The Secret to (political) Success is Knowing Who to Blame?
The Old Testament concept of the scapegoat adds depth to an understanding of what is happening when a group is scapegoated today. Scapegoating is the currency of blamecasting and contributes significantly to politicized polarization of groups. (Whatever the group being scapegoated may be). Stereotyping and grand, sweeping generalizations contribute to a uniform perception, and easy manipulation of opinion and action.
You can find passages about the scapegoat in Leviticus xvi. 20-22,26
I've included here a description from "The Tabernable: The Priesthood and The Offerings" by Henry W. Soltau.
After the assembly of Israel heard their sins confessed, and saw them 'transferred' by Aaron the priest to the head of the goat "next saw that goat sent away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. The victim with its load of iniquities disappeard from their sight."
'And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities to a land not inhabited:...It was a victim dismissed into the wilderness, into a land uninhabited, a land of separation, where it would perish with the fearful load which had been laid upon it. It could never return, and therefore the iniquities laid upon its head would never reappear. The goat was banished into a place of utter desolation, where no sound of life could reach its ear, and where it could find no green pasture or still waters to sustain life: it was consigned to a waste howling desert, a place of darkness and death. The people must have had confidence in the hand of him who let go the goat for the scapegoat, that he would provide against its ever returning. "
What a contrast is this well-known and oft-told (but perhaps not oft-exemplified) story of the humility of a well-known Christian:
In the early part of the 20th century, the London Times asked the question, "What's Wrong With the World?" Christian author G. K. Chesterton wrote this brief reply:
G. K. Chesterton
Posted by Sherrie Gossett at 3:41 AM