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That’s the question so many want to know the answer to.  Who’s to blame for the rise of Trump? Who’s to blame for the rise of Sanders?  Who’s to blame for the failure of the Democrat and Republican parties’ establishments to close the deal?  Who’s to blame for the ineffectiveness of government when it comes to…well, most things.

Who’s to blame for the decline in church membership and attendance?  Who’s to blame for the rise of fundamentalism?  Who’s to blame for the compromise of church to culture?  Who’s to blame for the church sounding more like a political party than a church?

Who’s to blame for…

It really doesn’t matter what the subject is (the list above could have gone on for many more paragraphs), or even your own slant on it – we’re looking for someone to blame for whatever actual or perceived problems exist in the world.  We want answers – no, we demand answers, damn it!  Who’s to blame?

We love scapegoats.  We can shove all of our sins onto them, and send them out of the community, culture and nation into the wilderness and die.  All the while, we feel better about ourselves that we’ve solved the problem and sent the sin away.  Look at how good we are!

The problem with scapegoating is that we haven’t changed one bit.  We’ve just lied to ourselves.  We said the problem lies “out there” or “with them,” whoever “them” happens to be at the time.  “Those idiots, don’t they know?”  It’s only a matter of time before we need another scapegoat to sacrifice.

God forbid we look at ourselves as the problem or the ones to blame.  That would be uncomfortable now wouldn’t it?  That would mean we’d have to do some serious self-examination and probably have to change something about ourselves.  Actually, it would start with something even more difficult, acknowledging that we really don’t know and we aren’t really in control.  And we never have been.  That’s a scary proposition for most people.