Whitman Massacre Analysis

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Facing the continuing decline of their population Native Americans called upon neighboring missionaries to aid them. This turning away from traditions was an added challenge to medicine men and traditional culture. Native Americans understood that European medicine came with the expectation of an earnest study of Christianity. Missionaries initially welcomed the desperate natives who were willing to study whichever religion in exchange for medical aid. In Oregon, the Whitman massacre is one example of the failure of European medicine and the desperate response of the Cayuses. “As both a physician and missionary, the Cayuses held Marcus Whitman accountable for the deaths of his patients, especially since they suspected him of spiritual Malpractice.” …show more content…
The findings of Kari O’Grady about traumatic events and how victims’ spirituality is affected reinforce the Cherokee response to the New Madrid earthquakes as well as the renewal of the Catholic faith after the Great Lisbon disaster of 1755. O’Grady’s collaborative article "Resilience Processes During Cosmology Episodes: Lessons Learned from the Haiti Earthquake," with James Orton, in the Journal Of Psychology & Theology discusses the influence of traumatic events on victims’ psychological and spiritual influences and the need for cross-specialty study. They compared their findings to that of a study done on the Mann Gulch Smokejumpers to gain perspective on human reaction during and directly after a life threatening event. When examining the 1993 flooding in the Midwestern United States, they also found that pre-existing religious connections influenced coping mechanisms in much the same way. O’Grady postulates that “these findings illustrate the interplay of the religious resources, beliefs, and practices… with religious attribution and coping….” Extending this link to resource situations allows the further connection between lack of resources and an increase in religiosity and conversion of the victim population. (O’Grady

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