Saturday, February 01, 2014

Blind Outrage

I don't get it.

Now don't get me wrong, I can get pretty steamed at things.  My Marine calls me the "Queen of Outrage".  But  it's not because I want to be outraged.  It's not as though you can't reason with me......most of the time.

But out here in the blogosphere and on FaceBook, I keep running across people who want to be outraged.  They will find a story somewhere and post it; then they and all their friends get all riled up.  So far, I'm with them.  You read the sensationalized headline and rip apart the human failings of those involved.

But then someone, like me, spoils all that fun by actually reading the story and pointing out facts.  Now like my friend Stella says, the back and forth between people of different political views; backgrounds; upbringing; religion, etc., makes for interesting discourse.  And that's all good.  But it's disheartening when someone on one side or the other just wants to hold onto their outrage.

For example -  "Church closes food bank because it attracts poor people"  Now I can't give you a link to the actual story from the Ottowa Citizen because the story doesn't appear in their archives.  However, most people agree it was an actual story because a follow up story can be sourced from the archives of Canada's CBC.

But then you read the story and the only one using the words "poor people" is the author.  The people in both stories talk about how some (not all) of the clients of the food bank caused problems.  The pastor said that there were "safety concerns".  But internet critics didn't want to acknowledge that was possible.  They wanted to hang onto their bitter contempt of the church leadership.  They made sneering comments about Jesus and how disappointed he'd be with this church.  They accused me of having disdain for poor people because I pointed out that sometimes, along with the working poor, your food bank attracts drug addicts and people with psych problems.  The church also has a duty to protect vulnerable parishioners from the bad element.  Because I dared to defend the church I was labelled as "delusional".  I was told my only charitable activities were "dropping off your designer clothes at some drive to support the arts".

I pointed out that attacking me didn't negate the facts.  But I realize, they just wanted to be angry.  That if the facts beyond the headline didn't support their narrative, they would just attack anyone pointing out those facts.  They chose blind outrage over reasoned thought.

It's not the first time.  A short while ago I wrote about legislation being proposed in Virginia that would keep a pervert on the sex offender registry and keep other sexually deviant persons in custody.  But a militant element of the gay community was fighting it..  The words "sodomy" and "Republican" appearing together in one article can only mean one thing to these people, homophobia.  Facts be damned, if a Republican is legislating anything with the word "sodomy" it's an attack on gay rights.  Even if it isn't.

So  despite the best intention of people like Stella, discussion between opposing viewpoints isn't always possible.  Some people just don't want to have the discussion.  They only want to be outraged.

1 comment:

Yer Marine said...

The Queen Speaketh....