Friday, June 26, 2009

A Goat For Azazel

If we modern-day men slew an occasional goat, would we feel better about ourselves and the condition of our lives? Did the act of casting a goat off of a cliff those eons ago actually wipe men's hard drives clean and cleanse their psyche? If so, perhaps we ought to create a new holiday here in America: National Scapegoating Day. It would, naturally, be another excuse-to-drink holiday that we love to celebrate here.

In all of those historic, mythical-searching strands of time, there was apparently a 'need' to periodically purge oneself of both guilt and fear, especially fear of the unknown, the unseen, and the spirits that haunted both the world and underworld.

Psychologists have recently begun to talk about memes- a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Wikipedia notes this about memes: Theorists point out that memes which replicate the most effectively spread best, and some memes may replicate effectively even when they prove detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.

Do men pass on the goat-meme to their sons? Have men, in fact, been crippling future generations for Milena by passing down a meme that has proven detrimental to the welfare of their hosts?

So why do modern-day American men need to purge? Surely we are no longer afraid of demons and devils from the netherworld. Nor evil spirits. And, as science daily unravels for us the 'mysteries' of life for us, surely we modern men are less afraid of those once-esoteric, cryptic mysteries. The Boogieman is no longer in our closets.

It seems to me that American men are an angry lot and growing ever-more-so. This economic crisis, as the newspapers report, has brought about even more family and spousal abuse cases. Shelters are overflowing. Men are shooting people more and more these days- another of those detrimental to the welfare of their hosts memes that rampantly festers like salmonella in the summer heat.

Some Christians believe that they have discovered a man, 'a pure suffering one,' who would be sacrificed to rescue mankind from its fear and hopelessness, one who would release them from the anger of the Father by taking that anger upon himself, one who would offer an example to lead human minds into a new truth, a new attitude about the world and their place within it. He would be an example to show how they could relate to one another on a higher moral level, with love and compassion.

The 'anger of the Father' is a curious line. Of course, Bible-ists think that it refers to the mysterious and mystical Man in the Sky. Yet, might this peculiar reference to the anger of the Father connote something altogether more closely related, literally? Why should a loving, good and gracious God have 'anger' as one of His component characteristics? Coincidentally, the History Channel has been advertising a program to be aired this Monday evening titled, Banned from the Bible- a list of books that were too angry, too violent to be included in that book.

War-mongering, fear, hate, bigotry and abuse have characterized the human male ever since records have been kept. The Jesus-as-scapegoat concept hasn't ameliorated the psyche of the American male too very much as our recent history denotes. That' s why I'm suggesting a yearly, perhaps monthly, goat-over-the-cliff ritual for men. A soul cleansing event for and by men, accompanied, naturally, by ritual fire, music, dance and intoxicants. Each town, city and village all across America could build its own special and unique goat-scaping arena, not unlike the sports stadiums of today or the purifying temples of yesteryear.

It becomes more clear each day that American men are not behaving less barbarically than those men written of in the Bible or in history books. American men, and those soaked in the Bible, still cannot keep their pants zipped, are still seen with nooses in their hands, or guns, or clubs. Still have reddened hands from beating their children or wives. Whether politician, preacher, or family man, the reports of men acting in barbaric ways towards others continue to cross the airwaves and the newspapers of America. Men in this 'Christian nation' reflect the same savagery and wild, primitive behaviors that men have always demonstrated.

The Christ-as-scapegoat story has become blase, meaningless and hollow. Some Jewish insurgent, put to death by the Imperial Roman occupiers, doesn't seem to satisfy the modern American male, to satiate his inborn meme that desires retributional sacrifice.

Real goats. Monthly slaughter. Ritual accompanied by fire and chanting, may be a cure for the angry American male.

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