Piehole Should Be Quiet
November 4, 2014 3:51 PM   Subscribe

little girl tells Christian preacher to shut up "Every year Salem is inundated with street preachers during out Halloween celebrations. They spend most every weekend during October telling us to 'Turn or Burn.' I've been recording their interactions with people for a couple of years now for a long running art project, and while this young guy was preaching, a little girl just ran up and started laying into him. I never even saw who her parents were or where she was from. She just sort of showed up and then ran off again."

This is my new favorite thing.
posted by NedKoppel (215 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have often thought about doing this.

SHUT UP. NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOU. BLAH BLAH JESUS BLAH BLAH.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [22 favorites]


I want to adopt her.
posted by NedKoppel at 3:56 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


She's my new hero.
posted by Thing at 3:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


SHUT IT
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:58 PM on November 4, 2014


I can't decide if this feels staged or not.
posted by ACair at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


Guys this is offensive. Please donate to my kickstarter to send this young heathen to seminary school.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:00 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


That little girl is adorable, and absofuckinlutely awesome. If more people had her courage, religious people might finally learn to keep their bullshit to themselves.
posted by starbreaker at 4:01 PM on November 4, 2014 [10 favorites]


Obnoxious street preacher meets obnoxious little girl.
posted by echocollate at 4:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [64 favorites]


I dunno, the "preacher" is barely older than she is. It's hard to see him as a real representative of the Power to which Truth should be spoken. I feel vaguely sorry for the poor brainwashed jerk.

All things considered, though, I'm bound to come down on the side of Piehole Should Be Quiet.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [65 favorites]


It's weird to see a street preacher with amplification. That must be not allowed in most places, right? I usually see street preachers just yelling, if they were yelling over loudspeakers, that'd be insanely annoying.
posted by mathowie at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [16 favorites]


I hate self-righteous preaching and in-your-face religion more than most people and I actually do find this offensive. Telling people to shut up and blah-blah-blah-ing just isn't ok. Mutual respect is the goal, not mockery and shouting each other down.
posted by headnsouth at 4:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [42 favorites]


You gotta start somewhere, Sing or Swim. If you can't take out the king right away, why not whack a pawn or two?
posted by starbreaker at 4:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


So there's a guy who preaches with a megaphone every Sunday for hours at a busy intersection a few blocks from where I live. It is loud. The sound carries for a third of a mile in every direction. People should have the right to express themselves as they please in public, but I don't see that the First Amendment guarantees the right to amplify your voice so that everyone in a twenty block radius has to be subjected to your hellfire-and-brimstone sermoning.

Nobody ever does or says anything to object to this guy's power-preaching to his face -- it is the Midwest after all, maybe it's more normative here than back East -- but I don't really get how this kind of behavior doesn't run afoul of noise ordinances in the same way that blasting music at your kegger would.
posted by killdevil at 4:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


Uh, Salem? Maybe they can start some unironic inquiries into witchcraft there next.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 4:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel kind of bad for that little girl because she hasn't figured out yet that yelling "shut up" at babbling idiots never works. Either they ignore you or they act like you're the one with the problem.

There's a guy who hangs out on State St. in Chicago and preaches all kinds of nonsense about homosexuals and tries to hands out literature to passersby who never ever want any. I had to listen to him a lot waiting for my bus. At some point I decided to deal with it by feeling sorry for his being mentally ill.
posted by bleep at 4:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


I can't decide if this feels staged or not.

Her toward-camera side-eye at :24 says Yes.
posted by themanwho at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [32 favorites]


killdevil: Have you contacted the people who enforce the noise ordinances to complain?
posted by biffa at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Good for her, but, er... where are the Satanists? I mean, come on! It's Halloween in Salem! I'm honestly disappointed not to see some serious Left Hand Path action.
posted by topynate at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


killdevil - have you ever tried calling the cops on him? Maybe they haven't had sufficient complaints. Sort of a real life FIAMO.
posted by maryr at 4:09 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


It looks staged to me, as well. I really want to believe!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:09 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, that was a video of two incredibly annoying people yelling inanities at each other, alright.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:09 PM on November 4, 2014 [16 favorites]


Biffa: I have, a couple of times. They've vaguely told me that they'd check into it.
posted by killdevil at 4:09 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


headnsouth, why does this preacher deserve respect? The little girl has the same free-speech rights under the First Amendment as preacher boy. Granted, she isn't actually attacking preacher boy's ideas, but why not treat contemptible ideas with contempt?

IMHO, preacher boy had it coming. If you want to go out of public and speak for God, pretending you know His mind because you read the Bible, then mockery is a just reward for your blasphemous presumption.
posted by starbreaker at 4:10 PM on November 4, 2014 [28 favorites]


This just seems like an asshole thing to do. Yelling at people to shut up isn't going to change anyone's mind. It's not even going to get anyone to shut up.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


the god assholes deserve every anti-god asshole they create. even the staged ones.
posted by gorestainedrunes at 4:14 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


The little girl has the same free-speech rights under the First Amendment as preacher boy.

Yep. And they're both exercising them as obnoxiously as they can. I get the feeling that an adult or two put her up to it as well (see the eyeswipe to the camera mentioned above). What a great lesson: that yelling at people to shut up is a healthy way to deal with something you dislike/disapprove of.
posted by echocollate at 4:15 PM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


Her toward-camera side-eye at :24 says Yes.

Reckless12 from Liveleak claims that he was already recording the street preacher when the little girl appeared, so I dunno. She's definitely aware of the camera. Maybe this was her version of photo bombing?
posted by Kevin Street at 4:16 PM on November 4, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah, the fact that she was aware of the camera doesn't mean this was staged. It's not a hidden camera.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:19 PM on November 4, 2014 [41 favorites]


It's weird to see a street preacher with amplification. That must be not allowed in most places, right? I usually see street preachers just yelling, if they were yelling over loudspeakers, that'd be insanely annoying.

I don't know about elsewhere, but they're all over San Francisco and every bit as annoying as you'd imagine.
posted by treepour at 4:22 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Good for her, but, er... where are the Satanists? I mean, come on! It's Halloween in Salem! I'm honestly disappointed not to see some serious Left Hand Path action.

You're making the same mistake as the dumbass in the video. Wicca and Satanism are two completely different belief systems; the only thing they have in common is that they were invented in the mid-20th century. You might as well ask where all the Scientologists are.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, "Piehole should be shut." is also what I want to say to the neighbor lady who yells at the Muslims going to iftar at the prayer room down the street.


That, and take down your damn Doug Ford sign. He lost. Deal with it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [15 favorites]


She better watch out or that guy might get God to send a couple of she-bears out of the wood to rend her and forty-one of her classmates limb from limb.
posted by Flunkie at 4:25 PM on November 4, 2014 [25 favorites]


mathowie I can't speak for anywhere else, but in Texas street preachers are always amplified. When I lived in Amarillo there were a few corners owned by sympathetic businesses (the local Midas affiliate for example) where they'd park trucks equipped with giant ass speakers that made them audible for a great distance.

Here in San Antonio they tend to congregate (heh) near the tourist sections of the riverwalk and use man portable megaphones to scream their hate. They never go down into the riverwalk, I suspect the police could evict them, but rather stand on the overpasses.

But I've never encountered a street preacher in Texas who wasn't amplified somehow.
posted by sotonohito at 4:26 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not likely, Flunkie. I've been married to God for ten years, and she thought that girl was cute.
posted by starbreaker at 4:27 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


There's a preacher or two that regularly stand on a central point on campus, preaching loudly. It's somewhat of a religious/conservative area, so plenty of people listen to him, or at least don't mind him. There are always plenty of people that holler "shut up" as they walk by, and always, for the first few weeks of campus, someone with a fedora is trying to change the preachers mind. Most people just stream around him and pay him no mind. I find him quite offensive at worst, irritating at best, but I'm one of the ones that just walks on by into the library.

This year, someone sprayed him with pepper spray as they walked by.

I think an angry cute little girl is a far better way to deal with street preachers.

But when it comes down to it, I'm pretty sure Shouting Sidewalk Discourse doesn't actually count as discourse. I don't know how many minds the preacher on my campus or the preacher in this video are changing, and I don't think an 8 year old or an Atheist With An Argument is change the preacher's mind through either. So I keep walking.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:29 PM on November 4, 2014


My daughter, at about that age, had had heard enough stupidity (in her case, that wolves, if reintroduced into the wild, will take to stealing and eating babies off front porches) that she lost her usual veneer of civility, and delivered an equally forceful, if quieter, rebuttal to those assertions, in a public hearing.

