Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Iraqi Christians - Convenient Scapegoats

"And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other." -- Luke 23,12

A postulate of mimetic theory is that during moments of contagious social and/or psychological turmoil, groups will endeavor to find a scapegoat. How come? It is because someone that we can both agree upon to be source of the disturbance is the "lowest common denominator," so to speak, upon which we can both agree. It doesn't even need to be true.

Scapegoats are notoriously decided upon, at times, for ridiculously childish reasons. A humped back. A particular hue of skin color. An "evil eye." René Girard has more than proven in the realm of world literature in general and the anthropological data in particular that such selection comes with one more essential characteristic. The scapegoat needs to have no one to support him or her. Hence, the old woman who lived just beyond the edge of the village, should a drought occur or a child or two die, would be in grave danger of being perceived as a ... what? WHAT did you just think!? Now, how did you know that? Who taught you? How did that enter your mind? The work of the Paraklete (Holy Spirit) IS at work, isn't it?

So it should come as no surprise that a Vatican personage recently observed that Christians in Iraq were actually safer during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein than during the present mayhem of "democracy" ( ...... ___ ) in Iraq. Again, how come? I think you know already.

The Iraqi sunni and shiai in their centuries-old feud, once circumvented by Saddam's tyrannical iron-fist, now are in a sacrificial melt-down of catastrophic proportion. What small underclass of people in Iraq are (now) unprotected, different, and sitting ducks? As my students say, who in Iraq hear absolutely no one saying, "I got your back"?

Iraqi Christians, "paradoxically, were more protected under the dictatorship," said French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who will become head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Sept. 1. The entire article concerning his comments may be viewed here.

Please see our sidebar subcategory "Mimetic Theory & René Girard" for many excellent resources in understanding more clearly the global crisis in which all persons now struggle.

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