Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltimore's "Dirty Little Secret"

"Yes, the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit is that Baltimore, and so many other urban areas and inner city communities in America are a reflection of the abject failure of liberal progressive socialist policies as advanced by the Democrat party." --Allen West (From here.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Nepal Valley a Dangerous Place

Simon Redfern

For some time scientists have realised that the Kathmandu valley is one of themost dangerous places in the world, in terms of earthquake risk. And now a combination of high seismic activity at the front of the Tibetan plateau, poor building standards, and haphazard urbanisation have come together with fatal consequences.

The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal hit just before noon, local time, on Saturday around 48 miles north west of Kathmandu. The Indian tectonic plate is driving beneath the Eurasian plate at an average rate of 45mm per year along a front that defines the edge of the Tibetan plateau. This force created the Himalayas, and Nepal lies slap bang along that front. The quake was shallow, estimated at 12km depth, and devastating as the Indian crust thrust beneath Tibet one more time.
Shake map released by the US Geological Survey. USGS

Historic buildings in the centre of Kathmandu have been reduced to rubble. Brick masonry dwellings have collapsed under clouds of dust. Weakened buildings will now be vulnerable to aftershocks, which continue to rattle Nepal through the day. Multiple aftershocks above magnitude 4 hit in the six hours following the earthquake.

Read the article here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Buhari and Nigeria's Future

Buhari’s victory in Nigerian election has global significance.

Muhammadu Buhari’s convincing defeat of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian presidential election is an event of global significance. To his credit, President Jonathan promptly conceded defeat, thereby discouraging any attempt to impede the transfer of power.

The election was held even as the world’s attention was further drawn to the gruesome brutalities committed by the Boko Haram insurgency. Inexplicably, Africa’s largest armed force, which has been given enormous financial outlays, has not been able to subdue a ragtag militia.

The world desperately needs a victory against cultist jihadism. Nigeria can provide it. As commander-in-chief, Buhari can oversee a coordinated effort to squelch the insurgency.

His victory is also significant because it has been achieved via democratic elections.

In no other large country, with an almost equal number of Muslims and Christians, is such a process conceivable. The subsiding of the Arab Spring deflated hopes for a new concordance between Islam and democracy.

A Nigerian constitutional democracy, led by a former military dictator and avowed supporter of Shari’a law, will be a powerful counterpoint to the autocratic upswing symbolized by Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

New hope that corruption will be reduced

A third notable fact about Buhari’s victory is the hope it rekindles for drastically reducing corruption. You cannot build capable state institutions when the prime motivation of office-holders is to drain the public purse into their pockets, and those of their cronies and kinfolk.

Three decades ago I called this bane of Nigerian political life “prebendalism.” Goodluck Jonathan, with no claim to high office except his luck in finding himself in the chain of regionalized political patronage, was unable to get off this tiger. The more his administration sought to accomplish, the bigger the problem became, until the surfeit of financial scandals and depletion of government revenues eroded his presidency.

Buhari first came to power in December 1983 in a coup d'├ętat as a military disciplinarian determined to punish those accused, and then summarily convicted, of corruption.

In the three decades since he was toppled from the presidency in 1985, he has demonstrated that his passion for public service is not fueled by greed. For example, as chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund in the 1990s, he oversaw the use of its resources primarily for development projects. At 72 years of age, he has the opportunity to accomplish something that few of his predecessors, military or civilian, have even attempted: serving the nation and its citizens rather than members of the political-business-military class.

Politics in Nigeria often resembles a game of musical chairs. When the music stops, seats are snatched, and the looting commences. In the past, martial tunes would sometimes be heard, and the constitutional edifice would be constructed anew – all at enormous cost to the treasury.

This time around, after the ballot box became the music box, corruption can again be rigorously but lawfully tackled.

Plaudits to the Nigerian people

Among the champions of the 2015 national elections, the Nigerian people, collectively, must be saluted.

As Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka once stated: “The Nigerian people have always approached democracy and the elites have always turned them back.” Nigerians have often been enticed to the polls by the promise of holding elected officials accountable and even changing them. But politicians, with their well-heeled patrons, thugs-for- hire, and the complicity of electoral staff could usually warp the process.

To obtain more than an “election-like event,” to quote the words of the former US ambassador to their country, John Campbell, Nigerians needed an electoral commission that lived up to its name of being “independent” and “national.”

Thanks to Professor Attahiru Jega, an American-trained political scientist who served as Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerians are finally endowed with such a commission.

Professor Jega withstood unimaginable pressures as the Jonathan political and security team realized that their man’s prospects were dimming. In the face of the acute tensions of catering to nearly 30 million voters, including displaced communities, Jega conducted himself with grace and high professionalism. The Nigerian nation owes him a great debt of gratitude.

Campaign money tossed around like confetti

The election campaigning itself, as Soyinka declared, was “an embarrassing exercise,” with money thrown about like confetti.

Despite the Boko Haram atrocities, the sharp decline of oil income, missing billions in government revenue and two-thirds of the population mired in poverty, Nigerians were deluged incessantly with campaign giveaways.

In the midst of it all, however, they saw that the gates of political freedom were opening. They came to believe that a born-again democrat, who thrice sought the presidency and now led an historic reconfiguration of political forces, was their best chance to shed the carcass of a crippled giant.

They also took Goodluck Jonathan at his word that, if he lost the election, he would be the first Nigerian president to yield power peacefully to the opposition.

No one should expect that the way forward will be smooth.

Nigeria remains a complex and contentious polity. Nevertheless, the Jonathan administration had become a bridge to nowhere. The manner of his going can now match in dignity how he skillfully wrested power five years ago.

Meanwhile, the victor, Muhammadu Buhari, can begin restoring the tattered image of Nigerian governance at home and abroad.

Professor Richard A. Joseph teaches at Northwestern University. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

In February 2020, 5 million people marched in Nigeria in protest of the 10 years of attempted genocide against Nigerian Christians by Islamic terrorists. Buhari, a Muslim, has failed to unite and protect his people.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hillary Clinton on Abortion and Equality for Women

Sen. Clinton Press Release

January 24, 2005
Remarks by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
to the NYS Family Planning Providers

Thank you all very much for having me. I am so pleased to be here two days after the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that struck a blow for freedom and equality for women. Today Roe is in more jeopardy than ever, and I look forward to working with all of you as we fight to defend it in the coming years. I'm also pleased to be talking to people who are on the front lines of increasing women's access to quality health care and reducing unwanted pregnancy -- an issue we should be able to find common ground on with people on the other side of this debate.

We should all be able to agree that we want every child born in this country and around the world to be wanted, cherished, and loved. The best way to get there is do more to educate the public about reproductive health, about how to prevent unsafe and unwanted pregnancies.

My own views of family planning and reproductive rights are heavily influenced by my travels as First Lady. I saw firsthand the costs to women when the government controls their reproductive health decisions.

In pre-democratic Romania, they had a leader named Ceausescu, a Soviet style Communist dictator, who decided it was the duty of every Romanian woman to bear five children so they could build the Romanian State. So they eliminated birth control, they eliminated sex education, and they outlawed abortions.

Once a month, Romanian women were rounded up at their workplaces. They were taken to a government-controlled health clinic, told to disrobe while they were standing in line. They were then examined by a government doctor with a government secret police officer watching. And if they were pregnant, they were closely monitored to make sure you didn't do anything to that pregnancy.

If a woman failed to conceive, her family was fined a celibacy tax of up to 10 percent of their monthly salary. The terrible result was that many children who were born were immediately abandoned, and left to be raised in government-run orphanages.

Now go to the other side of the world and the opposite side of this debate. In China, local government officials used to monitor women's menstrual cycles and their use of contraceptives because they had the opposite view -- no more than one child. If you wanted to have a child in China, you needed to get permission or face punishment. After you had your one allotted child, in some parts of China, you could be sterilized against your will or forced to have an abortion.