So I have little doubt that this young woman is being real, here.
posted by Danf at 4:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [19 favorites]


I read the site "Not Always Right," about looniness in the service industry. And there was a similar story recently:

A woman was the clerk at an electronics store, and two guys in her line were obviously a couple, the two of them holding hands and occasionally smooching. Behind them was a sour-faced woman, and behind them, another woman with a little girl. When the two guys got up to the clerk, they asked if the store had a wedding registry. "Oh, congratulations!" the clerk said. "We don't, but what my wife and I did was just write down all the product numbers and give them out..."

And the sour-faced woman interrupted them to say that she didn't have time for their "gay-pride parade," and they should hurry up and get out of her way.

And then the little girl stamped her foot and shouted at the woman - "That's not nice! You should apologize right now!"

And everyone stared at her open-mouthed - the clerk, the men, the woman, and her mother. The woman sputtered out something about being gay being against the Bible and that it was disgusting, and the girl said, "No, God loves everybody! A girl can like a girl, and a boy can like a boy! And God doesn't care - maybe He just made a boy like a boy, and God still loves them!"

And the woman just glared at everyone a moment, then threw her things down on the ground and left. And while everyone was just blinking, the little girl primly picked up the robot toy she'd selected and walked up to the register and asked, "Can I get this, please?"

At which point, the two men said they would pay for it, and the clerk said the store just so happened to give 50% discounts to awesome little girls.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [286 favorites]


She better watch out or that guy might get God to send a couple of she-bears out of the wood to rend her and forty-one of her classmates limb from limb.


Nah- she didn't call him "bald-head", so she's in the clear.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [10 favorites]


She better watch out or that guy might get God to send a couple of she-bears out of the wood to rend her and forty-one of her classmates limb from limb.

No, only oversensitive bald dudes do that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Dammit, TheWhiteSkull! Beaten to the punchline.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:36 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


You're making the same mistake as the dumbass in the video. Wicca and Satanism are two completely different belief systems

To be completely clear, I'm disappointed Satanists aren't swamping Salem like these preachers because it's a prime opportunity for the former to promote themselves and stir things up, which I would have taken great pleasure in seeing take place alongside these asshole preachers. With all due respect to Wicca, the historical connection between it and the Salem witch trials is every bit as tenuous as that between Satanism and those events, in my opinion.
posted by topynate at 4:37 PM on November 4, 2014 [10 favorites]


Goddam that is an annoying video. I had to go and listen to this Anton Lavey big top medley just to try and clear the cortisol out of my system.
posted by batfish at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Nah- she didn't call him "bald-head", so she's in the clear.

Nor did she actually tell him to "go up".
posted by trip and a half at 4:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's a preacher or two that regularly stand on a central point on campus, preaching loudly. It's somewhat of a religious/conservative area, so plenty of people listen to him, or at least don't mind him. There are always plenty of people that holler "shut up" as they walk by, and always, for the first few weeks of campus, someone with a fedora is trying to change the preachers mind. Most people just stream around him and pay him no mind. I find him quite offensive at worst, irritating at best, but I'm one of the ones that just walks on by into the library.

I usually ignore them too, but two days after the 2004 South-East Asian tsunami, I walked past a shouty street preacher proclaiming that this was proof - PROOF - that god hated brown people/gays because of the 'horrors of homosexuality' or some such nonsense.

That was the only time I have been moved to shout 'SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU IGNORANT BIGOT' rather than just ignore it. It didn't change anything, but it was certainly cathartic.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:42 PM on November 4, 2014 [18 favorites]


I read the site "Not Always Right," about looniness in the service industry. And there was a similar story recently:

See, that story, I read and liked. Yelling over and over again that someone should shut up for no apparent reason adds nothing to the situation except more yelling. Explaining very clearly why they're wrong is a totally different thing, even if you start with somewhat rudely correcting their manners.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:45 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


I want to get this little girl a vuvuzela.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:47 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like this girl enormously. But I can never decide how I feel about evangelists. On the one hand, they annoy me, because I don't buy what they're selling and never will. OTOH, I can sort of see the logic that if you thought you had the one true way to eternal happiness, you'd have to try and share it with people.

So maybe I'll just file people like this guy under a-holes I have the vaguest possible grudging respect for."

I'll at least rank him higher than pamphlet people. It's possible I have a factory irregular Bible or something, but I don't remember Jesus saying anything about how his way is the truth and the light, so you should print that shit up in full color, drop it at the laundromat and run like a bitch.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:48 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Where do I enlist on Team "They Should Both Shut Up"?
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:49 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


But then, I doubt this guy is really about spreading his faith. He's just in it to hector the heathens.

So "SHUT IT SHUT IT SHUT IT" is pretty much an entirely valid response.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:53 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


The man is clearly one of life's unfortunates. An annoying unfortunate, but an unfortunate. The law is on his side as far as the megaphone is concerned, but as a local, the father can work on getting the megaphone ordinance changed.

In the meantime, he and the ill-behaved child should learn a little compassion.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:55 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


In fact, Jesus said that if people don't want to listen to what you have to say, you should "shake the dust from your feet," and GTFO. I'm always surprised at the number of street preachers who don't want to follow His word (particularly Matthew 6).


My only issue with this little girl is that her critique should be more specific to local historical context. I would have said something like, "Hey, Increase- don't you have an innocent farmer to crush under some stones right now? Oh- what are you going to do? Have me hanged and confiscate my lands?"

Frankly, I blame the schools.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:55 PM on November 4, 2014 [35 favorites]


Just a quick note to our Christian friends on MetaFilter: you're still cool. We're still cool. Our enthusiasm for seeing a guy who yells at us that we're going to be tortured forever get yelled at back doesn't change that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:56 PM on November 4, 2014 [41 favorites]


Everybody's looking for someone they can treat badly and feel righteous while they're doing it.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [31 favorites]


There should be vigilante brass sections who drop in on street preachers and drown them out with banda fanfares and dixieland slides.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [63 favorites]


Once upon a time, several years ago, there was a street preacher who'd show up in the middle of the college campus where I was going to grad school. He'd pull out the megaphone and go to town with the hating on pretty much everyone. And he'd bring his wife and the kids too up- probably for insurance for not getting beat up on. One day I was sitting on the lawn having lunch outside and he got on my last nerve. There were a bunch of assorted undergrads sitting around having lunch too and you could tell he was bothering them as well. I struck up a conversation with a trio of women nearby about how frustrating it was to have to listen to high volume hate on a nice day and I jokingly suggested that we should flash the guy. Didn't think that anyone would take me up on it, but one of the women stood up, lifted her shirt and the next thing I knew, the preacher was packing up his stuff and heading out of there at a high rate of speed.

Later that year the guy was arrested for soliciting an under-aged boy.

There's a moral to this story somewhere.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:58 PM on November 4, 2014 [27 favorites]


There's a moral to this story somewhere.

My take-away is "Boobies make things better".
posted by mikelieman at 5:00 PM on November 4, 2014 [20 favorites]


I liked the NYC guy who decided to sing All You Need Is Love better, but I applaud both.
posted by odinsdream at 5:01 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lea DeLaria (the actress who plays Big Boo on Orange is the New Black) recently had a similar interaction with a homophobic preacher on a subway train. Only hers involved a rousing rendition of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


The real outrage here is that everyone thinks the witch trials took place in Salem, Mass. There were two Salems, Salem Town and Salem Village. The witch trials were in Salem Village. Salem Village is now Danvers. Salem Town, now just Salem, has nothing to do with the witch trials (besides proximity).

Here ended the sermon.
posted by orrnyereg at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [27 favorites]


So pretty much guaranteed that she's a witch, right?
posted by aaronetc at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


Just a quick note to our Christian friends on MetaFilter: you're still cool. We're still cool. Our enthusiasm for seeing a guy who yells at us that we're going to be tortured forever get yelled at back doesn't change that.

