Below is a paper I wrote this last semester. Forgive the formatting errors. I don’t have time to go back through the whole thing right now and make it perfect for wordpress. I did 135 hours of research for the paper, and wrote it over the course of three days. That disparity shows. Still, I hope you enjoy it! I have many more thoughts about anger. Hopefully they’ll show up on the blog soon. But, we all know how that goes.

Gentle Anger

It is an assumption of this paper that anger is a kind of story. The question is, what story is anger telling? Is anger always telling the story of an ego that is vying for self-transcendence in a world of powers that threaten the things we love but have not the power to secure? Or is it the case that anger carries within itself violent ambition motivated by self-will, that reveals a lack of the love and forgiveness necessary to being a Christian? I don’t think anger must tell these stories. I don’t think anger must necessarily stand in opposition to forgiveness and love. We are justified or incriminated not by anger itself, but by the way we pursue its ends.

It is generally accepted that there are four dimensions to anger. There is (1) a reasonable judgment that sees a particular action as wrong, (2) a painful emotion arising from that harm, (3) physiological reactions, and (4) a desire for vindicatio. “Vindicatio” primarily refers to the seeking of just punishment, or redress. Anger truly is a whole soul and body experience. Anger has a part in our reason, our affections, our desires, and our body. Thomas Aquinas and William Werpehowski might be said to conceive of a fifth dimension of anger—that which motivates the will as a person or community seeks vindicatio. Objections to there being good anger vacillate between targeting these different dimensions, arguing that the obligations enjoined on us in the gospels are necessarily opposed by anger, and therefore, find anger sinful. In this paper I assume that all instances of anger are tied to instances of real harm.
Diane Yeager and William Werpehowski are current Christian scholars who disagree about the moral status of anger. In Werpehowski’s essay “Do You Do Well To Be Angry,” he argues that anger can be both praiseworthy and good, or blameworthy and sinful. Yeager disagrees in her essay “Anger, Justice, and Detachment,” and maintains that anger is always a sin. Even if it is not always blameworthy, it is always a sin.
In this paper I attempt to motivate the different positions put forth by Werpehowski and Yeager, while eventually siding with Werpehowski that good anger is indeed possible. More specifically, anger and its expression are not necessarily opposed to forgiveness and neighbor love. In that sense, this paper is a refutation and does not offer a fully developed account of forgiveness and love. In the paper I appeal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Aquinas to support my position. In the end, I attempt to articulate some courses of action available to a Christian for the exercise of anger.