So whether it was Romania saying you had to have children for the good of the state, or China saying you can only have one child for the good of the state, the government was dictating the most private and important decisions we make as families and as women. Now with all of this talk about freedom as the defining goal of America, let's not forget the importance of the freedom of women to make the choices that are consistent with their faith and their sense of responsibility to their family and themselves.

I heard President Bush talking about freedom and yet his Administration has acted to deny freedom to women around the world through a global gag policy, which has left many without access to basic reproductive health services.

This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult and soul searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no role. I believe we can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women. Often, it's a failure of our system of education, health care, and preventive services. It's often a result of family dynamics. This decision is a profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that a woman will ever make. The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

As many of you know, I have worked on these issues throughout my career and I continue to work on them in the Senate. One of the most important initiatives I worked on as First Lady and am proud to continue to champion in the Senate is the prevention of teen pregnancy. I worked alongside my husband who launched the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in the mid-1990s. This organization, which has proven to be a tremendous success, was really was born out of my husband's 1995 State of the Union address, which declared teenage pregnancy to be one of the most critical problems facing our country. We set a national goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies by one-third over the decade. We knew, though, that this goal could not be reached with a government-only effort. That's why we invited private sector sponsors to join the board and use their organizations to send a powerful message to teens to be responsible about their futures.

Now back when the National Campaign was getting off the ground, I actually came to New York City and gave a speech before high-profile members of the media -- essentially challenging the media to embrace this issue and use its power to send strong, clear messages to teenagers to be responsible. Back then I used the phrase "teenage celibacy" over and over. Of course, no one talks about "teenage celibacy" anymore, but the message remains relevant and necessary today. I think it's a synonym for abstinence.

The good news is that the National Campaign, which has nourished many new and fruitful partnerships like those with Time Warner and with the faith community, has helped achieve the goal that my husband set in his State of the Union in 1995. Between 1991 and 2003, the teen birth rate fell 32.5 percent to a record low. The National Campaign has also conducted and disseminated some critical research on the important role that parents can play in encouraging their children to abstain from sexual activity.

So I'm very proud of the work of the National Campaign. We'll be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and I will continue working with them to keep the number of unwanted pregnancies among our teenagers falling until we get to zero. But we have a long road ahead.

Today, even with the recent decline, 34% of teenage girls become pregnant at least once before their 20th birthday, and the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any industrialized country. Children born to teen moms begin life with the odds against them. They are more likely to be of low-birth weight, 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade, and significantly more likely to be victims of abuse and neglect. And girls who give birth as teenagers face a long, uphill battle to economic self-sufficiency and pride. Clearly we do have our work cut out for us.

Research shows that the primary reason that teenage girls abstain is because of their religious and moral values. We should embrace this -- and support programs that reinforce the idea that abstinence at a young age is not just the smart thing to do, it is the right thing to do. But we should also recognize what works and what doesn't work, and to be fair, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of abstinence-only programs. I don't think this debate should be about ideology, it should be about facts and evidence -- we have to deal with the choices young people make not just the choice we wish they would make. We should use all the resources at our disposal to ensure that teens are getting the information they need to make the right decision.

We should also do more to educate and involve parents about the critical role they can play in encouraging their children to abstain from sexual activity. Teenagers who have strong emotional attachments to their parents are much less likely to become sexually active at an early age.

But we have to do more than just send the right messages and values to our children. Preventing unwanted pregnancy demands that we do better as adults to create the structure in which children live and the services they need to make the right decisions.

A big part of that means increasing access to family planning services. I have long been a strong supporter of Title X, the only federal program devoted solely to making comprehensive family planning services available to anyone interested in seeking them. Each year, approximately 4.5 million people receive health-care services at Title X-funded clinics. Nearly two-thirds of Title X clients come from households with incomes below the poverty level. And just to remind you, the poverty level is currently set for a family of three at $15,620. So where do these two-thirds of Title X clients go to receive the services they need? Unfortunately, despite the Clinton Administration working to obtain a 58% increase during the 1990s, the Bush Administration proposed level funding for Title X at $265 million for the 2003 and 2004 budgets, and Congress appropriated only $275 million in 2003. So even as our population has grown and the need has increased, the funding has remained stagnant. In fact, if Title X funding had increased at the rate of inflation from its FY 1980 funding level of $162 million, it would be at approximately $590 million now, but because its been held flat and we don't even know yet what the next budget holds for Title X funding. Title X cannot keep pace with basic services, let alone meet the growing cost of diagnostic tests and new forms of contraception.