I wish my inane comment at the top of this thread had been this instead. Mea culpa.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


wait...is she made of a wood and floats like a duck? she might be a witch then...
posted by sio42 at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


In my college town there was a main road where these preachers would always be, and usually I just stride past. But one time I was with my brother and a friend, waiting at a light and one of these guys actually started telling my friend (who was in a wheelchair and, incidentally, Muslim) that if he had faith in God he would have been healed and wouldn't have to be in a wheelchair anymore. Holy shit, did I lose it on that guy. I turned into this little girl times a hundred. My brother had to phycially drag me away.
posted by celtalitha at 5:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is why I prefer the Hare Krishnas for street proselytizing. All they want to do is dance and sing, and they'd like it if you would too, but they're not really upset if you don't.

Also, I would never fuck with the Krishnas, because I'd be terrified that John Joseph might be watching...or lying in wait.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:10 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


I hate self-righteous preaching and in-your-face religion more than most people and I actually do find this offensive. Telling people to shut up and blah-blah-blah-ing just isn't ok. Mutual respect is the goal, not mockery and shouting each other down.

People who say that you're going to burn in hell for x, y, and z so repent, have already thrown all respect out the window. They've clearly stated that the only way you can win their approval is to obey them: you are nothing, you are going to hell, my beliefs are everything, they will save you from hell. Starting from the presumption that somebody is "a soul to be saved" and you're "the spreader of god's salvation" makes mutual respect DOA.

There's a reason why street preachers carry signs like "GOD is TRUTH", and it's not because they're interested in hearing what you have to say.
posted by Thing at 5:11 PM on November 4, 2014 [43 favorites]


I honestly just don't buy this whole idea that free speech means we have to turn sidewalks into broadcasting stations for any random person. It was a dumb decision when it meant people could harass people going into abortion clincs, and it's dumb when anybody else has to listen to some random preacher or girl screaming at the top of their lungs (or the communists I had to listen to screaming every day when I went to lunch on my college campus) just to walk down the street. (And oh hey why did we stop insisting on it when it was poor people protesting cops?) Is it honestly going to kill our democracy if we all agree sidewalks are primarily for walking on?
posted by Drinky Die at 5:14 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Heh. You can see me wander by through the back about halfway through. Living in Salem, you learn to dodge the preachers pretty quickly. They all come in from out of town and stay at a flophouse/church a few blocks away from my house. They've become such a problem over the past few years that people organize counter distractions when they come out preaching, so not only do you have to dodge the crazy preachers, but buskers, jugglers, vampires, and whoever else has gathered around to distract attention away from them.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm always surprised at the number of street preachers Christians who don't want to follow His word (particularly Matthew 6 most of the Bible).
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the fact that she was aware of the camera doesn't mean this was staged. It's not a hidden camera.

Both parties were looking for this interaction. The camera was incidental.

It's weird to see a street preacher with amplification. That must be not allowed in most places, right? I usually see street preachers just yelling, if they were yelling over loudspeakers, that'd be insanely annoying.

There was a last minute push to ban amplification from Essex Street (the main pedestrian walkway), but then they remembered this would have the side effect of killing off a nearby bandstand (partially arranged by a local, much more laid back friendly church) so a compromise was reached that the Chief of Police could shut down amplification if needed after a certain time, which made nobody happy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:21 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't find amplified hate speech and a little girl shouting "shut up" to be remotely comparable. I don't think she's going to convince him (or vice versa), but her speech is at least targeted at sympathetic listeners, whereas he has no reason to think anyone wants to hear his speech. That doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to preach it, nor does it mean shouting "shut up" is a good thing to do even for a 9-year-old. But these two things are really very different. Telling people they deserve to be tortured for eternity = -10; shouting "shut up" = -2, with a mitigating +1 for her being 9. And not all speech needs to be a productive argument; there's room for expressions of pride at pride-worthy things and anger at hateful things. Shouting curses at the Klan as they march by is not a terribly bad thing, even if some of them are poor brainwashed 20-somethings like this guy. I would prefer that she stop after one or two "shut ups", but performance or not, she's also clearly learning that it has absolutely no effect -- and seems a bit surprised to learn it -- and I doubt she'll bother to do it again after this. I can't say the same for him.
posted by chortly at 5:33 PM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


Here ended the sermon.

Blasphemer. Giles Corey was crushed to death around the corner from where I'm sitting. The jail where other accused were held and died used to be across the street from the church bingo hall where I voted today. The accused/accusers were from Danvers, but the "justice" of the Court of Oyer and Terminer was in Salem Town.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:36 PM on November 4, 2014 [18 favorites]


Not that I have any faith, but I do have tolerance for beliefs, but not hellfire and brimstone delivered via cordless mic and PA system. I'm with the girl, Piehole Should Be Quiet.

She's also a little girl, and as a once-young-person I know that it's a messy and faulty time to be human. Yelling "shut it shut it shut it" isn't the pinnacle of tolerance, but it reflects a very real sentiment towards someone projecting unwanted negativity on people just trying to enjoy their evening. And for that she is awesome. Awesome.
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [29 favorites]


Both parties were looking for this interaction. The camera was incidental.

I'm pretty sure that preacher kid went back to his flophouse and told his cronies he'd been persecuted for the greater glory of god or some such.
posted by immlass at 5:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


She's also a little girl, and as a once-young-person I know that it's a messy and faulty time to be human. Yelling "shut it shut it shut it" isn't the pinnacle of tolerance

Yeah, it's time to have tolerance for intolerance.

Some asshole yelling at people on the street isn't some thinking who we should be ashamed at for not showing respect. He's some asshole yelling at people on the street. He deserves just as much respect as some guy catcalling.

This is a healthy lesson: assholes who harass people on the street deserve nothing but our contempt. Don't let them push you around, don't let them make you think you owe them time, and don't think they get to own the sidewalk.
posted by spaltavian at 5:45 PM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


I don't get it, little sisters yell at their big brothers all the time. Why is this special?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:53 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I confront street preachers sometimes. Only when they are yelling "God hates X, God Hates Y" (generally homophobic slurs). I yell at them that they are devil worshipers, that they are worshiping a god of hate, and why are they proselytizing worship of the devil, and that good Christians worship a god of love.

I use a voice as loud as theirs, and pretty much scream this at them (as they are shouting/screaming with amplification, perhaps they are hard of hearing).

I know that I won't change their minds, but maybe I can plant a little seed of doubt. And I think it helps remind other non-religious folks that this crazy dude isn't actually representative of the religion he pretends to be.

If a street preacher is not engaging in hateful shouting sometimes I'll have a short conversation with them, for my own amusement, trying to do so respectfully.

I figure there are bunch of loud atheists out there, giving other atheists (or agnostic, as I prefer to call myself) a bad name.

This guy here dealt with it like a pro - fully ignoring the heckler. But if you loose your shit against a 10 year old girl, you pretty much should pack up your soapbox and go home.
posted by el io at 5:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


amplified hate speech

Do you have some information we don't, chortly? I didn't see any amplified hate speech in the clip in the OP.
posted by jingzuo at 6:01 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


So we went to a popular trick or treat street on Friday, lots of people, and then on one corner a couple playing fiddle bluegrass. Well, that's nice, I don't mind a little music. And then they gave my kid a fucking New Testament. I mean, they also gave him candy so they could be worse, but he was all "Mom, I don't WANT a bible." We had already moved on, so I told him just to not worry about it.

But seriously. Bibles are everywhere. They are online! If your church numbers are going down, Lack of Access to Bibles is not the reason, people. Obnoxiously pressing them on kids just trying to have a holiday might be, though.

And also, at least when I was a kid the Gideons gave out tiny little pocket bibles. I kind of liked them as toy objects, although I had no need of them. This thing was a trade-sized paperback which filled up his whole plastic bucket, so I had to carry it so he had room for candy. Bad marketing; now you have annoyed the customer twice with your product. Chance of it being an effective marketing tool for your religion; pretty much zero.

At least a Chick tract would have been entertaining.
posted by emjaybee at 6:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


"If more people had her courage, religious people might finally learn to keep their bullshit to themselves."

It's not all bullshit.

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

Or Karuṇā.

There are many many examples of religious ideals that aren't "bullshit".

The problem I have with the video is that parents use children to be their megaphone. Athiests do this as well. Spirituality is a complicated matter and children are often treated as evidence of innocence and pure so zealots [the adjective] and Buddhists amongst others, use children to assert the purity of their beliefs.

starbreaker your quoted statement throws a blanket over billions of people and confuses an attempt to convert people to a particular religion with living a life respecting the major tenets of a religion. I think you are confusing evangelicals and Joel Osteen and Osama bin Laden and Wahabists with people that actually practice the teaching of their religion.

