Friday, December 29, 2006

The Scapegoat

Today, I will take you into a flight of unserious and pointless (though amusing) word-association, something that makes sense only if you lend credence to a link between ancient ritual and modern practice.

In Christianity, one of the names for Jesus is the Lamb of God. This is a reference to the yearly rite the ancient Israelites were supposed to practice to purge Israel of its sins. A lamb, pure and without defect, was sacrificed to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. Then the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies (an inner part of the Temple where even he was not allowed on any other day for any other purpose), and do something that would somehow get God to forgive His People. Jesus death on the cross is supposed to be the reality that the yearly sacrifice of the lamb was meant to symbolize. I'd provide references, but I just don't feel like it. :p

Many people refer to The Lamb without realizing there is a second animal involved in the ritual: a goat. A goat was chosen, and the sins of Israel were metaphorically placed upon this goat. This goat was then driven out into the wilderness, and called the "escaped goat" or "scapegoat." If Jesus is the Lamb of God, who, then, is the Scapegoat of God? Some people answer "Satan," but who the hell is Satan? Where is he? Is he here? Is he there? Is he anywhere? Jesus was a man, who came, went, and--some say--came again. He is an identifiable historical figure, and his followers, who sometimes refer to their brotherhood as "the body of Christ," are here with us today. "Satan" is nothing but a mythical figure who shows up in some stories that are so ancient we can hardly lend them literal credence. He certainly didn't show up in the New Testament, except possibly when Jesus went wandering in the desert. He simply isn't historical enough to be placed on the same field as Jesus. So who is the Scapegoat?

Irony of ironies: Who is identified by every conspiracy theorist who posits an identity to "Them?" When "They" are the cause of all the woes in the world, who are "They" in the rare instance a conspiracy theorist attempts to put a name beyond some faceless mass like "The Government?" We all know who they are: The Jews.

Irony of ironies: Judeism and Christianity came to the Temple together. First, Jesus was killed. Shortly afterward, the Jews were driven from Judea, and the temple destroyed, by the Romans. Or perhaps: First, the Lamb was sacrificed. Shortly afterward, the Scapegoat was driven out into the wilderness. People have been blaming and persecuting The Jews for everything ever since--the Ultimate Scapegoat.

Probably not much to this. I thought it up about ten minutes ago, found it amusing, and decided to post it. I accept no responsibility for idiots who find this an excuse to persecute their fellow man, Jew or otherwise.

Oh, and if you take this seriously, realize one thing. The yearly lamb, when sacrificed, was dead. Those lambs did not come back to life. The Lamb, however, did, according to the story, anyway. If the Lamb that was sacrificed can rise again, perhaps there will come a day when The Scapegoat will no longer be held guilty of the world's sins.

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