It's also important that private insurance companies do their part to help reduce unwanted pregnancies. That is why I am a proud co-sponsor of the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage -- the so-called EPICC. The legislation would require private health plans to cover FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and related medical services to the same extent that they cover prescription drugs and other outpatient medical services. This bill simply seeks to establish parity for prescription contraception. Thanks to so many of the people in this room and the advocates, the EPICC law is now in effect in New York State having been passed and signed in 2002. It's a real role model for the nation. And it's about equal rights and simple justice. After all, if insurance companies can cover Viagra, they can certainly cover prescription contraceptives.

Contraception is basic health care for women, and the burden for its expense cannot fall fully on all women, many who after all live below that poverty rate, and in many instances above it, but not by very much and have a hard time affording such prescriptions. Just think, an average woman who wants two children will spend five years pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and roughly 30 years trying to prevent pregnancy. As I said earlier, and you know so well, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the industrialized world. Each year, nearly half of the six million pregnancies in this country are unintended, and more than half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion.

The use of contraception is a big factor in determining whether or not women become pregnant. In fact, this is a statistic that I had not known before we started doing the research that I wanted to include in this speech, 7% of American women who do not use contraception account for 53% of all unintended pregnancies. So by preventing unintended pregnancy, contraception reduces the need for abortion. Improving insurance coverage of contraception will make contraception more affordable and reduce this rate of abortion. And expanding coverage and resources for Title X will do the same.

Another form of family planning that should be widely available to women is "Plan B," Emergency Contraception. I agree with the scientists on the Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Panel who voted overwhelmingly that Plan B is safe and effective for over the counter use. And I worked to launch a GAO investigation into the process of denying Barr Laboratories' application because I believe the decision was influenced more by ideology than evidence.

I am hopeful that the FDA will come to its senses and announce a new policy making Plan B available. Information about Plan B should be available over the counter, which is exactly what the FDA's Advisory Committee recommended. It should also be made available -- automatically -- to women who are victims of sexual assault and rape. I have to confess that I never cease to be surprised but last week, I joined with 21 of my colleagues in sending a letter to the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women -- that's the name of the office at the Department of Justice -- urging the Director to revise the newly-released first-ever national protocol for sexual assault treatment to include the routine offering of emergency contraception. Right now, this 130-page, otherwise comprehensive document fails to include any mention of emergency contraception, a basic tool that could help rape victims prevent the trauma of unintended pregnancies, avoid abortions, and safeguard their reproductive and mental health. Every expert agrees that the sooner Plan B is administered, the more effective it is. Once a woman becomes pregnant, emergency contraception obviously will have no effect.

Yet nowhere does the DOJ Protocol mention emergency contraception or recommend that it be offered to sexual assault victims. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there are 15,000 abortions a year from rape. How is it possible that women who have been so victimized by violence can be victimized again by ideology? And how can we expect to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies if we lose this most obvious opportunity to help women who may have had an unwanted pregnancy physically forced upon them?

I hope that whatever one believes or whatever side of the aisle one is, in either the NY State Legislature or the Congress, or anywhere in our country, we all at least agree that the Department of Justice must immediately revise its protocol to include strong recommendations about emergency contraception.

And the final building block of our effort to increase women's health includes ensuring that once women become pregnant, they have access to high-quality pre-natal care so that they can bring healthy children into the world.

