At a recent screening of _Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons_, a very bright audience member said that Mormons were pretty silent during the pre-1978 years about what most would now view as clear discrimination. A few were adequately outraged, but not many–not enough. He wondered if he in this day was not outraged enough that his daughter would be excluded from the priesthood.
Interesting question. I latched onto the word “outraged” and hoped that my co-director, who was responding, would hear the danger I heard.
He did. He said that “outrage” is never a good thing.
I’d like to announce that I am easily outraged, and I feel to repent. I have a serious problem of holding on to grudges and of judging others for racism, sexism, and homophobia. The label of “liberal” feels like a Procrustean bed to me, but I suppose I could be made to fit into it–by lopping off a limb or two. With my own bias against bias, I am capable of being (shudder) STRIDENT. I think I usually come across as peaceable, but only I know the fullness of my history and the harshness of some of my dealings with people I’ve disagreed with, or who I felt were damaging my loved ones.
I believe that outrage is almost always wrong. It empowers and energizes unChristian behavior and contention. I personally was terribly disappointed by some blog posts (on other sites) supporting Proposition 8 which sank into something akin to gay bashing–and to anti-gay-bashing.
As we see huge protests at the Los Angeles Temple over the Church’s support of Proposition 8, I wonder if Latter-day Saints approached the issues in a way that avoided “outrage.” Did Mormon proponents of Prop 8 follow the mandate to persuade by patience, long-suffering, and with love unfeigned, or was there some “outrage” such as we saw on the bloggernacle? How are Mormons greeting the protesters now? Are we providing green Jello and root beer, or are there angry, self-righteous e-mails crossing the web which portray the protesters as our enemies? (The irony, of course, is that if we consider “them” to be enemies, we are immediately called upon to love and to serve them, even offering a cloak if they demand a coat. )
Only those who know me best have seen me outraged over an issue–and it’s usually a race issue. I want to change the question which begins this post. I know for sure that I am adequately outraged. Truth be told, I am easily outraged. Now I want to ask if I am adequately loving. I wonder of one can be outraged and loving simultaneously. I think not. I think love wins and rage must flee.
By what authority? “God is love.”