They are not the same thing and the people that profess that are using religion as a foil for cultural or political ends. Every single actually religious person I have know is quite kind.
posted by vapidave at 6:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [10 favorites]


The problem I have with the video is that parents use children to be their megaphone.

The notes on that LiveLeak page make it clear that the little girl was there without her parents. Maybe you're assuming the guy holding the camera was her dad or something? He wasn't. At least, not according to what he posted with the video and I don't see a compelling reason to think he was lying.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


"She's also a little girl, and as a once-young-person I know that it's a messy and faulty time to be human. Yelling "shut it shut it shut it" isn't the pinnacle of tolerance, but it reflects a very real sentiment towards someone projecting unwanted negativity on people just trying to enjoy their evening."

Honest question and I've been a step-parent. Do you think that was her being a trenchant observer of the relationship between religion and politics or do you think she was sent in by her parents?
posted by vapidave at 6:14 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


In fact, Jesus said that if people don't want to listen to what you have to say, you should "shake the dust from your feet," and GTFO. I'm always surprised at the number of street preachers who don't want to follow His word (particularly Matthew 6).

Found that phrase intriguing, so I went to read more and found this wikipedia page suggesting it's an insult gesture, and that Mormons tried bringing it back.

And from a bit more googling, Matthew 6 doesn't really seem to say not to preach in public. Just to avoid false humility. Praying in public, not cool. Giving to the poor and saying 'see how nice I am everyone?' Not condoned by Matthew 6. Megaphones describing sins? Matthew 6 is ironically silent.

Common courtesy, on the other hand, has a few words to say on the matter.
posted by pwnguin at 6:17 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do you think that was her being a trenchant observer of the relationship between religion and politics or do you think she was sent in by her parents?

I'm willing to take her at her word that she wanted the guy to shut up. I doubt it was meant as some form of carefully considered protest. I think she probably just thought people who showed up at the Halloween celebration to yell about unrelated stuff she found annoying were jerks.

Given that her parents weren't with her and that this interpretation hews pretty closely both to her actual choice of words and to the general attitude of kids her age, this seems by far the most likely answer.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:18 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


The notes on that LiveLeak page make it clear that the little girl was there without her parents.

American parents don't generally let young children wander around alone at night, they were somewhere nearby at least.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


My standard (internal) reaction to these people is either "when did you figure out you were gay?" or "sorry you had a drug problem."
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know if she was sent in by her parents, but her parents were on the scene to disrupt the street preaching.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Matthew 6 doesn't really seem to say not to preach in public. Just to avoid false humility. Praying in public, not cool. Giving to the poor and saying 'see how nice I am everyone?' Not condoned by Matthew 6. Megaphones describing sins? Matthew 6 is ironically silent.

Have you considered that this was because megaphones were not a known thing in the year 30 AD?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Let's go Occam's Razor here, folks. Either the girl is the pawn of atheist parents, programmed to disrupt this street preacher as some sort of protest while someone they didn't know filmed it for unknown ends and they hid out of sight for some reason.

Or... preteen thinks guy yelling at her is a jerk and tells him so.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:23 PM on November 4, 2014 [15 favorites]


Matthew 6:2 does mention trumpets, so I'm going to side with the spirit, rather than the letter.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:28 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


That was so very cathartic. Who hasn't wanted to do that to street preacher at one time or another? I'm just glad that someone can get away with it.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 6:30 PM on November 4, 2014


The '93 March On Washington was one of those rare events that actually made me glad to live so close to the District. I arrived in an entourage of my fanny-pack-wearing mother, my activist sister with my less-than-a-year-old niece in one of those horrible hippie sling things, her sister-in-law and her rusty nail butch girlfriend, my not-yet-ex, and my lovely and sturdy lady friend who was my age and a little too sweet and a little too insulated from the ugliness of the world.

My mother spent a fair amount of her time trying to keep her eyebrows down in the atmosphere of exposed lesbian tits, my sister was just basking in the fun, Sandy and Cyndi were strutting around like a pair of autonomous rockabilly haircuts with boots, and my ex and I kept stealing the baby so we could pretend she was our beloved turkey baster baby and use her as a cute li'l man-magnet.

Di, for her part, was just awash in the mass and novelty of it all. She'd been a bit clueless about gayness, to the point that after I'd brought her to the old Lost & Found in the now-submerged gritty Atlantis of DC faggotry for weeks, when I casually alluded to my gayness, she was shocked.

"Hey, there are almost no women in this bar!"

"Umm, yeah, it's a gay bar."

"This is a gay bar? I'm in a gay bar?"

"Well, we're technically on a gay bar," I shrugged, since we were outside, in that little refuge I took from the blaring music, on the roof deck where you could see people playing volleyball at Tracks and where my friend could smoke and I could pretend to smoke by carrying lighted Benson & Hedges Menthol Light 100s for elegant gesturing purposes.

"And you're gay? Really? Reeeeally? Like you're not fucking with me?"

I gestured elegantly with my lit, but unsmoked, Benson & Hedges Menthol Light 100 and smiled broadly.

Di stared at me, her mouth hanging open, then we laughed quite a bit and went to play pool where the mean lesbians hung out over some Bartles & James.

At the March, she was just lit up, and so happy for all of us—like genuinely, gorgeously, overwhelmingly happy, and it was contagious. Paul and I gave in and handed the baby back over to my sister so she would do what mommies do, and my mother was still trying to retract her slightly panicky titty-elevated eyebrows when some bare-breasted lesbian Morris dancers paid her and my sister a compliment.

"Aww, you two must be so proud of that little angel!"

My mother lives in an oddly formal inner landscape and she does not always grasp context.

"We are!" she beamed.

Paul and I laughed, which angered her. Her eyebrows finally moved, locking down into concerned-and-verging-on-angry mode.

"Why are you laughing at me?"

"Those ladies thought you and Jenny were lesbionic and that Rain was your turkey baster baby!"

More laughing ensued. My mother's eyebrows stayed in a locked verging-on-angry mode, then there was a gasp, and they shot back up.

As we approached the region of churchy hatred, my mother smirked and pointed out a tiny elderly woman, set out away from everyone, holding a sign that read "I MARRIED A MAN." We all took the photo op, shrugged, and moved on. When we reached the shouting haters, Di had her own eyebrow issue, and looked a lot like a tilty-headed puppy as she tried to sort out the sign-holding assholes.

"Why are they saying those horrible things? This is your day! That's not fair!"

"They're assholes who think they're going to convert us by being assholes."

"Why would anyone do that?"

I was reminded what I love about that lady, despite the fact that she literally takes three hours to primp to go out to a club. She's just given to sunshine before the clouds come.

"They're just—" I started to say, but she was nose-to-nose with a burly guy in the facial hair of a mid-level Chrysler mechanic.

"Why do you have to be so mean!?" she asked him. "Why would you come all the way down here just to be so mean to people who already have a hard enough time?"

The burly guy just sneered at her.

"Lord's with us, not you."

"Why would the Lord be with anyone who's so mean!?"

The exchange continued, and her face got redder and her eyes started to have that look of impending angry tears that came right on schedule.

"Lord's with us, not you, whore," snapped the burly guy.

"I'm not a whore. Why am I a whore? I'm here being nice and you're terrible!"

"Shut up, bitch," snarled the burly. "You're just a fat, ugly, stupid whore with no tits clinging to sodomites because no one else in their right mind would touch you," he elaborated, and gave her a hard jab with an accusatory finger.

Di recoiled, her mouth hanging open, her face wet with tears, and there was a moment in which, in my memory of this incident, every other thing around me went completely silent so that, when my sturdy lady friend with a decade of play on the amateur rugby circuit suddenly went airborne, it was possibly one of the funniest things I'd ever seen. See, what looks like fat to an evangelical shithead is actually a mass of sport-hardened muscle, and when you jab someone who is so open and giving and kind that she can't fathom why you're out there trying to take away the joy of our day, it's always possible that she is going to go full-on cinematic Miss Piggy crazy, and I couldn't do anything but lose control of my own eyebrows.

"Why . do . you . have . to . be . so . mean!?" came out in a series of syllables synchronized perfectly to a few perfectly landed meathooks. The police stuck in the cordon charged with defending the antihuman mob stepped in and pulled her back.

