The Scapegoating Pandemic - Introduction
From The Caring Heart with Dr. Joyce from Spokane Washington

A series devoted to WHAT scapegoating is, HOW it works, and WHO it hurts.

“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword:
But the tongue of the wise is health.” (Proverbs 12:18)

“But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness,” (Lev. 16:10)

What is a scapegoat?  The word and its meaning first appeared in the Bible’s Old Testament.  As the story goes, the ancient Hebrews strongly felt the need to “get right” with their God.  They believed they had a mountain’s worth of transgressions, and wanted atonement, or forgiveness.  So, they chose an innocent, defenseless goat to be the scapegoat.  They piled all their mountain of transgressions on the poor goat, spiritually speaking, and drove the goat out into the wilderness to slowly and agonizingly die of starvation.   Therefore. the Hebrews felt “cleansed.”  The scapegoat paid the punishment for their sins, the goat did the awful suffering.  So the Hebrews didn’t have to.  They got off the hook (-in their minds, at least.  I have no idea how the loving creator God could be pleased with such horrific animal abuse.)

So now, the word “scapegoat” applies to any individual human or animal person, or any group, who is made to take the blame for others, or to suffer in their place.  The individual scapegoat receives undeserved negative, harmful treatment or blame.  The perpetrator, the one causing the scapegoating, receives some kind of a psychological boost.  He or she “feels better” after causing someone else painful harm.  Other terms with similar meanings include bullying, battering, abusing, neglecting, rejecting, ostracizing, abandoning, teasing, shaming, putting down, and so forth.  I’m sure you get the idea. 

What does pandemic mean?  A pandemic refers to the widespread, universal, global prevalence of a disease process.  Although scapegoating is not caused by bacteria or a virus, it is a disease.  It is a serious disease of the personality, the mind, the emotions, the spirit, and the behavior.  Scapegoating is going on all the time, between countries, between cultural groups. and between individuals and has been for many thousands of years.  It takes place at work places, at schools, in families, and virtually anywhere people get together.  Animals are very subject to being cruelly scapegoated, especially because they usually are in a vulnerable situation and can’t defend themselves.

Recently, I watched a two-hour documentary on TV about bullying at schools, which is a grave problem.   The harm done to young students by their classmates is incalculable.  One young fellow couldn’t take it anymore, and hung himself in his closet at home.  Glynis Sherwood, a Vancouver counselor, emphasized that scapegoating is ”a painful experience of betrayal and cruelty for the victim.”

IN THIS SERIES, I WILL ENDEAVOR TO DESCRIBE MANY OF THE ASPECTS, OR FACES OF SCAPEGOATING, INCLUDING WHAT CAUSES SCAPEGOATING, WHAT SCAPEGOATING PERPETRATORS ARE LIKE, WHO THE VICTIMS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE GENERALLY LIKE, WHAT KINDS OF DAMAGES SCAPEGOATING CAUSES, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE PROBLEM. 

I sincerely hope my efforts will be helpful to many, especially our precious, beloved animals.  It seems to me, that in order to help protect the animals, we need to focus heavily upon helping humans be kind, and more empathetic and compassionate.  Excluding catastrophic acts of nature, and the killing by animal predators, humans really are the cruelest predators, not only to the fish, the mammals, and the birds, but to one another. 

Copyright 2015 The Caring Heart

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