Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6T

Girard argued that his scapegoat formula gives a coherent reading of the New Testament.

Certainly, his formala gives new impetus to Jesus’ command to “turn the other cheek”.

For Girard, Jesus was a scapegoat, not a sacrifice.  Christians went wrong when they interpreted Jesus’ death as “sacrifice” (and thereby consciously identified themselves as the justifyingself “good”).  Interpretations of Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 9:26 often have this character.  But, Peters argued, not all interpretations do.

Peters concluded, in his typical chatty tone, that St. Paul’s characterization of Jesus as the “final sacrifice” and Girard’s characterization of Jesus as the “final scapegoat” are the same.

What does that mean?


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6S

By Peters’ accounting, Girard’s analysis starts when the Moral Breakdown truly begins.  That is, the Moral Breakdown arrives when a cultural crisis obliterates the stable social differences produced by punishing the “representatives of the Moral Breakdown”, that is, the scapegoats.

Does this mean that the Moral Breakdown is always postponed, even at the moment of its arrival, by changing the “type of person” who goes into the empty slot of “scapegoat”.

Let us say that some Christians have convinced enough people to admit that the Bureaucracies of Modern Law and Welfare are travesties.  Then the Bureau and its attendant outlets in the Conformist Progressive Media will blame these Christians for – well, any number of things – in order to show that these Christians embody the Moral Breakdown (it would not be happening if not for them).  Mob action ensues. The Christians become scapegoats.

Justificationself(“state of being”(“with Cupid”)) becomes:

“The nominal ‘missions’ of the Bureaucracies of Law and Welfare are identified as ‘good’ and the questioning by Christians ‘bad’ in a rhetoric of sacrifice(the state of joy that comes from mob action (while craving for respectability))”

Girard’s model suggests that the Moral Breakdown has been going on since the beginning.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6R

The drama of Modern Law and Welfare portrayed in the previous blog – not only parallels the Lord’s curse on the serpent, but – substitutes a “scapegoat” (the norm-deficient daughter of a welfare mother) for “the real thing” (the Spiral of Violence that would occur if the Bureaucracies of Modern Law and Welfare were both accepted for what they are: cruel failures of compassion and justice).

As long as the victim (the criminal child of a fatherless welfare family) is identified as the representative of a Moral Breakdown, the Moral Breakdown will be postponed.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6Q

Consider Modern Western Law and Welfare.

Modern welfare produces “children without fathers” in the effort to compassionately assist “mothers who have ‘lost’ their husbands”.  This effort embodies the rhetoric of “sacrifice”.

“Justificationself(concupiscence())” is “sacrifice to assist mothers(state of purchasing votes with taxpayer’s money(while craving to appear compassionate))”

Each child grows up not knowing how to generatively “modify her relation to her mothers and adopt the norms that come from relating to father” (ah, the shopworn Oedipus complex).  Instead, the modification comes when the child tries to make “friends” with her equally “Lord of the Flies” cohorts.  She adopts the norms of the Lord of the Flies.  She shoplifts.  She sells drugs.  She sells her body for drugs.

Enter the Law.  The Law is prepared to sacrifice this “victim” in the course of establishing order.

The “victim” settles out of court for a couple of years in jail.  The lawyers say that she owes a “debt” to “society” for her crimes.  But is she not rather a scapegoat – a substitute – for the real consequences of a failed policy of the Progressive central government?

Modern Law answers Modern Welfare with another nested form:

“Pay the debts for your crime, which contains a rhetoric of sacrifice (the state of shifting attention from the real consequences of a failed Progressive policy (while craving to appear to serve justice))”.

In this example, the Progressive government has exacted the livelihood of the other.

The Law – a product of a history of conscious awareness – strikes at the head of the criminal-victim-serpent while the Welfare-Serpent – a product of the history of unconscious cravings for an ideal world – strikes at the heel-weakness of the lawyers: their ability to use the law to shift attention from failed Sovereign policies and in doing so, appear to be serving justice.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6P

Weirdly, Girard’s ideas call to mind the story of the Fall envisioned in An Archaeology

God’s curse on the serpent fits Girard’s model of “scapegoat”: “Her seed” tracks the history of human conscious awareness and “the serpent’s seed” tracks the history of reified human unconscious desires.

The victim (who is sacrificed) substitutes for the guilty one, the one who strikes at the human’s heel; that is, the concupiscence that exploits human weakness.

The guilty one is the one who sacrifices the victim and in doing so, strikes at the head of the serpent’s seed; the concupiscence that exploits human weakness.

Humans (in justificationself) sacrifice a substitute in order to satiate humans (in concupiscence).

Does this “stem the spiral of concupiscent violence”?

Yes, by offering concupiscent cravings a scapegoat – a substitute – for the real thing.

No, when the spiral can no longer be contained.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6O

Scapegoating is another sign of justificationself.

Peters discussed the ideas of Rene Girard in this regard.

Girard’s Violence and the Sacred was published in 1977, 17 years before Peters book and 35 years before this blog entry.  Girard may be an important figure when it comes to understanding the nature of sin, so the next few blogs are devoted to Peters’ treatment of him.

Peters framed Girard’s ideas in this fashion:  Some regnant values in every society are concerned with preserving the peace and maintaining “social” order.  At the same time, concupiscence expresses a secret desire to steal the livelihood of others.  After all, cursing, ideology and hypocrisy all aim to steal the livelihood of others by permitting fear and loathing, self-serving “righteous” action, and crass deception.

In order to reconcile these two points, societies adopt a rhetoric of “sacrifice” (which sets the stage for “scapegoating”).  Sacrifice-scapegoating establishes “social” order.  Sacrifice-scapegoating suspends the tide of violence that concupiscence unleashes.  It does so by stealing the life of another, where the victim’s life serves as a substitute for the guilty one’s.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6L

Besides Contemporary Art, public cursing is another sign of justificationself.

The typical – spontaneous – curse indicates either “That hurt!” or “This is totally frustrating!”.  The spontaneous curse is completely situational and has nothing to do with justificationself.

The public expletive plays on the spontaneity of the curse, but it’s intent is to express a state of fear and loathing.  The expletive indicates a false hurt and a false frustration because – in the cursing – the speaker obtains pleasure.

Fear and loathing never felt so good.


Thoughts on Sin by Ted Peters (1994) Self-Justification 6K

This brings us to the righteous (justifiedself) rage (concupiscence()) that follows humiliation (an injury to one’s pride) and  opens the floodgates to violence (cathartic reduction of anxiety(faithUnChristian)).

In many ways, the individual examples that Peters mentioned are exceptions to the rule.  Typically, the ones most likely to exhibit righteous rage are certain that no-one will strike them back.

This is precisely why Progressives can act publically outraged at the moronicity of Christians for any affront.  Their righteous rage aims to humiliate Christians, who are stupid, superstitious, out-of-touch, sexually repressed, women suppressing, fearful of homosexuals, and … did anyone see that Broadway Hit: The Book of Mormon?  What about Angels in America?

Progressive Art beats the drum of righteous indignation all the time.  Walk into any Museum of Contemporary Art and pay your $20 to see million dollar artifacts of “justificationself(concupiscence())” as “my intent is to offend, because if you take offense, I have humiliated you(my state of being a Progressive artist(craving to rage against you, damn common Christian and capitalist fools)”.