William Werpehowski

William Werpehowski follows in the tradition of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas in his defense of good anger. Gentle anger is the mean between irascibility on the one hand, and “submissive tameness” on the other—also termed as “servility.”
For Werpehowski, every instance of anger presupposes a love of some good. Loving good things enables us to enjoy them, but also makes us vulnerable to losing them. Losing a good, or at the very least the threat of losing a good one loves, is the context in which the four aspects of anger obtain. This reveals an essential connection between what is perceived to be good and what is perceived to be just or unjust. Suppose, Werpehowski says, that my six-year-old boy and his friend (Eddie) are playing make-belief sword fighting. Everything is fine until Eddie surprisingly grabs his son’s head and slams it down on his knee. His boy’s head snaps back as he shouts out in pain. In a fit of wrath Werpehowski pulls Eddie aside yelling, “What the hell’s the matter with you?” Upon hearing excuses from the boy he yells at him again, dismissing what he has to say. Werpehowski finds some things to praise and some things to blame in this scenario. The good is found in his love for his boy’s well being, his correct judgment that Eddie’s action is an unjust harm, the painful affection that arises from watching his boy suffer, and his desire to move in and restore moral order through vindicatio. The blameworthy is in his borderline revengeful act that failed to be “gently disposed.” It seems that part of his seeking for vindicatio is motivated by a malevolent desire to harm Eddie in return, or to counter Eddie’s exertion of power with his own exertion of greater power as an attempt to restore balance. Vitiated motivations like these assuredly obscure normative principles of justice and love that Werpehowski ought to submit to when angry. In spite of this, there is good in his protective response, and Werpehowski suggests that it would be a failure of love if he did not get angry at all.
What comes out clearly in Werpehowski’s essay is that anger is never itself the problem—it is anger that is vitiated by sin, and primarily by pride.He takes his account of pride from Reinhold Niebuhr who defines it as “the self-transcending creature’s disavowal of his or her own limitation and dependence.”The difficulty for a human being is to accept one’s limitations and dependencies, and to properly love one’s own worth and goodness, without abandoning these in the face of injustice. Pride results in three distorted beliefs that in turn distort anger: (1) the perception that an offense is primarily against the self, not God; (2) a view of justice that abandons common norms of justice, elevates the self, and legitimizes revenge on an offender; and (3) a denial of one’s own vulnerability as a limited and dependent human being subject to loss and pain.The vitiating effects of pride can be devastating for a person and their community, “for a prideful anger, or wrath, works in its vengeance to deny and overcome dependence through a display of sovereignty. This means that wrath’s response is not ordered to covenant but to its eradication, and that standards of moral judgment are subordinated to a will that wishes solitary independence for itself.”Werpehowski’s hope is that, by joining up the self with the Christian God of love, the beliefs and effects of pride can be transformed from wrath into gentle anger. Servility is also transformed into gentle anger, but through a different process. What then is this mean of gentle anger that is between wrath and servility?
Werpehowski takes Aristotle’s idea of gentle anger and builds on it within a Christian framework. In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle says that a gently angry person has a “calm and equable temper, never getting angry except on justifiable grounds and for a reasonable length of time.” Werpehowski adds four distinctly Christian qualities to gentle anger: (1) As already stated, a person must conceive of the offense against themselves as derivative from the primary offense against God; (2) he or she must think about the “prospects for reconciliation” even while angry; (3) he or she must have a “readiness for covenant or right relation;” and (4) he or she must tend towards forgiveness. Werpehowski thinks he might have been able to direct anger towards Eddie in a constructive way if he had considered the options available for reconciliation, and been willing to accept him back into communion with himself. This ideal of gentle anger, especially in cases of grave injustice, is attainable only through long practice, and in that regard, leaves room for grace as we fail to live up to the ideal. This ideal envisions anger as a gift that moves towards the covenantal bonds that link all of humanity together. Werpehowski says as much here:
But the anger to which gentleness disposes attends to the conservation of human bonds that may yet obtain with wrongdoers. Desires for redress will not blind one to the continuing validity of these bonds (such as they may be); nor will they drive attention away from relevant standards of judgment to which the angry judge subordinates himself or herself. One can expect to find readiness to encourage and accept repentance as a condition for restoring communion. Ongoing alertness to possibilities for fellow humanity is maintained even when responding to injury retributively.

