Outrage, Disgust, and Grief are Proper Emotional Responses

Josh Brahm and I have been working on a blog post in response to the recent Planned Parenthood videos (we’re going to publish it on Monday).

Working on this piece has been unbelievably draining. I have never written something that has so deeply emotionally affected me before. The alternating grief over the children and anger at the people trying to cover this up has been a rough roller coaster of emotion.

People who know me well know that I can get animated but I tend to be very emotionally even-keel. It takes a lot to really upset me. When I get upset, I have an immediate impulse to take all of my opinions with a grain of salt because I feel like I’m not in control. I’ll tell Josh “my compass is broken right now,” meaning I don’t trust my intuition, just like I wouldn’t trust a compass that I thought might not be pointing north.

Yesterday I emotionally broke down, but for those few minutes my compass was pointing true north. I’m less emotional now, and I trust my compass less. Outrage, disgust, and grief are proper emotional responses. Being calm, cool, and collected is not remotely appropriate under the circumstances.

Disclaimer: Please don’t consider this permission to be a jerk. Let your passion motivate you to defend the dehumanized children, but without dehumanizing our opposition. Pray for them, don’t mistreat them. Be angry and do not sin (Psalms 4:4, Eph 4:26).

Director of Training

Timothy Brahm is the Director of Training at Equal Rights Institute. He is interested in helping pro-life and pro-choice people to have better dialogues about abortion through 1) taking care to understand what the other person means, 2) using more carefully-constructed arguments, and 3) treating each other with care and respect. He graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in philosophy and is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute.

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