7/19 Flashback: Upsetting

7/19 Flashback: Upsetting July 19, 2022

From July 19, 2012, “When a lack of anger reveals a lack of love“:

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You got kids? If not, how about a kid sister or a kid brother? No? Then how about a dog, you got a dog? Or a cat? A spouse? Everybody loves someone or something. I’m going to go with kids here, but if you don’t have kids, just think of your little sister or your cat or whoever it is you love.

Say you see somebody hurting your kids — deliberately, cruelly inflicting harm on them. That will make you angry. Such anger is right and proper and just. You will be angry because you love your kids, and that anger and that love will compel you to act on their behalf — to stop this cruel somebody from harming them.

Now, if you saw this happening and you did not get angry or try to put a stop to this cruelty, what do you suppose the rest of us would think? We wouldn’t be congratulating you on your saintly calm demeanor. Nor would we be admiring you as an exemplar of Christian civility.

No, we would be angry with you over your lack of anger. Then, after we acted in your stead to stop the harm being done to your kids, that anger would compel us to confront you with your evident lack of love for your own children.

None of this changes when the victims of this cruel, deliberate harm are someone other than your blood relations.

I bring all this up, of course, because yesterday’s posts here were a bit on the angry side. If my comments on Bryan Fischer or Douglas Wilson came across as angry, that’s because I am angry. Furious, actually. Livid.

These men are saying hateful, harmful things. Yes, in a sense, they are expressing “opinions contrary to my own,” but that is not all they are doing, and those differences of opinion are not the problem here.

The problem is not that Bryan Fischer and I have a difference of opinion over whether or not gay men deserve to die. The problem is that Bryan Fischer says that gay men deserve to die, that his saying this is hurtful and harmful, that his full time job consists of convincing others to believe and to say such hurtful and harmful things, and, most importantly, that he’s a blaspheming lobbyist for an influential political faction shaping policy such that it will tangibly, actually and physically harm, injure, oppress, deprive, disenfranchise, discriminate against and terrorize LGBT people.

Bryan Fischer is doing harm. He’s hurting people. He has victims — real, actual victims.

That ought to make us angry. And that anger ought to compel us to act and to speak up on behalf of those he is harming. If it doesn’t — if we do not get angry and therefore act — we dare not make any claim to love those victims. If Bryan Fischer’s words and political actions do not make us angry, then the best we can say for ourselves is that we hate his victims marginally less than he does.

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See earlier: “Love. Or the lack of it.” and “That’s my secret, Captain.” The former is about Fred Rogers and the latter is about Benjamin Ferencz, two of the angriest men who ever lived.


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