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The Practice of Scapegoating

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When a crisis appears, it is common practice to not only blame, but also punish someone for a malefaction committed by another. No matter the circumstance, it will not be the last occurrence. The practice of scapegoating has followed humankind since its creation in biblical times. When a guiltless party is blamed for a misdeed, the religious practice of scapegoating has been adopted, whether it is for social, political, or medical reasons.
The term of “scapegoat” first appears in the Christian Bible in Levictus, Chapter 16. The original meaning was a goat that took upon the sins of the people and is then sent into the wilderness on Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. William Tyndale invented the word in 1530 in his translation of the Bible. He translated the Hebrew word, “Azazel” to “ez azel”, meaning, “goat escapes” “A scapegoat has to be innocent of causing the events, behavior or situations for which he or she is being blamed” (Douglas 55).
As the term derived, a scapegoat, no longer had to be a goat; it could also be a person. In Ancient Greece, human scapegoats were used to alleviate a plague or some other sickness. During the Roman feast, Lupercalla, priests cut thongs from sacrificial animals, raced around the walls of the Palestine city, striking women, believing this would cure sterility. An early Roman law stated that an innocent person might take upon himself the penalty of another who had confessed to a crime. In Christianity, it is believed that Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind (Das).
During the Black Death of 1348-1350, an illness that killed 75 to 200 million Europeans, people, called Flaggents, toured the country. The Flaggents believed that this plague occurred due to the sins of mankind an...

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