Burning Man, It’s Human Sacrifice!

Okay, I love The Wicker Man, one of my fave films. The original, of course. I own the collector’s limited edition director’s cut, and re-watch it now and then. It’s wonderfully irreverent, and Poor Sgt. Howie is so darn uptight. That said, it’s just a movie. Historically, there’s not a lot of proof when it comes to ancient pagans stuffing people into effigies and burning them alive, although this was widely believed to be the case for a good number of years. Burning effigies though, is a time-honoured tradition among humans, and has been done for all manner of reasons. Sometimes, just because it’s fun, and y’know, big bonfire.

Kevin Swanson, pastor and professional nut, has now decided that Burning Man is all about human sacrifice. I’m not exactly sure why, because I am not going to listen to the broadcast. If someone else is brave enough (and with a better connection) to do so, please enlighten me as to any actual reason for this nonsense. Burning an effigy at Burning Man is a defining thing, that much is rather clear in the name of the festival, so I would have thought that was a no-brainer. It’s a tradition, been going on for a long time.

On his radio show last week, right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson argued that the annual Burning Man festival is trying to bring back human sacrifice, but has been unable to do so only “because of the influence of Christ” on our legislators who recognize that the practice is prohibited by Old Testament law.

There’s a helluva lot of sacrificing going on in the old testament, and if most of it wasn’t human, maybe that’s because Jehovah was busy directing this, that, and the other person to indulge in one genocidal slaughter after another. I tend to think that fits the rubric of human sacrifice. Jehovah got pissed at a whole bunch of people, and it was pretty much non-stop killing, with breaks for rape and stuff.

“The only way that we can defend a law, a civil law, against the worship of false gods by way of human sacrifice or animal sacrifice is by applying Old Testament law,” Swanson said. “We don’t serve our foreign gods by human sacrifice or animal sacrifice simply because the word of God doesn’t allow for it and, as Christians, as a Christian worldview, as a Christian legislator, or as a Christian governor, I could not allow it in any given city or state because the Christian worldview only allows for a single sacrifice, and that’s already been accomplished.”

Rats below, that’s quite the word salad you have there, Mr. Swanson. There is no law, civil or otherwise, against worshiping gods of any kind. You’re free to worship anyone or anything you like. As anyone is free to indulge in animal sacrifice when it comes to meals, I don’t see how you get to differentiate over just how someone sacrifices a chicken or such. By the way, Jehovah didn’t have anything against animal sacrifice, it just got up his nose when people sacrificed more to Baal. Then Jehovah would order all those people to be, um, sacrificed.

We don’t “serve our foreign gods”? Who might those be, Mr. Swanson? I thought you subscribed to monotheism. Ah, the christian worldview. You can stuff it, because that is not the worldview held by all people. It’s certainly not held by me.

Swanson said that Burning Man is all about “radical inclusion,” which he insisted is just another name for “radical polytheism [and] radical human sacrifice. This is what they’re headed for. They want to bring human sacrifice back.”

Ooooh, radical inclusion. Sounds good to me. No, it’s not another name for polytheism. Besides, you’re the one talking “foreign gods”. And no one is talking human sacrifice, for fuck’s sake, where do you come up with this shit? Either you’re drinking a right interesting type of Kool-aid, or someone’s slipping something in your coffee, dude.

RWW has the soundcloud, if anyone wants to listen.


  1. says


    If Britt Ekland’s dance doesn’t make you convert to paganism then nothing can.

    Word. The song is quite nice, too.

  2. says

    “…who recognize that the practice is prohibited by Old Testament law.”

    Wait… Didn’t Jeezus abolish OT laws or something? Does this mean we can again start bringing stubborn and rebellious sons to the elders of the city to be stoned to death?

    OH NO! Someone warn Red Lobster!

  3. says

    Tabby Lavalamp:

    Wait… Didn’t Jeezus abolish OT laws or something?

    I’m afraid not. He said a few times, he was around to uphold the law. But then again, you can find anything to suit whatever position you like in the big book of psychopathy.

  4. johnson catman says

    Are there people having fun and not consulting with Swanson’s ilk? Then it is obviously of the devil and must be prohibited.

  5. says

    I think this one is the fault of those foreign gods, whoever they may be. Lucifer didn’t even make an appearance this time.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    According to Wikipedia, Mr Swanson thinks that devil purchased Disney in 1984 “to make movies that will indoctrinate small children into sin”.

    Also, when it comes to Mosaic Law, Mr Swanson doesn’t seem to heed Leviticus 19:27:
    “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

  7. says

    Ice Swimmer, yes, Mr. Swanson went into a white hot rage over ‘Frozen’, claiming that any child who saw it would be “inducted” into homosexuality.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    The word on the Intertubes is that stunt arse was a stand in for Britt Ekland’s dance. But those are her real boobies. Apparently.

