From Mark Laynesmith, Anglican Chaplain:
So, ex-dictator Colonel Gadhafi is pulled from a storm drain and within a few hours is killed and his body becomes a gruesome tourist attraction in a refrigerated meal locker…
I for one was disappointed that this was his end. Among the various reasons (western liberal squeamishness among them) is this: origins are significant.
As Libya is ‘born again’ it seems to me it would have been far better for this new society to have begun in a way that marked a departure from the past, rather than perpetuate the old regime’s history of execution and brutality.
Sigmund Freud would have reminded us that there is something primal and archaic about the practice of founding a new society on a murder. Again and again groups of humans scapegoat and kill some kind of symbolic ‘father figure’, thereby imagining that they can absolve their societies of their tensions and unfairnesses by blaming them on the victim.
The scapegoat myth only works for a while. Soon Libya will have to deal (as we all do) with the ‘sins’ we all share. After all: not all Libyan injustices can be blamed on one man – there were millions of Libyan who kept the system running.
I am reminded of the murder of Christ. His murderers perhaps imagined they could project their social problems on to him and remove them.
And yet the Christian story says that he comes back with the message that they must learn to create a new society based on the confession of sins and mutual forgiveness.