Is it wrong to be angry?

If there is one thing that has defined the 2016 election, it is anger. Much of that anger is misplaced and has led people to work against their own principles, and it is never good when emotion overcomes logic. But is anger itself wrong, and should we condemn those who are angry? No. Anger has a legitimate place in politics.

First, let’s establish that anger itself can be a righteous emotion. Jesus was angry when He violently drove the money changers out of His temple with a whip. The anger of God is displayed all throughout both the Old and New Testaments. If it is good for God to be angry, then it can be good for us to be angry.

I have been angry many times. I have been angry at county government for sneaking controversial votes through under cover of darkness. I have been angry at our criminal justice system for framing innocent people and putting them in prison. I am angry that babies are massacred every week at the Planned Parenthood “clinic” in downtown Bloomington. I am angry when I see my friends unjustly attacked, lied about and smeared for political gain.

Yes, anger can be wicked. I have been wicked in my anger on many occasions. But anger itself is neither wicked or righteous. It can be either, and sometimes it can be both at the same time. We absolutely need to think through our anger and react not only from emotion, but from principle and logic. Being angry is not a justification for being foolish or destructive. But we should not dismiss the value of anger, especially in forcing social change.

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