  9. says

    Yeah, that’s covered on one of the disc extras, but I don’t remember exactly what they said about it, got kinda sleepy and dropped off. I’ll have to listen again one day. Not that it matters much, still a great scene.

  10. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I wasn’t aware right-wing Christians considered the sorts of people who’d be on hand for Burning Man to be human.

  11. says

    God in the Old Testament demanded frequent human sacrifice, in his many demands for genocide. In I Samuel 15, he demands the utter genocide of the Amalekites; Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges chronicles the genocide of the Canaanites with specific stories about the razing of Heshbon (Deut. 2), Bashan (Deut. 3), and Jericho (Joshua 6). Numbers 31 details how God demanded the murder of every Midianite, except for virgin women who could be kept as war prizes. There was the outright murder of every first born male in Egypt as the 12th Plague, the slaughter of 42 children for having the audacity to note that God’s Holy Prophet Elishia was bald (2 Kings 2).

    And let us not forget the ritual murder and cannibalism reenacted in the Eucharist.

  12. says

    Azkyroth @ 15:

    I wasn’t aware right-wing Christians considered the sorts of people who’d be on hand for Burning Man to be human.

    That’s an excellent point; I don’t think they do consider them fully human, but I do think they are oh so concerned about them infecting ‘good’ people. Or something.

  13. blf says

    There is no entry for Kevin Swanson in the Encyclopedia of American Loons, an acknowledged omission. However, the entry for his side-kick, Dave Buehner, makes several points with numerous references to Swanson (the Encyclopedia’s edits in {curly braces}):

    #1431: Dave Buehner

    It’s hard to talk about Dave Buehner without talking about Kevin Swanson, his partner in crime. And since Swanson is clearly the, uh, dominant part in their relationship, we were tempted to just mention Buehner in our upcoming post on Swanson. On the other hand it’s hard to defend the usefulness of an Encyclopedia of loons that didn’t have an entry on Buehner, so here we go.

    Let’s start easy, with Buehner’s views on homosexuality (flesh eating virus and sores with happy faces carved into them). [… H]e compared making gay friends to befriending cannibals and likened gay marriage to the Sandy Hook shooting, which is a totally reasonable thing to do. (He’s not that strong on spelling out the actual mechanisms for the causal relations he posits, or the details of his analogies, but never mind.)

    […] (Note that the idea of having any government form short of strict theocracy isn’t even on Buehner’s radar). He also expressed support for the Ugandan kill the gays bill and laws from the pilgrim era that criminalized homosexuality (they must be punished in all ways possible — Buehner and Swanson actually suggest stoning (and wondered why the 2014 Rose Bowl parade didn’t include a float with a gay person being stoned to death) […]

    […] According to Buehner (with Swanson), [President Obama’s reelection] solidified our doom. They also said that Obama doesn’t have a mandate, he has a womandate because men didn’t vote for him (which presumably means that his presidency is illegitimate since women don’t count). Oh, and he’s also just like the North Korean dictator, just so. And yes, these people are for reals.

    And the misogyny is very much representative. Buehner has earlier argued that women ought only be legally allowed to work for their husbands as the Bible commands. Single women, on the other hand, are owned by their fathers, and have no rights (new gonorrhea strains are being sent by God to punish America to underline this, by the way). Dimly aware that some may disagree, Buehner has also tried to preempt the obvious responses by discussing feminism (with Swanson), concluding that there are two forms of feminism. There are cute feminists like Sarah Palin who will find jobs in the marketplace […]. Then, there are the ugly feminists whose lack of attractiveness has not given them access to the power that they wanted in the marketplace. These attractively challenged feminists will only find careers in academia {the Pharisees!} and in government agencies, for instance: “you can run the EPA” [yes, there’s absolutely no reason a woman couldn’t run the EPA, so no teh stoopid quotes for that one, despite the context & phrasing –blf …]. Girl scout cookies are evil, big, black magic as well, for the same reason I don’t know what to call it.

    And the boy scouts? They will soon have merit badges for sodomy and cannibalism, Buehner and Swanson predict.

    A highlight of his career may still be his discussion (once again with Swanson) in the wake of Desmond Tutu’s remark that he would rather go to hell than a homophobic heaven. B&S concluded, predictably, that Tutu hates Jesus, but added, referring to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over Rio de Janeiro, that he’s probably good with Jesús, the drug lord from Bolivia, or the big drug lord from Rio De Janeiro that’s got his hands out, remember that guy? And Tutu’s remark certainly proves that the pope is the head of the gay agenda since he wears a dress. No, these guys are serious. Not poes.


    As the entry concludes, “[… H]e’s vying for the title of most extreme, hatefully bigoted wingnut on the Internet. Even the Phelpses struggle to out-hate this guy, and probably falls short on hysterically incoherent mindrot as well. […]” And this is Swanson’s side-kick.

    I suppose there are echoes of the cannibalism fetish in the human sacrifice bellowing noted in the OP.

Leave a Reply