The Outrage Culture


Last Saturday, Ohio State thumped Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten Conference football title game. This impressive win was enough to propel Ohio State into the National Championship playoff. They will play Alabama on New Year’s Day. Texas Christian University, along with Baylor University are outraged that their teams did not make it into the final four. Before the Big Ten Conference game, Texas Christian held the number 3 spot. Ohio State bumped them out of the playoff. Fans of Texas Christian, Baylor, and the Big 12 Conference took to social media, blogs, and sports news sites to express their outrage over their team and conference being slighted. The outraged pointed out why Ohio State didn’t deserve a playoff spot, often using abusive, childish, and derogatory language.

Last night, Dan Barker appeared on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to register his outrage over a restaurant giving patrons who say a prayer a discount. Barker’s Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a threatening letter to the restaurant demanding they stop their prayer discount immediately. Jordan Klepper made a mockery of Barker and the Freedom From Religion Foundation and I, as a member of the Foundation, was quite embarrassed.

President Obama can’t break wind in a White House bathroom without Fox News being outraged over his fartiness. Fox has expressed indignant outrage over everything from the President’s wardrobe to his children acting like teenagers. Every day, there is a new outrage at Fox News, end of the world wars on Christmas and Christianity.

MSNBC gets in on the outrage game too. Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, Pete King, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin seem to demonstrate their stupidity every time they open their mouth and MSNBC is right there to let their viewers know exactly what these dimwitted hacks said. Let the outrage begin.

And then there’s the Evangelicals. Is there anyone more offended, upset, and outraged than Evangelicals? From Worldnet Daily to James Dobson to Franklin Graham to John Piper to John Hagee to Phyllis Schlafly, Evangelical talking heads take to social media, their blogs, and ministry websites to express outrage over same-sex marriage, abortion, birth control, immigration, Xmas, the minimum wage, and countless other things that they are sure are condemned in the Bible. Why God is outraged and so are they! They have even convinced themselves that they are a persecuted remnant. Atheists, humanists, socialists, communists, secularists, and Democrats have taken a secret blood oath to destroy Christian America. Why any day now, Evangelicals will be rounded up and send off to concentration camps, or so the paranoid among them think.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of all the fake outrage. It seems we have lost all sense of proportion. Even when there is an element of truth in a person or groups outrage, like in the case where the restaurant IS violating the law by only offering a discount to those who say a religious prayer, it seems that many people give every outrage equal weight. Result? Someone mentioning the Christian God at a high school graduation is equivalent to Mexican immigrants dying in the Sonoran Desert because of draconian, immoral immigration policies.

Everyone is so busy showing their outrage by posting to Facebook or Twitter and asking their friends to click like or retweet that they never consider how insignificant and petty their outrage is. As our climate warms and corporations continue to buy Congress, countless Americans are outraged over the series ending finale of Sons of Anarchy.  As we fight a global war against a ginned up enemy called terrorism and countless civilians continue to be slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa, far too many Americans spend their time being outraged over their singer not winning The Voice.

Count me as one person who is outraged over the outraged. Is this what we what become, a petty populous indifferent and ignorant of our surroundings, more concerned over posting a bad restaurant review on Yelp than we are the future of the human race? If this is so, I wonder if there will even be a future for us to hope for. We are going to kill ourselves one tweet and like at a time.


Subscribe to the Daily Post Digest!

Sign up now and receive an email every day containing the new posts for that day.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Powered by Optin Forms


  1. Zoe

    Going to try and comment for the third time. Hope it works. 🙂 Going to leave out the link to my blog and see if that makes a difference.

  2. exrelayman

    Love and fear, the 2 great motivators. Generating fear and loathing seems to be the more powerful motivator for propagandists than love. It works. Darn! Yet some form of it, perhaps caution/concern is important for judicious planning for the future, unless you want to go fully with the take no thought for the morrow verse – folly incarnate. Get people against something. Work them up. Turn that energy and indignation to your purpose. The sheep are abundant.

    Welcome back Bruce, although I am not the biggest commenter, you were missed. Good to see my pal Zoe also.

    1. Zoe

      Thanks exrelayman. Good to see you too.

  3. Ian

    Great post. This is thought I truly appreciate. Everyone is so busy being offended by little things that try can’t see the real wrongs being done to them.

    In addition, it seems that the way to fix things is to #makeahashtag to #showthatyoureupset. What a ridiculous way to deal with problems.

    Great post, Bruce. Thanks again for writing. It is also nice to see a few familiar commenters on here.

  4. Aram McLean

    The Dan Barker outrage is a tough one, because on the one hand he has a point, but on the other it just seems so petty and stupid.

  5. lynn

    My latest things to be outraged over is gobbledygook that preachers get away with constantly and American food portions, esp the latter. Politics is so predictable, it bores me to tears. I suggest pondering the true absurdity of ordering a medium drink at Wendys and being handed a QUART of soda–with a straight face.

  6. Becky Wiren

    A sane plea to stop all this stupid outrage! You’re right, the outrage distracts us from the REAL problems.

  7. Zoe

    So would that just be some kind of generic prayer? Something like, “Dear Cook. Thank you. Amen.” Does that get a discount? I could do that kind of prayer. 🙂


Leave a Comment

You have to agree to the comment policy.