"I'm pressing charges against that fat bitch!" the bloodied burly jerk sputtered, wiping nose blood in a long smear down his sunblasted forearm.

"Sir, we saw you hit her first," said a particularly well-assembled police officer. "Didn't we see that?" he asked of his fellow officer, who shrugged, then smiled.

"That's what I saw," said fellow officer.

"Oh, sure, take sides with the sodomite whore," said the burly jerk, retreating into the safe haven of hate, surrounded by his own kind. "Y'all won't be partying when you're burning in hell!"

"Are you all right, miss?" the well-assembled officer asked.

"Yes, thank you," she said, and switched on her allure.

It was a day of that distinct and beautiful kind, and we were all there, together.
posted by sonascope at 6:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [120 favorites]


"The notes on that LiveLeak page make it clear that the little girl was there without her parents. Maybe you're assuming the guy holding the camera was her dad or something? He wasn't. At least, not according to what he posted with the video and I don't see a compelling reason to think he was lying."

I think it was completely clear she was there with her parents but I was only a stepdad and ran a daycare for five years. In my experience kids don't get that wound up about religion one way or the other without parental influence. Also she is wearing the least amount of insulation of anyone in the video and smaller people have a higher surface to volume ratio.

This will be outed as either fake or some Munchausen.
posted by vapidave at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


No one's arguing the girl wasn't quite probably with her parents at the street festival. But the guy who made the video said he looked for but didn't see parents in the more immediate area where this interaction occurred.

I am heartily amused by people who think a 9 or 10 year-old needs coaching to tell someone to shut up. You are adorable.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:44 PM on November 4, 2014 [22 favorites]


The girl is like an aggressive amped-up Miss Sweetie Poo from the IgNobel awards ceremony.

for those unfamiliar with the IgNobel awards ceremony, Miss Sweetie Poo is the child who starts repeating "Please stop, I'm bored." when speeches go over the time limit.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:45 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh lord. If you think children are only capable of doing this kind of thing if they're pushed into it by a parent, I invite you to jump in a time machine and come with me to Election Day 1988, when my entire morning bus to school was full of kids sticking their heads out the windows at all the stop lights so that they could yell at people in cars to vote for Dukakis. Granted, it was an alternative elementary school for smart and engaged kids, and I know that most of us paid attention when our parents talked about politics, so maybe we were an unusual bunch. But I think you do kids a huge disservice when you assume that they're not capable of being smart and engaged with the world around them and capable of having opinions about the things they observe, and that they must be heavily coached to reach such a place.
posted by palomar at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [12 favorites]


If I was a Christian, which thankfully I'm not, street preachers would have me dead of vicarious embarrassment within hours--so that's good it all worked out that way for me, personally. I can't say it's a ringing endorsement (of any religion) if you can convincingly argue hate and intolerance from doctrine.

One thing anyone with a brain picks up on eventually is that "freedom" (as in "free speech") is something that cannot exist in a pure form. It's like "pure" property rights. There are an infinite number of things you can do on "your" property which affect the property of others; why are the rights of people with a truck full of speakers or a megaphone more important than the rights of those who want to not be subjected to them?
posted by maxwelton at 6:58 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone who has been called a whore, Jezebel, harlot, etc. by many street preachers, and witnessed many more aggressively harassing and berating passers-by, I agree with this child's assessment of pie-hole. There may be innocuous, kindhearted street preachers, but most of them are catcalling bullies with Bibles.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ugh. There is one of these obnoxious street preachers at my usual bus stop. He has lately taken to getting up in my son's face when we are down there. Elder Monster wears a lot of black, including a black hat and a black leather duster when it's chilly (as it is in NW OH now). Elder Monster, you see, must be one of Lucifer's, dressing like that.

Now, Elder Monster is 6ft. tall and can handle himself, but I'm still overcome with the desire to beat the everloving fuck out of anyone who hassles my children. No need. My Monster has composure enough for both of us.

"Hey, didn't your Mother ever teach you that it's rude to shout at people? Especially strangers? Aren't you old enough to know better? My Mama would kick my ass up over my head if I behaved like that! Wouldn't you, Mom?"

Shockingly, the guy shut up. And even managed to look sheepish! And he has not been at that bus stop for a week now.
posted by MissySedai at 7:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [23 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull: "Matthew 6:2 does mention trumpets, so I'm going to side with the spirit, rather than the letter."

The NIV text of Matthew 6:2 states:

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.

Seems clear to me what is meant by the passage: charity should not be a PR move. If you think quoting scripture at street preachers would work, you might need to find some better scripture =/
posted by pwnguin at 7:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


vapidave wrote:
starbreaker your quoted statement throws a blanket over billions of people and confuses an attempt to convert people to a particular religion with living a life respecting the major tenets of a religion. I think you are confusing evangelicals and Joel Osteen and Osama bin Laden and Wahabists with people that actually practice the teaching of their religion.
Considering that Christianity teaches both "love thy neighbor" and "suffer not a witch to live", I think I am wholly justified in replying to your objection by paraphrasing Arnaud Amalric, who is reputed to have said: "Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." (For the Lord knoweth them that are His.) God doesn't pay me enough to sort 'em out on his behalf.

Furthermore, the believers you're defending? The ones who actually walk the walk instead of just talking the talk? They're the ones who keep their beliefs to themselves instead of making public nuisances of themselves on the street or in legislatures. I don't have a beef with them.
posted by starbreaker at 7:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thank Heaven for little girls!
posted by Kabanos at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Street preachers aren't actually preachers in that they're not there trying to change anyone's minds. Just like guys that yell shit at young girls on the streets they have to know that theirs is not a winning approach. There are a few rare exceptions but those exceptions are skilled and talented preachers, not shitheads with megaphones. The only reasons most of these people pollute public space is to check off a task that their god puts before them, narcissism, and the opportunity to let other people know that they are whores and/or sinners.


It's nice to see someone yell back. It's wonderful to see a young girl who feels confident enough to tell a man to shut his pie hole.
posted by rdr at 7:28 PM on November 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


If you think quoting scripture at street preachers would work, you might need to find some better scripture =/


Hey, if they want to argue that the sin of Onan is about masturbation, rather than disobeying a direct order from God, I get the trumpet thing. Either you get to be a biblical literalist, or you don't.


Besides, like half of Christian theology is just retcon anyway.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:32 PM on November 4, 2014


And then the little girl stamped her foot and shouted at the woman - "That's not nice! You should apologize right now!"

all of this has reminded me of a friend from university days (call him Robert). He was a philosophy major and big on the notion of virtue. In fact, I believe his overall position was that citizens of a so-called free nation should have only one right, and that's the right to be virtuous. Needless to say, Robert spent a lot of time trying to come up with a suitable definition of virtue ... and I have no idea how it all worked out for him, because we lost touch.

But I compare angry little girl shouting "Shut up - shut up" to angry little girl saying "That's not nice! You should apologize right now!" and I'm pretty sure which one has the virtue angels at her back.
posted by philip-random at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Honestly, kids this age can be and are quite capable of doing this on their own volition. Now, it's unlikely that her parents are Christian fundamentalists, obviously, but they may not be atheists. They may be from a different tradition, or just non-churchgoing people. They probably taught her that bothering people and yelling at them is bad manners, and maybe it enrages her to see an adult doing it and getting away with it.

We have been very much low-key when it comes to religion: "Some people believe, some don't. You decide." Nonetheless, our kiddo is quick to announce he is NOT a Christian and he thinks God is stupid and mean. Probably because we live in Texas and he gets that "you are going to hell" stuff from classmates and it makes him angry. But we did not teach him that or request him to say it; quite the opposite. We often have to remind him to not announce his dislike for Christianity on random occasions. We do remind him that some people find it very comforting and that Jesus said some really good things. "But they don't act like that stuff Jesus said, Mom!" I mean, he's 9, but he's thinking about this stuff, and drawing conclusions. He's not our puppet.
posted by emjaybee at 7:46 PM on November 4, 2014 [20 favorites]


He has a microphone and she doesn't, so she will listen to every damn word he has to say.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:49 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
     blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
     about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
     lived a clean life in Galilee.

