I started to think about the whys behind the anger and I discovered 2 paths.
Anger after pain.
The commentors were angry because they were hurt first. They were hurting because something they love no longer exists and they weren't consulted in its departure. They are grieving a loss.
Anger after fear.
Those that contacted me to have me remove the post were angry because they were afraid of how the comments would be perceived- by those the comments were related to and by what others might think or feel about the place entirely.
I think both paths are accurate and the anger is understandable from both paths.
I ultimately chose to take down the post. Mainly because I had received the information I was seeking and because it's a sticky situation for my family.
Anger can be helpful and it can also be harmful. When people are angry they can choose to act and work to affect the changes they desire. When people are angry they can get defensive and find ways to tear things apart. What do you do when you feel justified in your anger and others feel you aren't? When you feel like your voice isn't being heard and your gifts are being squashed by others? When you are grieving something because someone else had the power to take it from you? What do you do when people say things that you don't like? When you care deeply for the people who people are mad at? What about when you are deeply connected and protective of the place that is topic and others are not happy with it?
What if we sought to have meaningful conversations about the hurt and fear instead of only seeing the anger? Sure, things might not change at all- and both paths will remain, perhaps each more solid than before. Alas, things could change- and both paths might be able to come together, even if it's just a few paces toward the center.