Diane Yeager

On my read of things, Diane Yeager thinks anger is a sin for four main reasons. It is a sin against faith, a sin against hope, a sin against love, and it is inimical to forgiveness. She also offers arguments to the effect that anger is quite impractical towards the ends that people like Werpehowski suggest it is good for. There is only space here to deal with the objections to good anger on grounds that it is a sin against love and inimical to forgiveness. Yeager makes her case by appealing to two novels written by Charles Dickens and George Bernanos. Because she hardly offers a definition of any of her terms, and her essay is an articulation of the novelists’ overall vision, I’ll attempt to reconstruct what she suggests more philosophically here.
Yeager agrees with Werpehowski that love is the context for anger, only, “love giving rise to anger,” destroys the “hope or the possibility of love.”This is at least what happens to a mother in Bernanos’ novel, who loses a baby boy at 18 months old. This is just one among many grievances that la Comtesse suffers in the novel. In her seemingly justified anger, she walls up herself, condemns people, the world, and God as unjust, and this leaves her on the road heading towards spiritual death. And spiritual death would have come if it were not for the local town’s priest, whom Yeager takes to be the example of divine love for us. Yeager suggests that the priest embodies the proper posture towards the self and God and injustice. She calls this posture, “detached engagement,” where detachment is a kind of distance from self-will and possessive attachment to the world’s goods. Anger only springs from love when the love is mostly self-centered, and self-ended. Yeager describes the priest as “otherworldly in two ways: (1) His worldly love is a theocentric worldly love—the world is loved as a gift of God, as something undeserved and unsecurable which must be received in gratitude and rendered up without complaint. (2) He is sublimely careless of his own needs and interests.”The most priestlike character from the Dickens novel embodies the same spiritual posture. Yeager compares the two saying, “Never self-seeking and lacking all sense of having deserved certain possessions or treatment, they never suffer offense and so find no occasion for anger.” The spiritual power of these two characters lies in their gratitude for goods and trust in God’s will. Our posture towards injustice ought to be like God’s, who, the priest claims, takes our sorrows “into Himself, into His heart.” In fact, the priest says this to the woman who lost her baby at 18 months, and motivates Yeager to say that God’s love is more defined by his unfathomable compassion for his creatures in their suffering of injustice, than by a penal system which shackles people to their past wrongs.
Yeager thinks this shackling of people to their past wrongs is the work of anger’s retributive dimension, and large part of why she argues anger is inimical to forgiveness. Her argument goes something like this:
P1: Anger is inherently retributive.
P2: Forgiveness is the elimination of these retributive responses to real injury and broken relationship.
Conclusion: Anger is inimical to forgiveness.
Yeager takes premise two from Paul Lauritzen’s work Religious Belief and Emotional Transformation. In that book he defines forgiveness as “the elimination of the retributive responses of anger and resentment in the face of moral injury and the restoration of a broken relationship following the elimination of these retributive emotions.” It seems like Yeager rejects any retributive emotion as wrong because, insofar as retribution is an aspect of a relationship, the victim is reasserting the brokenness of the relationship and condemning the offender. With this condemnation comes the demand for redress. This judgmental condemnation only hardens the offender and forecloses the possibility of restoration and repentance. Yeager asserts that one cannot be angry as Werpehowski says and still “attend to the conservation of human bonds.” Christ enters this retributive framework and commands his followers to forgive. For Yeager, this forgiveness always precedes and makes possible repentance, which is necessary for a restored relationship.
Yeager’s objection to anger focuses on three aspects of anger—the judgment that in fact there has been an injustice, the desire for vindicatio, and the feeling of pain that arises from suffering a wrong doing. The judgment that another has acted wrongly goes hand in hand with the desire for vindicatio. Both the judgment and the desire for vindicatio are the result of a previous possessive love of the world’s goods that is evidence of a non-theocentric love.
It seems that the crux of the disagreement between Werpehowski and Yeager is about what the self’s posture towards God and world ought to be. Both Yeager and Werpehowski appear to agree with Reinhold Nuihbur’s definition of pride as a disavowal of one’s own limits and dependencies. This means that to be humble (the opposite of pride) is to hold on to one’s limits and dependencies in the proper way. Werpehowski affirms that one can indeed experience anger and pursue the ends of vindicatio while holding on to one’s place as (1) a covenanted member of the human race, and (2) a servant of the God who commands his followers to forgive seventy times seven times. For Yeager, the only way to hold on to our limitations is through an otherworldly love that results in a completely openhanded gratitude for God’s gifts. A true appraisal of our limits results in one realizing their utter dependence upon God’s will in the face of justice, or injustice. Yeager’s model characters move in the world with an total lack of expectation that changes their perception of what is just and unjust. Again, “they never suffer offense or find occasion for anger.” Much of the debate about the self’s proper relationship with the world and God is caught up in a debate about the nature of faith itself—a topic that is obviously beyond the limits of this paper. Even so, I think there are enough problems with Yeager’s view that we should reject it in favor of Werpehowski’s.