When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
     emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
     crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
     Jesus--I put it to you again: Where do you get that
     stuff; what do you know about Jesus?
From Carl Sandburg, To A Contemporary Bunkshooter. A rant/poem well worth memorizing in its entirety for all your shouting-back needs!
posted by Westringia F. at 7:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


The '93 March On Washington

I was there too! I didn't see any of the March but if you and yours came to Lambda Rising to buy rainbow [anything] like every other homo who came to DC that weekend, then it might've been me who rang you up!

I have shouted at street preachers to STFU, even though I have not been a little girl for a long time. It's very satisfying.
posted by rtha at 8:04 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like the part where she says piehole.
posted by goatdog at 8:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


But I compare angry little girl shouting "Shut up - shut up" to angry little girl saying "That's not nice! You should apologize right now!" and I'm pretty sure which one has the virtue angels at her back.

It seems very important to you that people agree that this little girl is badly-behaved and wrong.
posted by Lexica at 8:17 PM on November 4, 2014 [15 favorites]


^ This is why people use children as mouthpieces, disagree with them and you come off as a bully.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


"SHUT UP!!!"

Good progressive attitude.
posted by Alaska Jack at 8:21 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I decked a friend's older brother for favoring Reagan in the 1980 election.

I was 5.

I call awesome on this girl, not bullshit.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:21 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


I dunno, the "preacher" is barely older than she is.

This is kind of where this strikes me as well. I don't expect to incite much sympathy for ranty street preachers in this crowd - nor do I feel any particular judgement for the girl (I've gotten into it with a couple of these guys in my day, and certainly if your M.O. is yelling at people to think like you, you're going to get your STFUs. Of course if dude takes his bible serious he may judge this treatment a positive seal of approval on his holy conduct).

But I do feel sympathy for this very young fellow. I have been inside the kind of religion that leans very hard on direct, in-your-face proselytizing to strangers as as essential to faith, essential to right relationship with God, and indeed drills in the idea in no uncertain terms that to fail to try to convert people is tantamount to letting blind people stumble off a cliff without even trying to lead them away from the edge. Frequently delivered in borderline or not-so-borderline cultish organizations pushing a lot of shame and isolating practices. It's a lot of pressure on what are often very lost and troubled individuals.
posted by nanojath at 8:28 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


"love thy neighbor" and "suffer not a witch to live". Um, which is more well known?
posted by vapidave at 8:29 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I call awesome on this girl, not bullshit.

Yes, at least she did not use violence.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


My guess is that she lives in the area, and has been hearing this jerk rant for hours if not days while she's trying to do her homework, and has finally fucking had enough. Can't say I blame her.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Street preachers aren't actually preachers in that they're not there trying to change anyone's minds.

'No true scotsman' fallacy.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:01 PM on November 4, 2014


Perhaps next year she can dress up as an acolyte of Sithrak, the Blind Gibberer for Halloween.
posted by pwnguin at 10:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


"You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

You don't have to be religious to get down with that. It really is no different from Bill and Ted-ism.
posted by MissySedai at 10:05 PM on November 4, 2014


There are two techniques for "fighting" the soapbox crazies, which are generally fundamentalists of some type. One, you ignore them. This is often difficult to do, especially if they have freakin' loudspeakers like this guy, but more generally because they make people really angry, and it's a tough call to just let that slide. And even if you can ignore them, there's almost always someone else who won't.

The other arrow in the quiver is mockery. Not anger, but mockery. Anger fuels the fire of a crazy person like this--it's more or less what they want to hear. But laughter? Very few people can withstand being the butt of a joke and openly laughed at and ridiculed. This kid was angry, but because it's a cute kid it works on a whole other level, and whatever message he's trying to spew is being drowned out by a far larger spectacle.

In short, this kid is awesome and all street preachers deserve such treatment. Enough of the pearl-clutching about "manners" and other silliness...the guy was spewing hate; there is nothing to respect there.
posted by zardoz at 10:18 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Everybody's looking for someone they can treat badly and feel righteous while they're doing it.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:57 PM on November 4


Ah, "You have to tolerate my intolerance or else you're intolerant," the mating cry of the concern troll.
posted by Awful Peice of Crap at 11:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


Freedom of Speech doesn't mean forcing people to listen. Good for the Young Lady.
posted by Sintram at 11:13 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have no memory of this, but when I was a kid I apparently had an encounter with David Duke while he was on the campaign trail for something or another. He was riding in the back of a car in a St. Patrick's Day parade (?) and I ran right up to him. He brightened up a whole bunch seeing pale little me, but then I stuck my tongue out and gave him two thumbs down.

One of my proudest moments and I don't remember it. Here's hoping this girl remembers this.
posted by brundlefly at 11:17 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


There are two voices in my head that sometimes tell me not to do stuff. One is my conscience, which tells me, "Hey, you need to think about other people and not just yourself." The other is the voice that says, "You're a loser, you're worthless, no one cares, nobody likes you, you should just give up."

This girl sounds a whole lot more like that second voice.

I'd like to think the guy in the video has both those voices somewhere in the back of his head, one asking him, "Is this really the loving thing to do?" and the other saying, "This is a total waste of time, nobody's listening, nobody likes you." And the sad part is that in order to get out there and do that, he's had to learn to bury those voices. He's probably been taught to regard them as the voice of Satan, tempting him to give up. And it's a lot easier to characterize that second voice as the voice of Satan.
posted by straight at 11:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


>> Everybody's looking for someone they can treat badly and feel righteous while they're doing it.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:57 PM on November 4

> Ah, "You have to tolerate my intolerance or else you're intolerant," the mating cry of the concern troll.


Not at all what I said. I'm just pointing out how much everybody is enjoying this. Dig in. It's a rich meaty stew.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


I grew up in the state of Queensland during the Bjelkie Petersen regime. During this time street protest was banned - and the police we quite violent in their enforcing. As soon as I was independent enough I left and moved to the socialist south - Melbourne. I had gotten off the train and as I walked the sound of a street preacher grew closer - these were unknown in Queensland. As I drew near it was obvious that there were two voices, and drawing nearer, one voice was thundering revelation, while the other, belonging to an unkempt gentleman was yelling...

"Preacher fuck off"
"Shut the fuck up and piss off"

Just then police on the beat rounded the corner and beckoned the unkempt gentleman. Were I was from this would have meant arrest and a trip in a police car. The police had a few quiet words, then the yeller went back to the corner and resumed, just as loudly...

"Preacher desist"
"Preacher, quieten yourself down"
posted by mattoxic at 11:29 PM on November 4, 2014 [26 favorites]


I totally believe this was unplanned. At that age I was a tiny volcano of anger and erupted at pretty much everything that pissed me off. She's probably way better behaved than I was. She's not even getting up there and letting him have a roaring view of her tonsils, which I definitely remember doing.

These days I don't get so angry at street preachers -- I mostly don't hear them clearly, which is great for everybody around me, really -- unless they start targeting me and telling me that if I accepted the Lord I would be healed, or it's God's will that I am like this, or something equally unhelpful. Being on canes when I was a terminally ill teen was really good for garnering this sort of talk, so I've unfortunately had a lot of practice with extremely loud, extremely frigid, uber-polite, "ARE YOU SAYING I DESERVE THIS?"

I actually sort of respect the ones who could look me in my rage-like-magma-face, with the enormous dark circles and the cloudy eyes and bald spots and nasal cannula and say yes. That is conviction. That is an absolute lack of compassion. I respect that.
posted by E. Whitehall at 11:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Transcript Please?
posted by gryftir at 11:49 PM on November 4, 2014


I couldn't watch it. She was just saying "SHUT IT SHUT IT SHUT IT" ... it was too embarrassing to watch.

I would have prefer a counterargument rather than trying to shut down someone's free speech. I do not care if it were staged or not.

You gotta let crazy folks, even religious ones, talk on their soapboxes. That's America.

If you have a response, provide it. Don't just tell someone to shut up. That's rude. So yes, this little girl was absolutely wrong. It's much worse if her parents put her up to it, b/c they should know better.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


The correct response to street screechers oooops! I mean street preachers .. is Macedonian pipe and drum music, played at top volume. They'll run fleeing into the night.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:22 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


— That is God.
Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!
— What? Mr Deasy asked.
— A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.


(James Joyce, Ulysses)
posted by chavenet at 2:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


You gotta let crazy folks, even religious ones, talk on their soapboxes. That's America.

