When we encounter wolves dressed in religious attire, our response should be to get away from them. Had Little Red Riding Hood acted on her intuition before it was too late, she could have escaped death. Many people have been hurt by religious leaders, and for some, the encounter cost them their faith. I’m not saying they were eternally doomed, but the religious path they had been traveling was abruptly halted, and for some, that cessation lasted for years.
Step Nine talks about forgiving ourselves for any harm we may have caused even if our intentions were good. The same grace is extended to those who harmed us in the name of religion even if their intentions were also good. What about those who harmed us without concern to our well-being?
The same forgiveness and grace must also be extended to the wolves cloaked in religious attire. Those who would devour us without a hint of remorse. Why must we extend love, grace, and forgiveness? Not for their sake, but for ours. We are the ones who stand to lose. If we are to survive the abuses of self-centered and evil religious individuals, we will one day have to let go of our grievances and replace them with loving acceptance, forgiveness, and grace. The only way to escape the wolf is to not allow the wolf to consume and overtake us. We do this by not giving in to hatred, bitterness, and the deceit that is the wolf.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.