It is easy for groups of people, rattled and nervous, to find an individual, or groups of individuals, to blame for their collective discomfort. To label them, mock them, and send them out into the wilderness. Especially when not sending them would mean shaking or rebuilding the entire foundation of one's belief systems.
I read a very, very smart blog post on scapegoating today that resonated deeply with me, especially in the aftermath of the Circle of Moms disaster and the ensuing blaming and entitlement. Not that the wise critique and analysis couldn't apply equally well to other "discussions" I've had with people who like to tell me that my life, as I've experienced it, just couldn't have been experienced that way. There's no data! I made it up! I am hysterical! Newborn babies cannot tell who their mothers are! (Sorry, I had to throw that last one in there.) I appreciated the reminder, how in the end of the Biblical story, wandering in the wilderness, the goat was able to shake off all the burdens and walk free. It turned out well, after all the suffering. At least it didn't get its throat slit. Good on you, Goat.
I am linking to the smart post, over at What a Shrink Thinks. Have a read, and let me know what you think. Sheep need not apply. Just kidding! Sort of. I don't mean to hurt sheep feelings, but...
And in honor of Tim Clark's new appreciation of the Pre-Raphaelites, here's William Holman Hunt's odd and creepy 1854 painting, "The Scapegoat."It being a Pre-Raphaelite painting and all, an the way those men were obsessed with painting from life, I am certain that goat was spoiled!