Responses to Yeager

The failure to perceive something as unjust is a failure to live according to the truth. It is troubling that Yeager’s model characters are ones, according to her, that are so dependent upon God’s will that they do not ever suffer offense nor become angry. This is because their faith and love have supposedly transformed their vision of the world. This failure to allow a judgment of wrongdoing (which is an essential aspect of anger) also seems to annul the act of forgiveness. This is because forgiveness presupposes a previous offense that is recognized. One has to see a wrong in order to forgive a wrong. This pushes back on the notion that forgiveness is merely some sort of internal attitude or predisposition that glides over injustice as if it did not profoundly affect the sufferer and the sufferer’s relationship to the offender. Without perceiving injustice, even towards the self, one might also fail to acknowledge the real consequences that result from wrongdoing, both for the victim and the offender. This might lead one to attempt restoration in a way that is premature or spiritually blind. One can imagine a relationship where real offenses are not acknowledged and consequences for those behaviors are not realized; where might this lead but to a cyclical process of enabling and abuse?
Yeager is worried that the judgment of wrongdoing is contradictory to the love of God made manifest through compassion. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. thought that compassion and true judgment of wrongdoing could exist together in a kind of paradox. In a sermon titled A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart, King grounds this paradox in his understanding of God—
The greatness of our God lies in the fact that he is both toughminded and tenderhearted. . . . The Bible, always clear in stressing both attributes of God, expresses his toughmindedness in his justice and wrath and his tenderheartedness in his love and grace. . . . On the one hand, God is a God of justice who punished Israel for her wayward deeds, and on the other hand, he is a forgiving father whose heart was filled with unutterable joy when the prodigal son returned home.
Toughmindedness is characterized by “incisive thinking, realistic appraisal, and decisive judgment .”Tenderheartedness is the place from which love flows. It is opposed by hardheartedness that “lacks the capacity for genuine compassion.”Loving compassion is what links us up to the rest of humanity. And so, the tough mind grasps the sobering truths about people’s behavior and responds accordingly, while the tender heart grasps the full humanity of the people we might be tempted to reduce to the wrongdoing they’ve done. Dr. King thought that these two opposites united in a creative synthesis that he called nonviolent resistance.
Nonviolent resistance is in many ways sympathetic to Werpehowski’s ideal of gentle anger. But the main point here is that the father can be fully open to the reception of the prodigal son while still maintaining that his behavior will not be tolerated in the father’s house. Now that we’ve dealt with Yeager’s attack on the cognitive dimension of anger, we can move to the objections to vindicatio.
Forgiveness does not precede repentance nor makes repentance possible as Yeager claims. Retribution appears contrary to forgiveness if you agree with Yeager that forgiveness precedes repentance and that the threat of retribution hardens an offender’s heart. But it’s hard to know exactly what Yeager means by forgiveness preceding repentance. Her basis for this comes from Dickens’ novel Dombey and Son. Dombey, the father, marries his second wife Edith out of little more than utility. Anger, resentment, pride—all are present in their marriage from the beginning. This worsens over time until they eventually separate in utter disgust at one another, using their daughter as a weapon to get at each other. It is interesting to note that all the quotes Yeager includes from Dickens are focused on resentment, and include pride, rage, and bitterness as part of what motivated Dombey and Edith’s destructive actions. These are obviously distinct from mere anger. Even so, that forgiveness must precede repentance obviously contradicts the facts. There are many cases in which an offender goes his way, and after some time realizes the wrong they’ve done. They return to the offender, saddened, repentant, and hopeful for restoration, when the victim turns them away. “I’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done,” they might say, “and if you come back here again, I’ll kill you.” Even the threat of murder (something not allowed by the common norms of retribution) is not sufficient to foreclose this offender’s move towards repentance. She goes away saddened, but freer as a result of attempting reconciliation. Repentance, therefore, is preceded by forgiveness only incidentally; they are not causally linked in all cases.
Retribution is not opposed to forgiveness, nor is it opposed to restoration. Ideally, retribution is a means to right relationship. Because Yeager (pulling from Lauritzen) includes restoration as part of forgiveness, it makes retribution seem contrary to the nature of forgiveness. It is initially difficult to conceptualize how one could have forgiven somebody, be in right relationship to them, and still seek redress for a past wrong. I think part of the initial difficulty is that retribution conjures up images of violent or hateful revenge. In this view retribution might easily be mistaken for a force that sustains and asserts the brokenness of a relationship. Let’s consider a minor example of vindicatio to dispel these images. Imagine, for example, two best friends, John and Jonah. Jonah is always late to every meeting they have. Slowly John begins to get angry every time Jonah shows up five to ten minutes late to dinner. John feels disrespected in this area and eventually expresses his anger and hurt to Jonah. Jonah responds extremely well, apologizes (though John didn’t necessarily ask for that), commits to treating John differently in the future, and also asks if he can do anything to make what he did right. John is abashed that Jonah would put himself at his service like that. Still, he says yes. John asks if he could show up five minutes early to their meetings for a month and Jonah willingly acquiesces. During the time in which John had yet to tell Jonah about his anger, their friendship still thrived in many other ways. The desire for redress and rectification did not threaten their bond. Anger both alerted John to the fact that something was wrong, and once publicly acknowledged, improved their bond as friends. John did not desire to punish Jonah in vicious or disproportionate ways. Redress looked like being five minutes early for a month in this situation. Here, redress takes the form that penance often takes, where a priest both offers the forgiveness available through Christ, yet still asks the confessor to do penance as a means to rectify a wrong one has done. This is in the spirit of Zacchaeus the cheating tax collector. Once Christ enters Zacchaeus’s house Zacchaeus says, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”Jesus approves and declares that salvation had come to his house. In the two cases I’ve presented, redress is voluntary on the part of the offender. This isn’t always the case. But the same principle can be applied. Inherent in wrongdoing are the consequences attached to those wrongs. Retribution is the public realization of the consequences inherently attached to wrongdoing. Zacchaeus might have been forgiven by all of the people he stole from, and yet he finds it fitting to restore to them four times what he stole. He doesn’t just keep the money, even though forgiveness entails his “debt” has been canceled. The debt is canceled in the sense that Martin Luther King Jr. puts forth in his sermon titled Loving Your Enemies, “Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. . . . when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship.” Therefore, forgiveness is not opposed to the realization of consequences that come about through one’s pursuit of redress. It just means that this pursuit cannot be a barrier to a new relationship. This does not mean that the pursuit of redress is without its constraints. Werpehowski is the first to say that good anger, especially in the form of retribution, is a rare and difficult thing. But there are safety nets, and proper routes to pursue vindicatio. The proper route for most instances of vindicatio is in the public sphere, in community, without raising the self above that community. Werpehowski cautions us against prideful wrath’s desire to get even through a self-willed show of power. This is the individual’s attempt to throw off the common norms and processes of justice that bind a community together. However rare and difficult, there are a few shining exceptions in the face of great injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of them. In the next section I’ll attempt to show that there are powers given to the individual to exercise in the face of injustice, and I’ll attempt to outline some of the proper avenues for the expression of anger and pursuit of its ends.