As American as mom, apple pie and mass school shootings.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:48 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


I think she is the street preacher's little sister.
posted by hoodrich at 3:17 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]



I think she is the street preacher's little sister.
posted by hoodrich at 6:17 AM on November 5 [+] [!]


OMG, that explains EVERYTHING!!
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 4:31 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why this little girl is being derided for not being the master of discourse at her age. Of course she isn't using the greatest techniques, but shes clearly upset about it and is engaging the person causing that. There is PLENTY of time to teach her proper debate techniques, cut her some slack, please.
posted by Twain Device at 4:48 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


In my seventh and blissfully last year of undergraduate study at the University of Maryland, back in '94, I became completely entranced with the religious side show regularly put on by a youngish married couple in the little outdoor plaza at the east entrance to the student union. I'd rush out of my classes to watch, as it was on the order of a Chick tract played out in such earnest detail that I was never quite sure if it was real or one of the most gloriously subtle works of performance art I'd ever witnessed. I get a seat on the concrete walls around scraggle-filled planters, and Mr. and Mrs. would come in with props and bibles and begin.

Most of the lead-in was boilerplate street preacher, full of bile and vitriol against a world that failed to live up to the medieval ideal that was invented in America in the 1920s in a refinement of the absurd dispensationalist mania that we, as a nation, still love ever so much. We'd hear about all that's wrong with feminism, and Clinton, and homosexuals, and Clinton, and academia, and Clinton, and those politicians in DC, and Clinton, and pagan followers of perverted eastern religions, and Clinton, and that was all well and good, and then, the floor show would start, right when the guy would get all foam-flecked and enraged and would start going for his props.

He'd snatch up his red sparkly devil mask, a long-nosed ball mask, and speak Satan's truth to the mass power of bored, bemused, and slightly stoned collegiate passerby, holding the mask to his face with a trembling hand.

"I'm Satan, you happy little students, and I want you to go to college!" Mr. would shout, and there was this joyous little dance that accompanied his transition to the Lord of Darkness that was half dancing skeleton and half jumping frog, and my heart would beat faster as he leapt around, getting up in the faces of the most amused among us to sputter directly into the maw of mockery. "I want you to major in women studies and abortion science and sociology! I want you to reject faith for the almighty God of Literature! I want you to go to college—forever!"

This line always amused me, because I was putting myself through college very, very slowly, working both a full-time and part-time job to pay my tuition and expenses, and as much as I was desperate to exit with some sort of degree before my eighth year as an undergraduate, I could at least take comfort in that I was doing Beelzebub's wicked bidding.

"I want you to study lesbianistic rituals and witchcraft," shrilled Mrs., a jagged and bony figure of inelegant sneering rage who looked as all the world like the offspring of the dishonorable Fred Phelps. "I want you to become lady economists and Lorena Bobbitts!"

The massing crowd would burst out in waves of cackling, flapping-mouthed hilarity, and this would fire Mr. and Mrs. as they leapt around, giving us the gospel of liberalism straight from Satan and Mrs. Satan's mouth.

"Go 'head and laugh!" hollered a literally twitching Mr., clutching his mask tighter. "I want you to laugh! I waaaant you to mock! I waaaaaaaant you to keep thinking I'm not real, that I'm just a man in a mask! When you don't believe in me, I become even more powerful!"

At this point, Mrs. would usually be off to the back, rummaging through the props and pulling on a little grey business suit over her flowing farm/hippie dress, and reappearing with a briefcase labeled "JEZEBEL" in huge white stick-on lettering.

"I'm a successful business woman! I sold my ovaries to lesbians to make an army of castrating dykes!" shrieked Mrs., prancing around in a horsey little strut with the Jezebel case flailing around at the end of a veiny hand. "I'm going back to college to learn anything but heavenly womanhood!"

Mr., shuddering and clutching his devil mask, bounced in.

"Yeah, my darling wife! Go back to college and get a PhD! Get two! Study abortion doctoring and law! Read all the perverted works of great literature and rape little boys at your shrine to Robert Mapplethorpe!"

I felt like I was about to have one of my hallelujah spells, and wished there was an usher to lay me down in the imaginary aisle and fan me with a church program. It was like this at least a few days a week for a while, and I finally dragged my mentor of fabulousness out of his piano practice to show him the roots of something we should do.

On that occasion, Mr. slunk over to him, all frothy, brought his long glittery nose in line with Al's own aquiline sniffer, and asked "and what are YOU studying, young man?"

"I'm studying to be a church organist," Al said, which was absolutely true. Mrs. dropped the Jezebel bag and actually started gnashing her teeth just like they always say we'll gnash them in the Tribulations.

"But that's not in my plan!" screeched Mr., seizing the moment. "I want you to play Schoenberg on the synthesizer!"

Nostalgia is a funny thing, but those were some of the best times ever.

Al turned to me, smiled a Mona Lisa smile, and said, "Yeah, we're doing this."

We hit the thrift stores, did a little sewing and fabrication, worked on our lines and composure, and waited for the day. This was the era before cellular telephones, so I saw Mr. and Mrs. pulling in, and ran to a pay phone to call Al's professor to get him out of the practice room. He flew across campus, we rushed the restroom, and emerged in our costumes.

Mr. and Mrs. were just warming up when Mr 2. and Mrs 2. appeared at the periphery. Al was in his preacher rig, waiting, and I was stuffed into a too-small ladies' business suit with a little pinned on hat and a veil, holding a thrift store briefcase that smelled vaguely of cat and was labeled "WHORE" in huge white stick-on lettering.

We were perfect. We'd watched, we'd studied, we'd mastered the little tics and lines and awkward strutting walks, and we snarled and bellowed.

"We want you to become faggots," Al snarled with a wicked smile. "We want you to come to our homosexual orgies and feast on the blood of Christian children!" He took full advantage of the fact that we were, at that moment, knocking the whole world slightly off its axis, to jump onto the lap of a particularly studly jockster and coo at him with overblown lust that was at least partly serious. The guy just laughed, and Mr. and Mrs. couldn't tell if we were with them or against them, and just kept on with this sudden intrusion of a greek chorus.

This is possibly the best thing I have ever done.

"Satan encourages liberalism and free thinking," said the real Mr., and Al sidled up for the kill.

"My Satanic husband tells the truth, sinnerrrrrrrrrrrrrrs! Y'all won't be laughing when you're ballroom dancing in the lake of fire!"

Mrs., who was more canny than her husband, had started to retreat, but I leapt to her side, the split in my skirt opening a little more in the movement.

"I'm a career woman WHO USED TO BE A MAN! I studied feminism and went to Colorado to have my penis inverted! Now I can crash through the glass ceiling while experiencing sexual satisfaction!"

In retrospect, I suspect I was being a little too loose with things I only vaguely knew about back then, but I was twenty-five and a bit of a cock.

"And I'm a castrated queer husband to a demanding woman," Al shrieked, and locked eyes on Mr., who suddenly had the look of a cow at the head of the line at the slaughterhouse, "And all I want to do is earn my daddy's love by sucking miles of cock and becoming a narcissistic autofucking self-Satanist!"

He grabbed Mr., who was so shocked that he pulled back his devil mask just as Al went in, and licked him across the face from cheek to cheek. The whole place went completely silent, the devil mask fluttered to the concrete, and Mr. struggled free, grabbed Mrs., and they fled from Satan's handmaidens without their props, cursing us in the harshest terms of biblical threat available, and disappeared into the Student Union.

It was a bit much for the crowd, as it was still not far enough from the eighties for actual homosexual licking to be considered legitimate satire, but for weeks afterward, people would shake our hands and say, in the noblest tradition of college dialogue, that we'd fuckin' rocked it, which, of course, we had.

"Son, you waste your time when you engage with crazy preachers," my father told me back in the eighties, "because they're not going to catch your smarts and you're going to catch their crazy," and he was right, in that by the time people reach that point of hysterical street corner preaching, mental health issues are more likely involved than mere holy fervor, but after the horror of the Reagan years, it felt good to be able to stand up, turn the tables, and give it back even harder than we got it.

I take after my father more now, and usually just shrug at the preachers, who serve the aims of good by making the ugliness of what used to be secret so clear and literal that we have to look at it and judge it in the light of day, leaving those who might have just accepted those claims without much consideration to ponder if they really felt such awful things about their fellow humans. Fred Phelps bred an army of resistance, not followers, after all, and seeing biker gangs take up the cordon around funerals where they gather makes it clear how much the world has changed after a long dark time.

