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Kicking the national addiction to rage
In his column at CatholicPhilly.com, Archbishop Charles Chaput compared recent political debate in America to the film 28 Days Later, in which a “rage virus … burns through the population like gasoline fire” and leads to social collapse. “We’re not yet tearing at each other with our teeth,” he said. “But the irrational fury on our campuses, in the streets, in our news media … leads in that direction.”
Donald Trump’s behaviour bears some blame, but not all, the archbishop said. Hate is found “not just among white nationalists, immigrant-haters and neo-Nazis, as loathsome as their ideas are, but also among the ‘progressive’ and educated elites”. Anger, he said, is “simultaneously so poisonous, so delicious and so addictive”.
“People easily begin to like being angry,” he said. “Wrath feels good.” And America is now “addicted to anger”.
Seneca pointed to a cure, the archbishop suggested, when he said that human life “rests upon kindness and concord”. That requires a “holy scepticism about the bad things we hear and see and assume about our perceived enemies”.
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