What are Examples of Outrage Porn in mid-Wales?

Tim Challies was blogging yesterday about something called ‘Outrage Porn‘.

Like pornography, this kind of outrage is ultimately self-centered and self-gratifying. […] We feel better for having done it, for having participated in it. It is expiating in a sick sense. With the outrage behind me, I am satisfied that I have done my bit, and now I can move on to the next thing.

It makes me think of a recent front page article I saw in our local paper which ousted a man who works at our friendly neighbourhood pizza delivery franchise as a ‘child murderer’. Claiming he had been to prison in 1994 and therefore his right to deliver fast food should be removed.

In a small town like we are in, I imagine that man will have to move away again because of this. I assume he’s been all over the UK trying to escape the pitchforks, and thought that a remote Welsh seaside town might be a chance for him to keep his head down.

What do we gain from berating this man for his immoral past? I’m sure that we are afraid of him being put in a job that involves the doors of people’s homes being open to him (although I’ve never seen a pizza guy walk into anyone’s house), that’s okay. But is there a small part of this front page which is a perfect example of ‘Outrage Porn’. We bad mouth this sinner, we tut and gossip about him, and then we’re absolved of guilt on our part. “I’ve never murdered any children. He doesn’t deserve the same rights as I do”.

I know that God is the only true judge. I believe in the right of the state to punish wrongdoing, but if this man is legally free, then he should be allowed to live a peaceful life.

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