NPR Morning Edition anchorman Steve Inskeep appears to be an angry man on Twitter this morning after the Senate rejected every gun-control proposal yesterday. He linked to a wild and woolly rant written by leftist journalist Garry Wills on December 15, 2012, the day after the Newtown massacre for the New York Review of Books.
Inskeep tweeted: "Gary [sic] Wills: Newtown not the fault of 'one unhinged person,' but a 'sacrifice' we make to 'our demonic god.'" In an article titled "Our Moloch," Wills compared the gun to Moloch, a god "we sacrifice children to...daily," and the "pope" of this satanic cult is Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association:
That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).
The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?...
It has the power to turn all our politicians as a class into invertebrate and mute attendants at the shrine. None dare suggest that Moloch can in any way be reined in without being denounced by the pope of this religion, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, as trying to destroy Moloch, to take away all guns. They whimper and say they never entertained such heresy. Many flourish their guns while campaigning, or boast that they have themselves hunted “varmints.” Better that the children die or their lives be blasted than that a politician should risk an election against the dread sentence of NRA excommunication....
Though LaPierre is the pope of this religion, its most successful Peter the Hermit, preaching the crusade for Moloch, was Charlton Heston, a symbol of the Americanism of loving guns. I have often thought that we should raise a statue of Heston at each of the many sites of multiple murders around our land. We would soon have armies of statues, whole droves of Heston acolytes standing sentry at the shrines of Moloch dotting the landscape. Molochism is the one religion that can never be separated from the state. The state itself bows down to Moloch, and protects the sacrifices made to him. So let us celebrate the falling bodies and rising statues as a demonstration of our fealty, our bondage, to the great god Gun.
I asked Inskeep on Twitter if he was endorsing this article, and he replied, "That's an odd question. You haven't asked it when I have quoted views of gun rights activists." I don't recall any recent quotes from gun-rights activists (and can't find any in the last week or so).
PS: A quick Nexis search shows NPR has only mentioned Moloch in connection with celebrating the radical-left beat poet Allen Ginsberg, as in this appreciation from October 27, 2006:
JOHN McCHESNEY: Moloch, a Canaanite god of fire to whom children were sacrificed became, for Ginsberg, the symbol of rational, industrial capitalism.
ALLEN GINSBERG: What sinks of cement and aluminum bash open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Moloch. Moloch, whose factories dream and croak in the fog. Moloch, whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities. Moloch, whose love is endless oil and stone. Moloch, whose soul is electricity and banks.