One bill that provides a comprehensive approach to the problem of unintended pregnancies encapsulates many of these efforts. It's called "The Putting Prevention First Act." It provides a roadmap to the destination of fewer unwanted pregnancies -- to the day when abortion is truly safe, legal, and rare. The Putting Prevention First Act, which I was proud to co-sponsor in the last Congress, increases funding for Title X; expands Medicaid family-planning services to provide access for more low-income women; ensures that health plans that cover prescription drugs also cover prescription contraceptives; funds emergency contraception public-education campaigns for doctors, nurses and women; ensures that hospital emergency rooms offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault; and establishes the nation's first-ever federal sex-education program.

A very similar version of the Putting Prevention First Act is being introduced today, one of the first bills introduced by Minority Leader Harry Reid, to lay out the Democratic plan for women's reproductive healthcare. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill and I will work very hard to see that it is enacted. Because I know we can make progress on these issues; the work of the Clinton Administration and so many others saw the rate of abortion consistently fall in the 1990's. The abortion rate fell by one-fourth between 1990 and 1995, the steepest decline since Roe was decided in 1973. The rate fell another 11 percent between 1994 and 2000, from about 24 to 21 abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age.

But unfortunately, in the last few years, while we are engaged in an ideological debate instead of one that uses facts and evidence and commonsense, the rate of abortion is on the rise in some states. In the three years since President Bush took office, 8 states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6% average increase), and four saw a decrease (4.3% average), so we have a lot of work still ahead of us.

I think it's important that family planning advocates reach out to those who may not agree with us on everything to try to find common ground in those areas where, hopefully, emergency contraception, more funding for prenatal care and others can be a point of common ground.

As an advocate for children and families throughout my life, as a lawyer who occasionally represented victims of sexual assault and rape, as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, I know the difference that good information, good education, and good health care can make in empowering women and girls to make good decisions for themselves.

So in addition to the work that lies ahead of us here at home I would just put in a word for the work that we should be doing around the world. It has been tragic to see so much of the good work that provided family planning assistance and resources to physicians and nurses to deliver to women in places where there was no family planning, where in fact abortion was the only means of contraception. But during the 90's we reached out to women and girls in other parts of the world. When my husband rescinded the global gag rule we began to work on behalf of women's health, though the infant mortality and maternal mortality rate is way too high in so many parts of the world. When I was in Afghanistan last year, I met with a group of women and their number one plea was what can the United States Government do to help save the lives of Afghan women who have one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world? Is there some way that more education could be brought in so that women could possibly have more control over their own lives? In places I've traveled I've cut the ribbons on clinics - that were partially funded by money from our government and money from private givers in our country -- that for the first time would provide the full range of health services to women and girls. Because of the reinstatement of the global gag rule under President Bush that work has stopped. Those resources have dried up. The lives of so many women and girls have been put at risk. We can do better not only here at home but around the world.

Yes we do have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of abortion. I for one respect those who believe with all their hearts and conscience that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available. But that does not represent even the majority opinion within the anti-abortion community. There are exceptions for rape and for incest, for the life of the mother. Those in the pro-choice community who have fought so hard for so many years, not only to protect Roe v. Wade and the law of the land, but to provide the resources that would effectuate that constitutional right, believe just as strongly the point of view based on experience and conscience that they have come to. The problem I always have is what is the proper role of government in making this decision? That is why I started with two stories about Romania and China. When I spoke to the conference on women in Beijing in 1995 -- ten years ago this year -- I spoke out against any government interfering with the reproductive rights and decisions of women and families.

So we have a lot of experience from around the world that is a cautionary tale about what happens when a government substitutes its opinion for an individual's. There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances. But we cannot expect to have the kind of positive results that all of us are hoping for to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions if our government refuses to assist girls and women with their health care needs, a comprehensive education and accurate information.

So my hope now, today, is that whatever our disagreements with those in this debate, that we join together to take real action to improve the quality of health care for women and families, to reduce the number of abortions and to build a healthier, brighter more hopeful future for women and girls in our country and around the world.

Thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blood Anxiety in Archaic Communities

Alice C. Linsley

The conception of blood as the substance of life is very ancient. Based on their experience and observation, early humans came to think of blood as the substance of life. Life required blood. This is what stands behind Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life."

