Saturday, March 31, 2018

End of Scapegoating an Easter Message

A well dressed middle aged women shopping in a clothing department of a large department store, waved her fist in front of the face of an employee and finally struck her on the cheek. The employee holds her cheek while the woman customer continues raising her voice and her behavior getting worse. This kind of behavior is given a new word in Korean called "Gap" behavior.  In a diocesan bulletin, the writer tells the readers of how this behavior is far from rare.

'Gap' is a term used in contracts in which the employer is 'Gap' and the employee is 'Eul'. 'Gap' describes the behavior of those who in a superior position treat people below them in a mean way. A famous example of this was an executive of an airline who was on board a plane in first class and ordered the captain of the plane to head back to the gate because she was upset with the way the flight attendant treated her.

The numbers of these kinds of incidents are many: acting arrogantly with others who are in a lower social position, economic situation, or power. The continuing #me too movement calling out the sexual harassment and violence that are newsworthy events these days is a form of assault by the 'Gaps' in society.

Those who have suffered under the 'Gaps' often feel great contempt, shame, doubt about their worth and at times bring about death from their own hands. This kind of 'Gap' behavior is a killing of the personality. A problem is that it's not only the lack of virtue on the part of the 'Gap' but also the social structures that allow this to happen.

We celebrate tonite the Easter Vigil and the death and resurrection of Jesus who suffered at the hands of the 'Gaps' of the world of his time. Jesus was their scapegoat for all the evils they saw and felt better for it at the expense of truth and honesty. We deceive ourselves rather easily, for often we fear the truth.  Christians, readily see the irony of the death of Jesus on the Cross.

This 'Gap' behavior is a deep-seated evil which we need to work to eradicate in every possible way. This was the attitude that Jesus showed us in being on the side of the weak and suffering. So what are we to do? We should look at our own behavior and check to see if we have acted like the 'Gaps' we excoriate and have the right to throw stones at the 'Gaps' of the world.

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