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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Shared Blame Game

Photo by Chance Agrella
The Shared Blame Game is a new-age psycho babble method for alleviating the guilty of taking full responsibility and accountability for their behavior by putting the blame for their choices on the heads of their victims.

The following is a real-life example.

A married woman who desperately wanted children finally gets pregnant and carries the child to term. Her joy is full, her hormones are fluctuating as is common with all new mothers, and her precious little newborn baby requires a great deal of time and attention: as all newborn babies do.

Meanwhile, dad decides he isn't getting enough of mom's time and attention. At this point he has a decision to make: what will he do about it?

Does he talk to her about his feelings?
Does he understand the situation and help out with the baby so mom is freed up to spend more time with him?
Does he help out in caring for the baby he helped to create, thus getting more time with mom and freeing her up for more time for herself and with him alone?
Does he seek counseling alone or with her to help them get through this?

Nope. Instead he had an affair. Then he tells his wife it was her fault because she didn't give him enough attention and was too wrapped up in the newborn baby.

Mom then agrees with him, and forever more takes the blame for the decision he made to cheat on her.

Am I the only one who sees something seriously wrong with this picture?

Let's put this in another context. Since sexual sins are second only to the sin of murder, let's use an example of murder.

A woman walks home in the broad daylight. 20 feet from her home, a serial killer pulls her into the bushes and murders her.

According to shared blame, it was her fault he murdered her because if she had not walked to her own home that particular day at that particular time, he would not have murdered her.

This shared blame tactic is one of many sneaky and insidious tactics in the adversary's arsenal to lead us astray, and undermine all that is true and correct. It makes a mockery of the sacred gifts of agency and of the atonement.

Agency was given to us as a divine right and responsibility to use wisely. When we misuse it, we have the Atonement to alleviate the burden of our sins from us. It is not the duty of any mortal to take the burden of our sins upon themselves. That is blasphemous at the very least to presume such a thing is appropriate or correct.

We cannot ever MAKE someone do something. People always have a choice. Even with a gun to their heads, people STILL have choice. There are always options; and it is up to US and ONLY US to make the right ones.

Blaming those we have hurt, betrayed, and sinned against for our choices of agency is wrong on so many levels. . .and sinful.

Taking the blame upon ourselves for the choices of others is enabling further bad behavior from them; co-dependent behavior; sinful; and blasphemous.

The only exception to this would be best recognized by the Savior and Heavenly Father. . .and that would be those rare occasions when someone is completely incapable of making a sound decision due to mental health issues, dementia, abuse/brainwashing, age, etc.

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