Our Trauma and Reactions to Certain Faith Groups

Catholics are accused of worshipping Mary.

Evangelicals are accused of worshipping the Bible.

Both are, perhaps, overreactive statements.

Lodging these accusations are a way of getting at the group whom we oppose. (And this is true not just with religious-faith groups.)

While there is the veneration of Mary by Catholics, and the veneration of Scripture by Evangelicals, I would offer that that is different from actual worship. I’ve not yet met Catholics or Evangelicals who worship the person or thing of which they have been accused. But, it does provide a way to win an argument, if that is what one is looking to do.

Here is something I have learned over the years.

As we try to antagonize “the other,” i.e., getting at Catholics or Evangelicals, many times it’s out of our deep woundedness, out of our trauma, even. That has been true of my own story. We react in hurtful ways toward those we feel have wounded us. So, our threat response leads us to get back at that group. Again, been there, done that.

We undoubtedly have a lot of healing to undergo. And that takes time. But even the awareness of our wounds, and that those wounds are driving much of our reactions, is a great first step.

We also have a lot of listening that needs to take place – listening to God, our own heart, and to the other. These are also part of the recovery journey.

May God grant us the grace to walk the path of our own recovery.

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