I once said to a Jewish person – after they told me why they could not accept Christianity – that the reason Jews and Muslims hated each other so much is that they are so alike. I added that neither Jews nor Muslims “get” that Jesus is the Messiah, which is one big thing they have in common.
You can imagine my statement didn’t go over too well. And I think it is wildly simplistic. For instance, not all Jews and Muslims hate or even dislike each other. But still, on some level, we are all people and when we dislike someone else a lot, sometimes it’s arguably because we are projecting our own negative qualities onto them. At least, that’s the Jungian interpretation. The Swiss depth psychologist Carl Jung called it projecting the “shadow.”
Please do not think I am saying Christians are immune to this unsavory dynamic. Protestants and Catholics in Ireland’s recent history come to mind. And Christian organized criminals no doubt harm and kill one another as well.
I do think, however, that regardless of what religion one says they are – Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim… whatever – that some of the root causes of unnecessary violence and aggression are evil and a lack of self-awareness, along with a pinch of denial. Perhaps we could add to that excessive materialism, jealousy, greed, fear and not trusting in God.
What do you think?