I was going to write a post very much like the one that Peter Friedrichs shared yesterday. One in which I bemoaned the barrage of outrage from all sides of the political spectrum: “President Obama thinks that small business owners don’t actually accomplish anything by their own hands!” “Republican lawmakers swam naked in the sea of Galilee!” Surely people on all sides of the political spectrum can find real and substantive differences to argue about rather than hollering “OMG! OMG!” about the latest manufactured crisis or media-hyped “gaffe.” Surely there is a way for people to discuss genuine differences in a way that allows people to vote for a vision of the future that inspires them.
All the manufactured outrage keeps us from treating one another with respect, and prevents our listening for both our genuine differences and our genuine commonalities. But it also does something else. It makes it harder to determine when something really, genuinely is outrageous. As much as I hate the media pouncing on a single sentence or paragraph casually uttered by a politician (let alone the deliberate spin of what a politician says), some too-frank utterances provide insight into genuinely outrageous beliefs that are more often sugar-coated.
My religion affirms “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” To write into law the notion that women not only don’t have the right to control their own bodies but, worse yet, don’t have the ability to understand and articulate their own experience, is, in fact, an outrage, and an offense against my core beliefs. It isn’t just a gaffe, it’s a world view, a world view that conservatives have built into the party platform. So this time, yes, I am outraged.