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Can "Righteous" Anger Justify Abusive Behavior? With Dr. Michael Ballard

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

My dad was a volatile man. No one knew what would set him off or when he would lose it, so we were always constantly on guard and alert when he was around. Growing up, I was taught that his anger was a reflection of God, and that it was God’s Spirit within him responding to the evil in the world. So therefore, his temper and anger was justified, righteous, and good.

As an adult, I’ve had similar experiences with people acting out of supposed “righteous” anger. For example, someone on a work video call started yelling at me. He filled the virtual screen with his body as he rocked in and out toward the camera, in an intimidating manner… all the while shredding my character. He allowed no room for misunderstanding or grace for wrongdoing, (if these even applied at all). After running out of steam and starting to calm, he said that his angry outburst and attack was righteous and that he was proud of himself for having learned to let it out, rather than to keep it in. This man wasn’t the only one on that call, and everyone else sat by and watched.