As a Canadian, I have no business commenting on the U.S. election. I have my opinions, but I don’t want to tell you how to vote. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, American or Canadian, or anything else.
Regardless of where you stand politically, I have a modest proposal: it’s time to get angry.
In his recent book Good and Angry, David Powlison defines anger:
At its core anger is very simple. It expresses “I’m against that.” It is an active stance you take to oppose something that you assess as both important and wrong. You notice something, you size it up, and say, “That matters…and it’s not right.” You encounter something in your world that crosses the line. Anger expresses the energy of your reaction to something that you find offensive and wish to eliminate.
Powlison reminds us that anger can be good:
You actually work the way that God says you work. You have the capacity for just outrage because he does…Good anger operates as one aspect of mercy. It brings good into bad situations. It stands up for the helpless and victimized. It calls out wrongdoers, but holds out promises of forgiveness, inviting wrongdoers to new life.
So here’s my modest proposal.
- When we read that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse, it’s time to get angry.
- When we read a Twitter thread with a torrent of stories of the first time that women experienced sexual assault, it’s time to get angry.
- When a candidate for President of the United States dismisses his own admission that he’s sexually assaulted women as locker room talk, it’s time to get angry
- When Christian leaders defend or minimize such behavior, it’s time to get angry.
Right now, it’s time to get angry. I’m not talking about flying into a rage. I’m talking about an emotional, redemptive, and unambiguous intolerance to sexual assault in all of its forms.
Denny Burk, speaking more generally about the election, is right:
We are in an extraordinary moment that calls for extraordinary moral clarity…This can be done without endorsing any particular candidate… But I think now is the time to speak up. What we say now will shape the public impressions of evangelical Christianity later. And conscientious evangelicals need to be heard.
There’s no room for ambiguity. Regardless of where we stand politically, let’s be clear that our hearts break over a world in which sexual assault not only exists, but is minimized. Let’s say, “This matters, and I’m against it.” If there’s ever a time for anger, this is it. Let’s not miss it.