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From the June, 2001 issue of Touchstone

 

The Church of Moloch (Reformed) by Christopher Bailey

The Church of Moloch (Reformed)

Christopher Bailey on the Religion of Upward Mobility

If this is your first visit to the Church of Moloch (Reformed), welcome. We hope you’ll find what you’re looking for here: a community of like-minded executives who understand that your career comes first.

Unlike traditional religions, with their disturbing and counterproductive messages of “self-denial” and “compassion,” the Church of Moloch (Reformed) understands your priorities.

Your career means everything to you. And in today’s fast-paced world, you need to stay on top. More than that, you need to advance. At the Church of Moloch (Reformed), we call it the Upward Path: the road that leads ever onward to greater and greater personal achievement. We know as well as you do that there’s never any rest for the true pilgrim. Family and friendships can be temporary comforts along the way, but they must never distract you from your true quest.

We’re here to give you the spiritual support you need on your lifelong journey along the Upward Path.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Is Moloch your god?
Only a naive and uneducated (and probably unsuccessful) person could believe in a “god” per se. Moloch is not a “god” in the sense of a being outside ourselves. Moloch is a spiritual reality within us all, the source of our inner strength and resolve. Whenever we tell the rest of the world that we’re too busy and too important to care about its petty problems, that’s the spirit of Moloch at work within us.

Where does the Church of Moloch (Reformed) come from?
Three thousand years ago or more, a highly civilized tribe in what is today Palestine had a revolutionary idea. These Canaanites, as they were called, realized that an unhealthy obsession with the family could stand in the way of an individual’s progress on the Upward Path. Ambition and upward mobility characterized this creative and successful people. They represented their ideals in a beautifully carved sculpture they called Moloch, the god of personal growth.

To free themselves to follow their ambitions, they would frequently offer their infant children to Moloch as sacrifices to their own personal growth. The children were humanely incinerated at high temperatures, freeing the people for more constructive activities than changing diapers all day.

Unfortunately, this beautiful ceremony was misunderstood by barbaric neighboring tribes, who valued the transitory delights of their children more than their own personal ambitions. The Hebrew barbarians overwhelmed the enlightened Moloch worshipers, and for a long time the light of civilization was extinguished in Palestine. The ultimate failure of the Hebrews to establish any lasting empire was, however, an ironic vindication of the Canaanites’ advanced belief system.

So do you really sacrifice children to idols?
Of course not. While infant sacrifice was an idea well suited to its time, it would be considered unacceptable in this modern age. On the contrary, we take very good care of children. Recognizing that you don’t have time to waste with your family, we offer a wide variety of youth programs to keep your children occupied and out of the way.

Young people at the Church of Moloch (Reformed) spend their time learning useful skills instead of wasting it playing childish games. Here’s just a sample of some of the programs we offer for your youngsters:

Depreciation for Beginners (grades 1–3): You can’t learn this lesson too early: “Value” means one thing to you and another thing entirely to the taxman. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., in the Frick Auditorium.

Charity Begins at Home (grades 4 & 5): Through intensive immersion in old “Amos ’n Andy” routines, children learn to laugh at the amusing antics of downtrodden minority members instead of feeling misplaced “compassion.” This prepares them for the important lesson: True Molochian charity aims at the good of the most important person on earth—yourself. Sunday through Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight, in the Trump Meeting Room.

The Virtue of Competitiveness (all ages): Children form real corporations and take turns downsizing each other. Wednesday through Tuesday, 24 hours, in the DeLorean Fellowship Center.

What is your worship like?
We try to suit our worship to your business needs. Instead of musty old hymns and rituals that are centuries out of date, we offer seminars led by recognized business leaders. Instead of uncomfortable pews and uninviting altars, we have a big conference table with ergonomically correct chairs and a tasteful, limited-edition image of Moloch in the center.

Every worship/seminar begins with the Creed of Self-Affirmation. We open the main part of the worship with a prayer to the spirit of Moloch within us. After that comes the week’s seminar, with illustrations from our beautiful, hand-carved, gilt-inlayed overhead projector. Then there’s a short PowerPoint presentation by our high priest. We close with a prayer that the spirit of Moloch may ever dwell within us, to guide us and preserve us from the distractions of family and friendships that could lead us astray, and that we may always increase in wisdom and power (especially power) as we travel the Upward Path. Then we adjourn for lunch at Hooters.

Sounds like the religion for me. How do I join?
We know you’re busy, so we’ve already taken care of that for you. The charge will appear as “CMR Spirituality Services” on your AMEX bill.


Christopher Bailey , a Lutheran, writes about everything from Arthurian mythology to wireless networking. He spent a decade on the Upward Path in corporate America, but now must be counted among the backsliders.

Letters Welcome: One of the reasons Touchstone exists is to encourage conversation among Christians, so we welcome letters responding to articles or raising matters of interest to our readers. However, because the space is limited, please keep your letters under 400 words. All letters may be edited for space and clarity when necessary. letters@touchstonemag.com

 

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