First comes words of disagreement, and leads to words of anger, then words of hatred, then acts of rage

I’m drowning in our self-righteousness as a people. Let’s acknowledge this baseline: we have all at one or more points in our individual life exhibited self-righteousness, defined as “having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior”

I don’t need to say it, but I will, the self-righteous don’t see themselves as self-righteous. Self-righteous is always a pejorative. The non-pejorative adjective is righteous— “(of a person or conduct) morally right or justifiable; virtuous”. A main characteristic that makes one adjective a pejorative the other not is hypocrisy— “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not: behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.” I don’t need to say it, but I will, the one engaged in hypocrisy doesn’t believe they are hypocritical because in this case the contradiction others point out is in their mind mistaken since their—the supposed hypocrite—reasoning is different. The rules they apply are different, in their mind, anyway, justifying their hypocrisy.

If I’m seriously choking on an ocean of self-righteousness I’m equally filled to the brim with hypocrisy. If these are two prominent characteristics defining us as a people is it any wonder that we in America can’t find common ground to resolve our differences both politically and culturally?

Another prominent characteristic defining us is outrage— “an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.” Is there ever justification for “rage”? An unconscionable moral indignation might be such a case. Note here that every negative characteristic we exhibit I’ve mentioned is an act of extreme behavior. If you have a sliding scale with absolute reason on one end and absolute emotion on the other end, anything taken to an extreme—one or the other endpoints—is the bar being slid to an extreme.

Every nation has suffered from citizens who are obstreperous— “unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, uncontrollable, rowdy.” They are never pretty times.

In the 1500’s in Germany when the land was awash in battlefields as German kingdoms fought each other in the process of making one united Germany, there were brutal massacres not just by the armies but by the people who were enraged against each other. And while it was the time of the Lutheran reformation in Germany religion didn’t play a role here, it was secular in nature.

The late 1500’s did see a vicious religious war in France between Roman Catholics and Protestants called the Huguenot Wars, and here, too, brutal massacres occurred from the rage on both sides. A few centuries earlier, the Inquisition had varying levels of intensity as the Roman Catholic Church went on a campaign to rid itself of heretical theology and purify its doctrines. It was mostly internal to the Roman church where the vicious inhumanity terrorized so many and some estimated 32,000 died for their supposed sins, but it also took on Protestants after the Reformation and Jews and Muslims. When in 1853 Cromwell went into Ireland, especially the town of Drogheda, he justified his massacre on the grounds that the Irish people were not people at all and worthy of any vicious death.

All these examples are definitions of self-righteousness gone wild. This comes out of what we today call tribes who define everyone not in their tribe and think differently as inhuman worthy of viciously being torn asunder. It started with words of disagreement, then words of anger, then words of hatred, then acts of rage.

Never in my lifetime, in my country, have I seen this progression so prominent, so dominating who we’ve become.

I’ve tried to keep this a moral and philosophical discussion because the moment I refer to specific examples of what I’m talking about one group of people will immediately shut down their minds—even when they’ve agreed with everything I’ve said up to this point—and write it and me off as nothing more than a hack partisan wrapped up in party politics. I’ve tried to make my argument on the more rational side. It will now be taken by many faster than a speeding bullet to the absolute emotional side. And the diehard doctrinaire among you will never see it or acknowledge this is what you’re doing. I didn’t want to walk through this field because there are landmines  planted everywhere and I didn’t want to step on them knowing that I wouldn’t be able to keep from stepping on them.

But okay, let’s put actual events defining our self-righteousness and hypocrisy before us. The daily news is filled with examples but the latest outrage is that President Trump is “ripping” “undocumented” children out of the hands of their mothers. Even though you who hate Trump will now write me off as just blindly supporting him, I’m not, I’m supporting “Truth.” I’m not arguing for Trump, I’m arguing against you who have murdered truth. Killing truth comes just after disagreement, and leads to words of anger, then words of hatred, then acts of rage. WE have become OUR truth built on blocks of pure feeling where lies have more validity than rational truth.

The prophet Isaiah has a vision from God concerning the injustice happening among the Israelites. In God’s words of “righteous” anger over that injustice are these interesting words: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV.)

Come guys and gals, let’s sit around the campfire and talk about this. You’re making arguments for your self-righteous behavior because you believe everyone else but you is wrong and so you dismiss them and their arguments giving you the right to treat them personally and their arguments as trailer-trash. Peter Fonda, what rational world gives you the right to say these words: 

“WANNA STOP THIS FUCKING MONSTER? REALLY WANNA STOP THIS GIANT ASSHOLE? 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS ON THE SAME WEEKEND! THESE REPUBLICAN ASSHOLES ARE ALL IN ON IT! THE CHIEF ASSHOLE IS HAPPY WE ARE ALL VERY UPSET. WE HAVE TO GET EVEN MORE ANGRY WITH THESE REPUBLICANS;” and: “WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT ASSHOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO. 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS ON THE SAME WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY. FUCK.”

This, my friends is pure hate, and those of you who find these words happy words have no reason in you but are filled with hate. Nothing in these words of emotion give you any claim to rationality. A man you also hate because he tries to make rational arguments and you reject rationality is Glenn Beck. But in this case his rational look at this out-of-control emotional stand puts the issue of separating children from parents into context of reality. If you are not afraid of reason please go here to hear this contextual setting that reveals the complexity of issues ignored and lied about: https://www.theblaze.com/video/timeline-heres-how-our-immigration-system-became-the-mess-it-is-today. This is not a Trump or Republican issue, it goes all the way back to President Clinton, takes in Bush and Obama and carries over to Trump. By ignoring this you create a lie that feeds your hate. No one is innocent here, both Democrats and Republicans have failed to come to the table of reason and have allowed party politics to keep us from really answering the issue.

But we cannot look at truths because to admit them is to take away our self-righteousness, to take away our argument, our reasons for lying, our existence as haters. What truth really does is give you better, stronger arguments for the justice you rightly feel is being abused, and better, stronger arguments for correcting them. Most issues are not simple, they are multifaceted and each facet has a different answer to its solution as a whole.

There is a place for rage, but it doesn’t come from false images—the images of children sleeping in a cage taken in 2014 under Obama not 2018 under Trump; and the lying image on Time Magazine with the little girl sadly looking up at the evil Trump which is a Photoshop lie given to us for the single purpose of whipping us into a frenzy keeping us from reasoning together to find the good answer to a problem.

How we’re treating this issue is how we are treating every disagreement today and the reason why I doubt we can stop our going to hell in a hand-basket.