Imagine the outcry there would be from Christians if having decided to hold an open-air service, a group of atheists turned up and started shouting through tannoys at them as they attempted to enjoy their celebration. Imagine those atheists shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ and ‘Losers. You need to come to your senses!’ Imagine if they said they were only doing this out of love to break the spell the Christians were under, the spell of religion. Imagine they held up signs the entire time with text inspired by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, like ‘Free yourself from your God Delusion’ and ‘ Religion Poisons Everything’.
Yes, imagine the outcry; the Christians would see themselves as persecuted by ‘militant atheists’ out to spoil their day. And, who knows, perhaps they’d be right, though perhaps persecution is overstating it, though we all know Christians like their martyrdom. So long as it doesn’t entail any actual… erm… martyrdom.
This didn’t happen at the weekend in my home town – I doubt it happens anywhere – but pretty much the opposite did. A bunch of Christians, complete with loud speakers and placards with scripture verses on them, turned up at the Gay Pride celebration in the centre of town and proceeded to tell those out to enjoy their day that they were sinners in need of Christ and his salvation. They kept this up, because, they said, they loved the people whose afternoon they were trying to disrupt, for at least two hours. These were not members of a local church; according to the young man I spoke to they had come from various parts of the UK and from the States specifically to interfere with the event, or ‘preach the gospel’ as he put it.
The LGBT people at the Pride were having none of it, of course, and drowned out the tired old rhetoric with whistles and good natured chanting until the Righteous Ones accepted the futility of their mission and packed up to go home… but not before they transplanted themselves near the stage to show off their signs again.
Now, how is this different from the scenario we started with?
Christians would object if others gate-crashed their events and attempted to disrupt their celebrations; yet they think they have the right to do just that to others, with their message of hell and damnation. They’d cry ‘persecution’ and see the same kind of actions as militant (when they have no idea what the word ‘militant’ actually means) and part of an ‘anti-Christian agenda’, if it was they on the receiving end.
It’s Christians themsleves who have the agenda – to judge, impose on and convert those with different beliefs and philosophies. They think they have special knowledge of The Truth that no-one else has and which has never been heard before when all they really have is a superstition, a belief in a sky god and magical incantation, much like any other superstition. Even if this weren’t the case, even if their beliefs were what the Christians think they are, that does not give them the right to exercise their arrogant, shouty agenda by rudely imposing themselves on others’ special days.
Update: Evangelist Dale Mcalpine says it wasn’t his merry little brand of preachers that invaded Pride. Oh no. According to Dale, a bunch of irresponsible LGBT people tried to spoil a bona fide Christian event that just happened to be going on nearby at the same time.
These people’s self-delusion knows no bounds.