The earliest humans noted that animals and humans bled when wounded. If a human bled out, he/she died. The spirit left them. There was anxiety that the one who killed would be haunted by that spirit. This is why humans felt anxiety about shedding blood. They regarded blood as having supernatural power. You will recall that the blood of Abel cried to the Creator from the ground.

The one who shed the blood of another human carried blood guilt. They knew it deep inside and it troubled them. They needed a mediator to stand between them and the Creator to restore them by ritual absolution of the blood guilt. This is the likely origin of the priesthood.

Cain, Nimrod, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David were men with blood on their hands. Cain killed Abel. Nimrod was a mighty hunter and a kingdom builder who forged his territory through conquest. Abraham killed in combat. Moses took the life of an Egyptian slave driver. David killed Goliath and arranged for the death of Uriah, Bathsheba's husband. The Bible does not sanitize the lives of these men. They bore blood guilt and they acutely felt the necessity of priestly absolution.

There is evidence in Genesis that a very early designation for the human was the word blood. Adam is likely derived from ha-dam, meaning "the blood." Ha-adam means "the man" or the "human" but also suggests that the earlier word for human was "blood."

Reddish-brown Nubians (Image: Arthur Brack)
These Nubians resemble the red Nabatean warriors
who had long wavy hair and wore feathers.
The terms dam, Adam, and Edom all refer to the color red and have an African context. They are related to the Hausa word odum, meaning red-brown. This is the skin tone of the peoples who lived along the Nile where red-brown clay deposits accumulated after rains washed red silt down from the Ethiopian highlands. This is the region of the world where Abraham's Kushite ancestors lived and it is from them that we receive the story of Adam and Eve as the first created human beings.

Adam was said to be made of the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7) and this narrative comes from a region where the soil is red or reddish brown due to the high levels of chromic cambisols which produce a strong brown or red color. We may conclude that Adam was a red man.

Blood is the complex and somewhat mysterious transport system that allows communication and coordination between different parts of the human body. It nourishes organs and muscles. Without it, life as we know it could not exist. This is the meaning of Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life."

By extension, blood is connected to bone since blood cells develop from hematopoietic stem cells and are formed in the bone. By extension, Eve's being is described as coming from Adam's rib bone. Upon seeing the woman for the first time, Adam declares, "This is now bone of my bones..." (Gen. 2:23).

Blood anxiety was associated with the shedding of blood in hunting, war, and in child bearing. Archaic communities made a distinction also between the blood work of men in killing and the blood work of women in birthing. The two bloods represent the binary opposites of life and death. The blood shed in war, hunting and animal sacrifice fell to warriors, hunters and priests. The blood shed in first intercourse, the monthly cycle and in childbirth fell to wives and midwives. The two bloods were never to mix or even to be present in the same space. Women did not participate in war, the hunt, and in ritual sacrifices, and they were isolated during menses. Likewise, men were not present at the circumcision of females or in the birthing hut.

The mixing of life-giving substances with the blood shed in killing was absolutely forbidden among the Afro-Asiatics. This is why the Israelites were commanded never to boil a young goat it its mother’s milk. It also places into context the Judeo-Christian teaching against abortion, which mixes birth blood with killing blood, thus perverting the binary distinction between male and female to a point of desecration.

It is also significant that among tribal peoples, brotherhood pacts are formed by the intentional mixing of bloods between two men, but never between male and female. The binary distinctions of male and female are maintained as part of the sacred tradition.

Early man had an intuitive anxiety about blood. We see this in the belief that the blood of Abel cries to God from the ground (Gen. 4:10). Anxiety about the shedding of blood is universal and very old. The Priesthood, verifiably one of the oldest known religious institutions, likely came into existence the first day that blood was shed and the individual and the community sought relief of blood anxiety and guilt.

Related reading:  Blood and Binary Distinctions; Blood Guilt and Christ's Priesthood; Why Women Were Never Priests; Ethical Concerns of Archaic Communities; Water and Blood