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March 01, 2005

Where is the Outrage?

Having spent the past hour searching the blogosphere for posts related to Howard Dean's "good versus evil" comment, I have to ask: Where is the outrage?

Perhaps it's understandable as I was not quite outraged following my first post on the subject. While a tad cross-eyed over Dean's characterization of pro-life pastors, I wasn't outraged. Affirmed in my political party afilliation, yes. But not outraged.

Upon filing my post, I thought for a while about Dean's allusion to Bush's use of "good and evil" in the war on terrorism (GWOT) and how mixed up he must be to compare domestic policy to the war on terrorism. I also thought more about his comments on abortion. Did this guy really think that a pastor who holds life in high regard is somehow part of an evil domestic agenda rhetorically equivalent to the GWOT?

With a few clicks of a mouse, I found myself on Michael Savage's website. I'm no Savage fan, but I noticed a collection of links to videos of hostage beheadings at the hands of islamofascists. While I had seen still photos of the beheadings thanks to Drudge, I had not seen a video, so, in aftermath of Dean's comments on good and evil, I watched the videos. Each one of them - and in horror.

What I saw almost made me vomit; in fact, it left me with a sick feeling all day that lasts this hour. I will likely never forget what I saw - nor should I!

I became full of what I hope was a righteous rage over Dean's remarks following the viewing. My thoughts then turned to images I had seen months ago of aborted babies and drafted a post expressing my contempt for Dean's remarks, which included links to the disturbing photos and videos.

Although I left a warning, a commenter objected, writing:

In the above post you link to some of the most disturbing images ever made available for public viewing, with nothing more than a parenthetical warning about disturbing graphic images...
Until now I had only seen two videos of decapitation (now three). That was all I needed. More, actually, because these images have a more corrosive impact on visual memory than pornography. In fact, I imagine that such images are pornographic for some segment of the population.
I am sensitive to the commenters' objections, but, I have to disagree here. The reason I do not link to pornography is because I fear it would stumble not only myself, but others, who may struggle with lust. Perhaps I am presuming too much about our readers, but I did not consider that the pictures and videos would lead others to sin. I hoped it would drive them to their knees and scream out to God on behalf of man and for intervention.

Following the links to the photos and watching the videos do scar the visual memory - to that I bear witness - but for those who are not outraged by Dean's choice of words in his political rhetoric, I recommend the videos to scar them out of their sin of complacency.

I started this post with a mention of my hour-long search for posts on the subject. Hindrocket's post was typical of most as it highlighted the clear hypocricy in Dean's tolerant intolerance, but I did not find a single post expressing outrage with Dean. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Many pundits thanked the Democrats for giving the Republicans a gift like Dean. Others opined that Dean was merely rallying the base that largely agrees with him, which has the added affect of making more mainstream Democrats look more electable.

All of these posts miss the mark. I feel that through this experience, God has removed scales of complacency from my eyes and I saw a glimpse of Satan himself in Dean's remarks. I'm not a "demon under every rock" kind of Christian; but, this awakening put the fear of God in me, so to speak.

Howard Dean suggested a type of equivalency between domestic and foreign struggles of good and evil. He claimed to be on the side of good in the domestic struggle - the side against, among others, pastors who support life. If there is any equivalency here, it is between what is happening to millions of American babies and what happened to those poor hostages at the hands of man. View the pictures, watch the videos, read Dean's comments, then tell me you aren't outraged!

Posted by Rick at March 1, 2005 01:43 AM

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Tracked on March 3, 2005 12:02 PM


I think the lack of outrage comes from the lack of respect.

We all hear Howard Dean make this sort of comments, and we treat it like we would if some dork at a protest said it. He gets no respect from me -- he's not worthy of outrage. And what he's said is no more outrageous than what Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Michael Moore, or Barbara Boxer have said dozens of times over the last months. We don't get outraged because it's not surprising.

I do plan to point out the hypocrisy of those who still whine about Bush's "axis of evil" line and ask why they're not denouncing Dean... but I won't be outraged, I'll just be smug, because I expect that sort of moral confusion.

That's the thing, I guess... I just expect to hear that sort of moral confusion from Howard Dean. If I heard it from someone credible I might be outraged, but I've become desensitized to this particular type of stupidity from the Democratic party.

It's really sad that an entire political party can get that bad...

Posted by: LotharBot at March 1, 2005 05:00 AM

Good point about the lack of outrage.

The previous poster said "I've become desensitized to this particular type of stupidity from the Democratic party." Maybe it's because we're just so deadened by the constant stream of outrageous invective hurled by Left that we just don't hear it anymore?

Thanks for helping remove the "scales of complacency".

Posted by: TexasTommy at March 1, 2005 09:24 AM

I think most blogs you linked to including UNCoRRELATED, have already stipulated to the Democrat party's mestophelian qualities.

Its hard to feel outrage when such talk has been commonplace for four years. What makes it worth commenting on is the fact that the haters are so impotent. Deans' bluster about touring the red states is proving to be more of the same failed political strategy.

Posted by: Mick at March 1, 2005 10:02 AM

I'm not saying we shouldn't be upset, but as a public group we have to be selective. Sooner or later the noise will be too much, and we'll ignored. Let's pick our battles. This one is best filed away in the rolodex. We'll be able to use it one day.

Posted by: Matt at March 1, 2005 10:10 AM

I guess the main point I wanted to make is that I've been hearing "Bush=Hitler", "Republicans=Nazis", and "Karl Rove=Satan" for between 2 and 4 years straight. Being called "evil" (indirectly) seems tame in comparison.

Posted by: LotharBot at March 1, 2005 01:17 PM

LotharBot, this was different. He indirectly, but purposefully, called pro-life pastors evil. It was also different because it drew me out of my complacency. I have yet to hear from a reader who has watched those videos and seen those photos, then read Dean's remarks, and was not outraged. This is the clearest case in a long time where good is called evil and evil is called good. I believe that we have a duty to point this out and warn believers. The sin of omission can be worse than the sin of comission.

Posted by: Rick Brady at March 1, 2005 08:44 PM

Thank you for the reply. Your post has helped me to appreciate better the virtues of outrage as an important part of overcoming moral inertia. After reflecting on the notion of outrage all day yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that my view of outrage has been colored by too many years dealing with the public. I have been conditioned (and trained many subordinates accordingly) to understand that outrage is at the heart of righteous indignation, one of the most compelling drives of all human behavior.

I tend to confront outrage with reason and quiet discussion. I see the "rage" part of outrage as being a bigger issue than the trigger. As recently as December I came across a cute piece regarding PASWO blogging (Pointing At Something With Outrage) by Paul Musgrave at ITA Blog.
My resistance to outrage is probably part of my nature to be "passive-aggressive." I'm not sure that will change easily, or if I really want to go there. I am still trying to measure the idea of outrage against what I see as exemplary Christian behavior.

Posted by: John Ballard at March 2, 2005 07:15 AM

Yes, Dean is morally confused and lacks credibility. However, he is too powerful to be ignored the way we might ignore Jesse Jackson or Michael Moore. As the democratically elected leader of the Democrats, he represents 30% of Americans (My estimate of % of Yellow Dog Democrats). His strategy apparently includes painting pastors as part of an 'evil class'. Ultimately, he will have some level of influence toward this thinking. Even if it is only among the yellow-dogs, it is still dangerous. We need to stand up for the rights of pastors; else they end up in prison like the pastor in Sweden who preached from the Bible on homosexuality.

Posted by: bruce at March 2, 2005 12:10 PM