BAAL WORSHIPERS…. During the holiday season, it’s not unusual to see news items focusing on cultural traditions, but leave it to WorldNetDaily, a far-right news website, to break new ground.

Matt Barber, the “director of Cultural Affairs” at one of the late Jerry Falwell’s operations, explored in a very strange piece the “ancient Canaanite practice of Baal worship,” which he described as pagan idolatry in Semitic Israel. The pillars of Baal worship, Barber argued, included “child sacrifice, sexual immorality (both heterosexual and homosexual) and pantheism (reverence of creation over the Creator),” which naturally led Barber to think of — you guessed it — U.S. political liberals. (thanks to reader N.B. for the tip)

Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants — men and women alike — would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”

The natural consequences of such behavior — pregnancy and childbirth — and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or — with child sacrifice available on demand — could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to “terminate” the unwanted child.

Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar. The worship of “fertility” has been replaced with worship of “reproductive freedom” or “choice.” Child sacrifice via burnt offering has been updated, ever so slightly, to become child sacrifice by way of abortion. The ritualistic promotion, practice and celebration of both heterosexual and homosexual immorality and promiscuity have been carefully whitewashed — yet wholeheartedly embraced — by the cults of radical feminism, militant “gay rights” and “comprehensive sex education.” And, the pantheistic worship of “mother earth” has been substituted — in name only — for radical environmentalism.

I’ve been a liberal for as long as I can remember, and I have to admit, I’ve never been compared to a Baal worshiper before.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.