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It's time to unify the sheep and the goats

Posted June 28

When did goats become cool?

When I was a kid, the guy who messed up was called a “goat.”

Goats were garbage guts that ate tin cans.

Satan, for heaven’s sake, was often pictured as a goat.

But now goats are in, and I think that’s a good thing.

In the Bible, lambs and sheep are loved. They “feed in green pastures” and follow the Good Shepherd. Now goats are getting the same kind of hugs.

My grandson, Lincoln, loves the things. He likes their weary eyes and weird ears. He likes the way they stand around in trees (just loop up “goats in trees” on the internet). He thinks the famous screaming goat is a real scream. His birthday is Monday, so I got him a plastic screaming goat.

But it’s not just Lincoln. Everyone’s getting into it.

The other night, I went to the film “Beatriz at Dinner.” It’s about a woman who keeps goats as pets. By the end of the movie, the audience loves the critters as much as she does.

Not long ago, I was in a shop that sells photos of baby goats. You’re supposed to pull the photo from your wallet and say, “Want to see a picture of my kids?”

My brother Val spent half a day combing Honolulu for goats because his daughter wanted to take one to school.

Goats are the new cocker spaniels.

And, as I said, I think that’s a good thing.

We’ve spent too many years trying to separate the sheep from the goats. Goats were always seen as unworthy, unfaithful. They had to go to the left with the other losers. No goats allowed in heaven, thank you.

For centuries, Christians have seen themselves as the sheep and the infidels as goats. Countries even play into that. Nations feel chosen (like the sheep), not cast aside (like the goats).

We do the same in relationships. I’m blessed so I must be sheep. You're not, so you must be a goat.

But I figure if we’re finally getting past the stereotypes associated with goats and finally letting them off the hook, maybe we can do the same for the human beings in our lives.

It’s time to unify the sheep and the goats, not separate them.

Lambs lying down with lions would be a real miracle.

But lambs lying down with goats? That may be doable.

And in time, who knows? Youngsters in our neighborhood may even stop seeing me as that “old goat” up the street who's never home.

At least until I begin standing around in trees and screaming.

Email: jerjohn@deseretnews.com

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