2016: The Year of the Scapegoat

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Protestant Perspectives, Reflections 8784 Comments

Regardless of our politics, surely we can agree that 2016 was a brutal year.   What made it so ugly were the steady expressions of hatred against every imaginable group  – African Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, Middle-Eastern refugees, Asians, LGBTQs – and a litany of others.  It is not an exaggeration to brand 2016 as “The Year of the Scapegoat.”   We use here theologian René Girard’s definition of scapegoating: “the strange process through which two or more people are reconciled at the expense of a third party or who appears responsible for whatever ails, disturbs, or frightens the scapegoats.”