Preaching On Buses : “One Stop Driva! Mi Waan Come Off!”
The bus is hot. Packed. A young man plays the latest Movado from his cellphone (not even a Blackberry enuh…pffffft). The school children are shouting and screaming. The smells. The sweat. I’m patiently counting the stops until I am able to get off this bus and then I hear it, “Good evenin passingerz, I ham ere wid a werd fram God.”
I searched my bag desperately for my earphones to block out the impending message of the apocalypse and of the fact that Jamaica’s crime problem was a direct result of our “wickidniss”. Alas, my earphones were not with me. I would have to suffer the abuse of preaching on the bus.
As I listened to the preacher’s message from God, I began to question why preaching on buses was even allowed. Why do we excuse religion for so much that we would condemn others for? For example, would we have been so accommodating if someone had come to preach against God? Or in favour of oral sex? Or in favour of homosexuality? Why is religion allowed special privilege? Why is a particular belief system given such leeway? I perhaps should say Christianity and not religion but whatever.
Having paid my $80, I was expecting a ride home without being intimidated by this “Messenger of God”. Not only was his message hateful and illogical, it was clear he had a limited grasp of scriptures and the English Language. His sole point of biblical reference would be John 3:15. At one point I even wondered if he himself understood why Jesus came. Though he referenced the scripture passage, you would have thought the whole island was already condemned to hell, he didn’t see Jesus’ redemptive work. He painted God as a vengeful and almost murderous being.
Why are christians so judgemental? Christians are the first to cast stones and sometimes I wonder if most have ever read the book which they quote so often. What about tolerance? Love? Patience? Seriously, what about these things?
As he continued shouting himself hoarse, he turned to the children and proceeded to frighten them with his hateful message. I’m sorry, but I think that’s just fundamentally wrong. A child should not be subjected to that kind of thing and that preacher’s message did nothing but disturb the already uncomfortable situation in the bus. The fact that it is a public transport vehicle should mandate that no one be allowed to be so loud and disruptive.
Christian or no christian, no one should be excluded from that general rule of thumb. If I want to hear your hateful and illogical message, I’ll visit your church. I don’t need you spitting and shouting at me. That’s not what I paid $80 for. Yes! Bus fare is $80! If I ever I’m in a position to legislate, that’s the first thing I’ll ban, preaching on buses. Yup, I said it.
After what seemed like years, the bus arrived at my destination. As I stepped off the bus, the preacher could clearly be heard saying “…if anyone wants to give me a donation now…”
Shouldn’t his “donation” come from heaven? It is, afterall, God’s work.