  This deception, which we are calling the “new cannibalism,” uses the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us in a vile and unscrupulous manner.

In “civilized” society there should be an inherent revulsion towards the practice of eating the flesh of humankind, and it is understandable that criticism, doubt, and rejection of such a premise would naturally occur.  This paper details the concerns that should cause all Christians to ask the Lord for discernment and prayerful, godly action. 

First, let us look at what the Bible says about cannibalism, and then reflect on those Scriptures to discover if they are relevant to 21st Century Western culture...