Healthy Avenues for Anger

Expressing anger and seeking vindicatio is not sinful so long as it is channeled through the proper mediums. The first and primary medium to express one’s anger in is prayer. David is a servant of God who is unafraid of to do this. The introduction to Psalm 7 says, “A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to to the LORD concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite.” One gets the sense that David has been accused of some wrongdoing by Cush, given what follows. Verse 3 says, “O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust.” David boldly invites God to allow vindicatio from his enemies if he is in fact guilty of wrong doing. Here David is not raising himself above the possibility of being wrong. Yet he turns his prayer towards his enemies in verse 6 saying, “Arise, O LORD, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed judgment .” Psalm 18 and 109 are also accounts of David expressing and pursuing the ends of vindicatio through prayer. Prayer with God mediates David’s anger towards his fellow man. Psalm 7:4-5 shows that it is not rooted merely in a selfish and self centered desire to get even, because he welcomes just punishment if he himself has offended. Prayer with God can also mediate the harsher edges to our anger, and bring us to a place of gentility before we proceed to address our neighbor, or enemy.

A second option available to a person is an appeal to the state. Paul encourages Christians to stay away from taking fellow Christian’s to court. And we are right to comply. But this does not entirely exclude appeals to the state from the options available for the healthy exercise of anger. Recently, America has re-experienced the long-lasting effects and consequences of racism in many deaths of African Americans by police. Walter Scott was an unarmed African American who was shot in the back while running away from a policeman on April 4th, 2015. A video came out that contradicted the policeman’s report of the event. In it, the officer carries something over and throws it down next to Walter Scott after he’s shot, seemingly framing him. In the aftermath, CNN interviewed Walter Scott’s mother. The interview is powerful. Towards the end Mrs. Scott says, “I mean, I am supposed to be really angry and upset and raging and all that, but, I can’t, because of the love of God in me. I can’t be like that. I feel forgiveness in my heart, even for the guy who shot and killed my son.” It is obvious when watching her that Mrs. Scott is speaking from the heart. She feels forgiveness in her heart and is holding on to the offender’s humanity. But this does not stop her from expressing gentle anger and a desire for vindicatio in an appeal to the state. Earlier in the interview her interlocutor asks her, “What do you think about what happened?” Her voice elevates when she responds, “That was not right. Policemen are supposed to protect the people, not try to frame them, or get out of what they’ve done wrong. They are supposed to be honest people, protecting us.” She’s eventually asked, “Do you think justice will be done?” She responds, “I believe God. With the policeman being arrested, he’s got to be convicted. And I believe since God moves so fast, the God I serve is able—I know God will make a way—God will fix it.” For Mrs. Scott, the appeal to the state is not distinct from an appeal to God. Her faith is that God, already so faithful in providing a video for the truth to come out, is going to redress the situation by means of the state. We can pray with her that redress might come. This interview stands, I think, as a testament to the necessity of community in pursing the ends of anger. Perhaps a community that is so committed to justice for their neighbor is one in which the self might never be tempted to pursue justice in an independent and isolated way.
A third option available to a Christian is an underestimated one—the ability to speak the truth about injustice to the the offender and to your community. Dr. King is an exemplar here. Dr. King pursued redress every day of his life. Though he may disagree with Werpehowski that redress can ever take the form of punishment by a human hand, King pursued vindicatio with his whole spirit. He forgave his enemies and simultaneously rebuked them in every medium given to him to speak in. He spoke the truth about the justice due to African Americans, and pursued redress in the form of changes in law. The fiery quake in his voice resounds of anger that is transformed by love. This transformation of anger by divine love, according to Werpehowski, changes into zeal for the glory of God.
One cannot subdue this anger quickened by love. Dr. King’s openness to the movements of anger and continued openness to the movements of love are what kept him on narrow path between wrath and servility.

