An Era of Faux Outrage

What does it say about our culture that we thrive on faux outrage?

What does it say about our culture that we actually seem to enjoy being offended?

What does it say about our lack of humanity that we openly look for things that spite us?

 

I touched a little on this in my post on conviction…but it just seems that for all the good that social media has wrought, it has become a breeding ground for pure. unadulterated. hate. Not just dislike (ironic for a site that only has like buttons). Hate.

But not just any kind of hate.

Faux hate. Faux outrage.

And this faux outrage happens everywhere and in every corner.

Here are a couple examples:

1. The case of the most offensive tweet EVER!

Spaghettios

 

This is a tweet which SpaghettiOs tweeted on December 7th. It sparked an outrage. I mean I haven’t seen so much righteous indignation over a nothing-burger since J.R. got shot.

Why was everyone upset? Because a spaghettiO carrying an American flag was a severe sign of disrespect to those who died. For me? It got a shrug. But whatever.

2. What the Duck did he say?

Ok. We all know what happened. Phil Robertson paraphrased Corinthians. He also spouted his rendition of “Hail to the V.”

And…the faux outrage flowed.

I had friends disavowing Duck Dynasty. And of course, the opposite of faux outrage is outrage at the faux outrage. So, many of us were defending the Robertson’s as well.

So…what did it all accomplish? Well… A&E got bit hard by the faux suspension they levied. Turns out that corporations cannot get away with faux outrage, they only get creamed by it.

3. Thugs R Us

Last but not least. Last night, Richard Sherman had…um…an interesting interview with Erin Andrews.

Now. There is TONS of outrage over this. Why? I don’t, for the life of me, understand. Did he curse? No. Did he use inflammatory language? No.

But, he is called a thug and much much worse on Twitter. It is actually pretty disgusting.

Here is the, pretty vanilla, twitchy post on this. But you see the outrage. I have no doubt people will be rooting for the Broncos because they “hate” this guy.

My thoughts? You don’t want a testosterone filled interview…how about NOT interview him two minutes after he made a HUGE play that got his team to the Super Bowl! Don’t even get me started on the stupidity of these interviews in the first place…but really? Where is the outrage over this?

To my larger point and the questions at the top. Why are we so prone to outrage? I don’t think that this is anything new. But I do think these things are wider spread. And I think there is something embedded in us that we love to be the critic. We love to tear a part. It is the devil in us. If we aren’t prone to tearing down our own lives…we are invested in the destruction in others.

THIS is the antithesis of the Gospel. A doctrine in which we come together and understand that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. BUT Christ died that we might be saved!

We don’t deserve grace.

But He gave it to us anyway.

So, the next time we want to let our inner rage flag fly…let us take a time to remember grace. Squash our inner demons and let our better angels shine through. We often spout the golden rule to our children to break up fights and to warn them not to hit their siblings or playmates…but then we go online with the intent to destroy. We don’t want our dreams destroyed. Our posts eviscerated. We spout niceties like “don’t judge” but alas we aren’t even satisfied with judging…we want summary executions. We want heads to roll. We. Want. Blood.

In a society in which darkness feels more real. Is there not a place for light and grace?

Look at your own timeline. Is it mostly negative or positive? What are you portraying? Light or darkness?

5 Responses to “An Era of Faux Outrage”

  1. strongthought January 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    OK, I totally commented on the wrong column entry! Sorry…. I posted it to if the Conviction Fits. Not sure you can put it here, but that was my intention….

  2. strongthought January 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    This is excellent! There has been a deep current unsaid running in me that has been feeling this. You said it in words so well! I am tired, threadbare, worn out from the hate, the faux outrage, the manic blogging, the feeding frenzy of talking points for current issues. I started a blog under another name based on Phil. 4:8. That is where I am at right now. I will continue to speak the truth, but leave the hate to the narcissists to make their points. The bottom line: My vote is what will count in the end.

  3. Al Peffley January 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    I could not agree more. This is just one of the reasons I don’t have a Facebook account (but not the primary reason.) It is too tempting to type some negative comment on the site that comes back to bite you later (fuel for more hateful comments and or graphics.) As we say in the Lord’s Prayer: “…and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” or similar words to that effect.

    Damning others over the Internet or by expanding rumors just accelerates our own judgements where it should not count. We all need to recognize this and ask for God’s mercy when we fuel the rumor mill. This does not mean that when we encounter lies and evil acts we don’t stand up for the truth as it reveals itself.

    Apathy towards outright lies, bigotry, racism, prejudice (in the case of Sherman’s interview comments) and hate outrages is just as bad as not controlling one’s anger right after an act of others is witnessed by any Christian. I certainly have a “log in my eye” many times in my life as a sinner.

    Good article and I like your examples.

    It is unfortunate for all of us that many Christians aren’t as passionate about being activists to defend religious freedom as they are about criticizing others on Facebook or Twitter social media accounts. It is always easy (and somewhat impersonal) to sit at a home computer and submit negative fodder on blog sites or social media accounts. It takes more commitment and personal time to attend a Pro-family/Pro-life rally and re-focus our stored-up resentment and outrage energies on our community relationship issues, the right to life, and core family values. Many don’t support our Christian brothers and sisters in America today that face more challenging issues in life than social outbursts or questionable media presentations because they fear social rejection or Government retaliation against their stand on religious freedom in public places.

    The opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear in my mind. This is a learned attitude that is demonstrated on mainstream media news and talk shows every day. Thanks for thinking this through and writing the article. Christ only focused on the things that count in life or he would have never forgiven Peter for publicly stating that he never knew Jesus out of fear of public rejection and his own execution along with Christ. It is hard to be strong in an environment of hate, but not impossible. “Nothing is impossible with God”, as John Michael Talbot sings. JMJ

    Warmest Regards,
    Al