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Reader's view: Challenges to religion threaten insecure people

This is in response to the April 22 letter, “Letter writer should not mock God and His believers.”

It has been written a warrior views everything as a challenge whereas a “normal” person views everything as either a blessing or a curse. Using this description, a “normal” person sees everything as either positive or negative, black or white. Information challenging one’s belief system is viewed as either supporting that system or threatening it.

This is where problems begin with people whose self-image depends on their spiritual belief system. Any statement that doesn’t support or agree with a person’s belief, be it fact or opinion, is viewed as a threat and guarantees a negative response. The greater the perceived threat, the more negative the response.

When a differing fact or opinion is viewed as a threat, it’s often taken as criticism. If it were seen as a challenge, the emotional response would be different.

When a person is sensitive to criticism, the response to any perceived threat is to feel put down. Criticism is taken personally. “Someone is mocking my belief; therefore, they are responsible for my emotional responses and I can blame them. It’s not my fault I feel this way. It’s someone else’s fault, and they need to change, not me.”

All time and energy are spent trying to change others rather than changing the only person who actually can be changed. The angry response is an attempt to change or control others by someone who doesn’t think they need to change or control themselves.

It’s this angry response to what is merely a challenge that’s typical of an insecure person. Underlying the anger is fear.

It also has been written it’s gratifying to be cured of an affliction but terrifying to have one’s crutch threatened. Challenging statements, like the one in question, threatens insecure people’s crutches, or belief systems.

Gary Burt