Sunday, 15 January 2006

On the virtue of heckling preachers

This morning my family decided to visit a quaint little Protestant church down the road. We’ve never been there before—and I don’t think we’ll be back any time soon. The preacher spoke on the beatitude, “blessed are the meek.” And to my great surprise, he spent half the sermon praising Ian Paisley as a model of the Christian virtue of meekness.

Anywhere else, the crowd might have heckled him. And I reckon it’s unfortunate that there’s no tradition of Christian heckling. We should have booed and jeered. We should have thrown fruit. It would have done everyone a world of good: the preacher would have been held accountable for his words, and the congregation would have taken a stand for humanity.

But instead we all sat in silence, our hands folded meekly in our laps.

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