Conclusion

I began by assuming that anger is a king of story. Anger is an embodied experience that is tied to a particular historical narrative of wrongdoing. Anger does not exist in the abstract. This can be instructive for us as Christians who desire to cultivate lives of gentle anger motivated by love for oneself and one’s neighbor. Instead of condemning anger as automatically unforgiving, we can approach situations of injustice knowing there is story behind it—a story that needs listening to and grieving with. A relationship, family, or larger community that is closed off to hearing about anger and grief endangers itself. First, it isolates those who are angry and denies their worth as a person worthy of justice. A refusal to listen is an assertion about the truth of the victim’s experience—that is, no wrong was done, nothing is currently wrong, and redress is an irrational pursuit. Is this not the very context where “a disavowal of one’s own limits” might grow? If a community won’t lend its own dignifying pursuit of justice for one of its members, eventually the individual will, but without that community’s help, and most likely in revolt against that community. Thus the “bottled up” anger “explodes” in an attempt to undo the system which continually rejects that individuals claim to equal, restored relationship.
Where do we fall as a Christian community? I think in many ways we are split. Different communities experience and express anger in different ways. The increase of internet and social media have given rise to new, insidious forms of wrathful shaming. But in person, things look and feel differently. On the whole, I believe that in person we largely tend towards servility. There may be a few powerful people that a community tip toes around and allows to express their dominating feelings. But for most people, expressing anger towards a person is surrounded by much fear and discomfort, and pursuit of vindicatio is unimaginable. Avoidance and unhealthy tolerance are the name of the game. I have two simple thoughts about how to move forward here. First, a movement towards good anger must begin with a willingness to listen and a willingness to share each other’s pain. It shouldn’t be relegated wholly to the therapist’s office. Second, redress can take a thousand forms, and we often do not know what is appropriate to ask for. Some avoid pursuing redress because of their felt ignorance about what exactly was wrong in a situation, or what actions are “allowed” to them in regards to the offender. Though it is difficult for those who struggle with servility to imagine—this ignorance and confusion is exactly why community is necessary for the healthy experience of anger. In sharing, you open yourself up to the healing light of love, and you let that very love  guide your thoughts and feelings as you arrive together at how to move forward into justice.

[I realize the numbers didn’t show up in the blog version, but I thought I’d post these anyway to give references and to prove that I didn’t just steal!]
1 Werephowski, William. Do You Do Well to Be Angry. (Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics, vol. 16, 1996): 67.
2 Werpehowski, Do You Do Well to Be Angry, 70.
3 Ibid., 71.
4 Werpehowski, Do You Do Well to Be Angry, 70-72.
5 Ibid., 74.
6 Aristotle, Nicamachean Ethics, trans. J.A.K. Thomson (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1955) 2.7, 69.
7 Werpehowski, Do You Do Well to Be Angry, 70.
8 Yeager, Diane. Anger, Justice, and Detachment, (Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics, vol. 17, 1997) 173.
9 Ibid., 167-168.
10 Ibid., 178.
11 Yeager, Diane. Anger, Justice, and Detachment, 184, 186.
12 Lauritzen, Paul. Christian Belief and Emotional Transformation. (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1992) 93-94.
13 King, Martin Luther. Strength to Love, (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1981) 19.
14 Ibid., 14.
15 Ibid., 17.
16 Ibid., 19.
17 Luke 19:1-10.
18 Werpehowski, William, Do You Do Well To be Angry, 70.
19 Werpehowski, pg. 74-76.