The goat you scape may be your own. Suzanne Ross, The Raven Foundation
Just yesterday, some NAACP members booed Mitt Romney during his speech to them. And then some Republicans accordingly vilified the NAACP for their rude behavior. Earlier in the day, Democrats vilified Republicans for attempting to repeal The Affordable Care Act for the 33rd time. But Republicans filed this repeal once again because they blame Obama and “Obama Care” for many current and future woes.
We scapegoat each other.
Especially in this election, we will endlessly hear that electing Obama again will Ruin Our Country. Or electing Romney will Ruin Our Country.
We blame that one parishioner for making our lives miserable. And, God knows, pastors are often blamed for everything from lower attendance numbers to budget deficits to random program deficiencies.
A coach gets scapegoated for a losing season. Immigrants are scapegoated for local crime. Older generations are blamed for bringing younger generations down. Younger generations are scapegoated for destroying everything.
Liberal Christians get scapegoated for “people leaving the denomination.” And so are Conservative Christians. I’m weary of it.
We can’t get through a single day without blaming other people for the troubles of the world – personally, professionally, politically, and globally. Although I am new to the ideas of mimetic theory, it’s intriguing to consider how we mimic the behavior we see in others, even if that behavior repulses – or at least frustrates – us.
We blame others for the very things we do.
We criticize others for characteristics we share with them.
We demonize people for taking a fanatical stance, when we take similar stances in the other direction.
And all this leads to violence, brokenness, and devolvement.
I believe it is quite possible for people of opposing beliefs to be the church together. It’s exhausting, labor intensive, and supremely frustrating. But I agree with Brian McLaren’s premise here:
Why did Jesus cross the road? To get to the other.
The goat we scape may not only be our own. That goat is a part of us. Does this make sense?