Interesting, isn’t it? I’m talking about all the well-organized nationwide protests targeting the president and conservative Christians. Democrats will gather here in tiny Rockwall to train more protesters. Why?
A minister of the Gospel knows it’s a matter of the heart. As it is written in the Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The book of Jeremiah was written over 2,600 years ago. Psychologists Rothschild and Keefer conducted five separate studies assessing the relationships between anger, empathy, identity, individual and collective guilt, self-perception, and the expression of moral outrage. Herewith a synopsis of their findings as reported in Reason Magazine.
- Triggering feelings of personal culpability for a problem increases moral outrage at a third-party target. Read more: moral-outrage-point-1
- The more guilt over one’s own potential complicity, the more desire “to punish a third-party through increased moral outrage at that target.” Read more: moral-outrage-point-2
- Having the opportunity to express outrage at a third-party decreased guilt in people threatened through “in-group immorality.” Read more: moral-outrage-point-3
- “The opportunity to express moral outrage at corporate harm-doers” inflated participants perception of personal morality. Read more: moral-outrage-point-4
- Guilt-induced moral outrage was lessened when people could assert their goodness through alternative means, “even in an unrelated context.” Read more: moral-outrage-point-5
A collaborative to Jeremiah 17:9 is found in Psalm 2:1. “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”
People who rage and imagine vain things are irrational. You can’t reason with them. No arguments or facts will dissuade them. So, what is the proper response by conservatives, particularly Christians and Jews? The short answer: love and kindness.
If we react in the same irrational, angry manner it will only further enrage them. Here is what Holy Scripture, commandments of God say.
- Love them as you love yourself. Matthew 22:36-40
- Do not respond hatefully to those who express their hatred for you; do good to them who do bad to you; intercede in prayer for them; bless them. Matthew 5:44
- When they speak harshly to you or about you, don’t respond in kind. Instead, answer kindly. Proverbs 15:1-4
Say to yourself, when confronted with irrational hatred and vitriol, “I am better than this. We are better than this.”
Personal confession: I haven’t exactly followed my own advice, but I, like you, can and do repent.
Soli Deo Gloria