Blaming people is as old as history. The poetic stories surrounding the creation account found in Judaeo/Christian writing shows the story of God asking Adam, “who ate the forbidden fruit?”
“It was the woman who you put here, it’s her fault!” (Man has blamed God or women for most of their issues since…I’m told ;-))
There is the ancient Hebrew story of sacrificial goats, one is killed and the blood poured on the other which is sent out to die in the wilderness, representing the taking away of blame and guilt of the people. This is where we get the term ‘scapegoat‘.
- Mobs and individuals have ‘scapegoated’, laid blame on, (not just) innocent people forever.
- Kids in the playgrounds gang up and bully the ‘looser’.
- Insecure bosses lay their ‘issues’ on a worker,
- Workers gang up and lay their blame on a peer.
- We often seek to blame and shame/scapegoat through gossip and criticism.
It’s feels easier than owning it, easier than dealing with our ‘shit’ – just lay it on someone else and I feel better…for a while. This happens in mobs from Egypt to Baghdad, it happens in workplaces from New York to Balcatta.
The cross of Christ was all about scapegoating, the Romans and Jews all had something to lay on him, but as it turns out, all of man-kind did. Violence seems to be our default position, this was exposed in the cross of Christ. “No more”…is what the cross says.
When we own our insecurities, when we discover the pointlessness of the ‘blame game’, the pointlessness of repeated violence, when we grow in awareness of our ‘murderous ways’ – then and only then do we really get along and get some serious living done!