lament / complaint
outrage / passion
prophetic / toxic
attack / critique
divisive / divided
status quo / unity
shaming / accountability
boundaries / bitterness
indulgent rage / righteous anger
iron sharpening iron / infighting
aggressive / assertive
critics / haters
peacekeeping / peacemaking
peacekeeping / peacemaking
Each of us responds to situations in the light of our own histories, hurts, and personalities, which impact our perceptions disparately. There's rarely just one way of looking at anything, but that doesn't stop us from chiding one another for caring about the "wrong" thing.
Manufactured outrage! Waste of time! I don't care, so you shouldn't either!
Myriad issues that get folks riled simply aren't my bag, but I try not to tell others to pipe down or get over it, because that's what jerks do.
There's room enough for us to care about different matters and appreciate varied interests. It's even possible to care about more than one thing at at time: language and theology and politics and poverty and racism and loving our neighbors and fashion and sports and pop culture and parenting and a host of other concerns. Just because something is meaningless to me doesn't mean it's devoid of all import or value. There's little reason to dismiss each others' passions or rank injustices in a losing game of Oppression Olympics.
If I don't critique from a place of malice, ill-will, or bitchery, it's a safe bet that other people might not either. Analysis isn't hate, critics aren't trolls, and it's dang near impossible to gauge another's intent. But public work and words do invite public responses, and criticism is par for the discourse. New media still functions as media, regardless of platform size or for what team one plays. Pressing publish is not the end of any conversation, even if the author taps out (or wants to).
The benefit of the doubt we espouse must extend well beyond our own camps, and that sort of generosity exists alongside the discipline of criticism. I can assume most people operate from good intentions and still examine meaning and praxis; the two don't cancel each other out. We can always do better. Each of us. All of us. Invariably, there's room for reform, growth, and pushing back the effects of the Fall together.
Before writing each other off, what if we considered, "Why does this matter so much to you?" What if we listened a little more and trained our eyes to see injustices at work?
We can assign positive intent and make amends for harm caused. We can practice resurrection and accountability both. We can discern our own motives and manage our own feelings and time in healthy ways, recognizing that ours are the only ones we have any insight to or control over. Like I tell my kids, "You do you."
(Even the rabble-rousers can be faithful.)