Strangers on a Train: Watch This Preacher Annoy and Infuriate a Captive Audience August 5, 2019

Strangers on a Train: Watch This Preacher Annoy and Infuriate a Captive Audience

Street preachers usually don’t annoy me too much, unless they use bullhorns or amplifiers turned up to 11, hurl actual abuse at passers-by (like, say, those of the “wrong” race), or try to disturb a funeral.

In fact, I’ve defended street preachers a couple of times on free-speech grounds. (I’ve also publicly called them on their idiocy and arrogance, so there’s that.)

But here’s no defending the guy in this video. He decides to loudly preach to a train car full of passengers who don’t care to hear what he has to say. It’s standing-room only on that train, which means that fellow riders are an involuntary captive audience. All that most can do to counter the nuisance is to put in and turn up their ear buds, if they’re lucky enough to carry those. The rest just have to stand there and take it, at least until the next stop.

Then, one gentleman whose quiet reading was disturbed … finally talks back.

Maybe, though, we need more preachers like this.

Inconsiderate dipsticks, high on their own righteousness, who veil their aggression as love, who take what isn’t theirs (namely, our time and attention), who get in strangers’ faces, and who scream themselves hoarse about divine kindness while forgetting to actually dispense some of it.

With more self-styled preachers like the graceless, morally preening jerk in this video, religion would quickly become (even more) puzzling and unattractive. Young people not already indoctrinated in its ways would reject it in even greater numbers — in part because it’s being preached by bumptious hypocrites who see the rest of us not as autonomous beings entitled to our own thoughts and our privacy, but as dumb vessels to be filled with their run-of-the-mill Jesus horse-shite.

Thanks, preacher-man, for advancing the cause of free-thinking!

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P.S. I found it interesting that the back-talker is from another country — New Zealand, perhaps, if I’m placing the accent correctly? Maybe it’s because Americans are so in thrall to the legitimately wonderful First Amendment and the free-speech ethos it birthed, that most of us will just zip our lip and endure the yammering of jackasses even in close quarters. For better or for worse, elsewhere in the world, these Christ-y shenanigans are not as easily tolerated.

P.P.S.  Even some atheists have a grudging respect for evangelists like the prideful pinhead above. Penn Jillette once said — misguidedly, I think —

I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life. … How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? … If I believed beyond the shadow of a doubt that a truck was going to hit you, and you didn’t believe it and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point at which I tackle you.

I like Jillette, but that’s nonsense. It seems to me that the proper proselytizing/oncoming-truck analogy would be: “If you believe you see a barreling truck that’s about to hit me, but it literally cannot be seen by me or by anyone else who lives within the scientifically accepted definition of reality, exactly why and how often do I have to smile and mutter thanks in response to your pushing me out of the way?”


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