Katelyn Beaty (who is a colleague of mine at Christianity Today) recently wrote an excellent editorial about our “hunger for outrage” on the internet – and the problems it causes.
Call it the tart deliciousness of moral outrage. From mayors’ sex scandals to pastors’ oddball comments to judges’ incoherent rulings, we are reminded 24/7 of the extent of human folly. If anything, a nonstop news cycle gives us nonstop proof that sin pervades every person and institution. In the words of G. K. Chesterton, original sin “is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved”—and tweeted, we might add. There is no shortage of reasons to be outraged.
When justice is dashed and human dignity is maimed, anger is our right response. But what we do with that anger is the line between wisdom and our own folly. Increasingly, it seems, many of us are using it to show our social media and blog followers that we are on the right side of contentious issues. Who knew that being offended tasted so good?
Katelyn goes on to wonder if our outrage may sometimes be rooted in our desire to appear more righteous than or feel superior to others. Ouch. Read the whole thing here.