In my basement, two old briefcases sit on a shelf, covered with dust.

One is labeled "JEZEBEL" and one is labeled "WHORE," and they are just old junk from thrift stores, and still, they stand as trophies for the end of my own reticence, from when I got fed up and belatedly joined the drag queens at the barricades in the siege of the Stonewall Inn.

Those old bags are of their time and so am I, but man—we've come so fucking far.
posted by sonascope at 4:56 AM on November 5, 2014 [68 favorites]


One year at Memphis in May I saw the greatest counter to the typical Fundamentalist group.

So Memphis in May is a 3 day outdoor concert event. A lot of sound stages set up along the riverfront in Memphis. Of course there are all sorts of vendors and shops set up along Beale street.

And of course, those guys. You know the guys. The protestors at every music/dancing/sports event. Big obnoxious signs. They walk from one end of Beale to the other shouting how we're all going to hell.

Now, it would seem (at the time at least) that Memphis doesn't have any voice amplification laws.

As these guys ( furthermore known as Definitely an Outgoing Obnoxious Fundamentalist Undermining Sincerity, or DOOFUS) traveled down the street, they would shout their typical phrases. When they would, there was a guy working at the Dominoes stand who would respond to him.

Example:
DOOFUS through microphone: "Ask me how you can save your soul!"
immediately followed by
Dominoes guy " Ask me how you can buy a 5 dollar pizza"

Example 2:
DOOFUS: "Repent now or suffer for eternity!"
Dominoes: "Get a 5 dollar pizza and enjoy for eternity!"

and so on.

It was beautiful and made me sad I had no cash on me, or I would have bought a pizza (even though i don't care for Dominoes)
posted by Twain Device at 5:17 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


You gotta let crazy folks, even religious ones, talk on their soapboxes. That's America.

All she did was yell back at him - she didn't knock him off his soapbox. Talking back is also America.
posted by rtha at 5:46 AM on November 5, 2014 [21 favorites]


Telling someone to quiet their pie hole is also speech.
posted by maxsparber at 6:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The correct response to street screechers oooops! I mean street preachers .. is Macedonian pipe and drum music, played at top volume.

I've found The Soggy Bottom Boys also works well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on November 5, 2014


Twain Device: That's really interesting given that Domino's founder and former owner is essentially a Catholic evangelist and even founded his own Catholic town.

Anyway, here's another vote for "two people yelling is not less annoying than one person yelling." Further, in this particular case, her yelling surely just reinforced his belief that he was doing the right thing -- Satan wouldn't have bothered attacking him (via the little girl) if he weren't. It's only because Satan is scared that the preacher will win souls that he (satan) is working to undermine him (the preacher).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:37 AM on November 5, 2014


> I hate self-righteous preaching and in-your-face religion more than most people and I actually do find this offensive. Telling people to shut up and blah-blah-blah-ing just isn't ok. Mutual respect is the goal, not mockery and shouting each other down

I don't think mutual respect was her goal. I think getting him to shut up shut up shut up was her goal. More power to her.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Welcome to Reddit.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Have you considered that this was because megaphones were not a known thing in the year 30 AD?

Which is weird if you think about it because the Romans could totally have made acoustic megaphones. Hell, by some definitions they did make them -- I mean, they made trumpet(-oid) bells. But nobody seems to have thought of shouting through one until *looks* 1600.

People are weird sometimes. I mean, it took until 1943 for humans to invent the nacho.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:01 AM on November 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


Interesting If only I had a penguin, I wonder if it this was because they were franchised and the franchiser wasn't in line with the founders doctrine? Either way, that's a story I'd like to know. Maybe just a rogue employee bored out of his mind.
posted by Twain Device at 7:03 AM on November 5, 2014


I want you to major in women studies and abortion science and sociology! I want you to reject faith for the almighty God of Literature! I want you to go to college—forever! Go back to college and get a PhD! Get two! Study abortion doctoring and law!

Oh man, where is this college, I am ready to go to grad school.
posted by emjaybee at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's a guy who hangs out on State St. in Chicago and preaches all kinds of nonsense about homosexuals and tries to hands out literature to passersby who never ever want any.

Oh yeah, him. The BEST thing ever was back in 2006 the International Mr. Leather (gay BDSM/fetish event) was hosted at the Palmer House, and held their big contest show up the street at the Chicago Theater. Which meant everybody - hundreds of kinky folks decked out in their fanciest leather/fetish outfits - got to walk up State Street, right past that preacher guy. "Jesus loves all you homosexuals."
posted by dnash at 7:54 AM on November 5, 2014


A new pinnacle of tolerance and civil discourse!
posted by fivebells at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2014


It doesn't matter which is better known, vapidave. Both are in the Bible, and I don't see any high-profile clergy preaching in public that the Old Testament is only part of the Bible for historical purposes, and that what Jesus is alleged to have said takes precedence over everything else in the Bible. Instead, preachers are free to give more weight to Moses, Paul, and the Revelation of St. John of the Magic Mushrooms than they do to Jesus Christ — and frequently do so to the detriment of Christianity.
posted by starbreaker at 8:01 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


All these stories remind me of my favorite response to a corner preacher. Someone from the audience decided to shadow his actions and repeat what he said, only slightly mangled. So after the preacher yelled "You must Repent!", his shadower yelled "You mus Repaint!". Since then, any time I hear a call for repentance I giggle.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2014


A new pinnacle of tolerance and civil discourse!

It would be nice if we didn't superimpose our agenda on the girl in the video. We don't know why she was irritated with the street preacher, and so all we know is that she wanted the guy to shut up. When my drug addicted former upstairnicks were clomping around the apartment from 1am to 5am in a tweaker frenzy, I wasn't interested in engaging them in reasoned discourse, I was interested in getting them to shut up.

When street preachers used to clog up West Hollywood in Halloween, screaming damnation at everyone they saw, people staged kiss-ins in response. It wasn't to engage the preacher in discourse, but to throw behavior they saw as sinful in their face, because fuck them.

Besides, civil discourse goes two ways. Did this preacher look like he was engaging anyone in discourse? Was there any glint of conversation here? No, there was just a noise machine, amplified, bleating out propaganda. Now imagine one of those on every street corner. Imagine they have colonized what is essentially a children's holiday in order to scream atadults who are with their children that they are sinning and they are going to hell. Imagine this four hours. Imagine blocks of it. Imagine the sound carries for a quarter mile.

This is not some abstraction where, from a distance, we can tut tut because a little girl got angry and how dare she not live up to our ideals of the marketplace of ideas, and it is shitty that we have imposed these standards on her and found her wanting.
posted by maxsparber at 8:11 AM on November 5, 2014 [17 favorites]


One is labeled "JEZEBEL" and one is labeled "WHORE," and they are just old junk from thrift stores


Oh hey you found my luggage.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:16 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Or a little girl is egged on by her parents for those precious internet points, if you don't buy the "her parents nowhere to be seen" story. Next up, Worldstar Hiphop!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2014


Or a little girl is egged on by her parents for those precious internet points, if you don't buy the "her parents nowhere to be seen" story. Next up, Worldstar Hiphop!

I can tell from the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.

The girl glanced left. She's a liar whose parents put her up to it because they super wanted a bunch of people on the web to have the same crappy discussion we're now having.
posted by maxsparber at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


These particular street preachers have a history of suing and online harassment. "We don't know who this girl is or who her parents are." is a polite fiction to keep these folks off of the family's lawn.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's weirding me out how many people here want to hold a 9-year-old to higher standards than the preacher guy, and chastise her for not working in a gentle and engaging way to change minds, but give him a pass.
posted by rtha at 8:34 AM on November 5, 2014 [22 favorites]


Wow, she's just as obnoxious as he is.
posted by redindiaink at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2014


It's weirding me out how many people here want to hold a 9-year-old to higher standards than the preacher guy, and chastise her for not working in a gentle and engaging way to change minds, but give him a pass.

To me it's just tragic that this guy's twisted worldview not only has him shouting at strangers on the street, it's got a 9-year-old girl shouting angrily at strangers on the street.
posted by straight at 8:39 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


To those that think she is horrible and rude - don't worry, y'all, the confusion of adolescence will surely beat that fire right out of her. She will be nice and polite and people can yell any horrible thing they want at her on the street and she won't say anything because nobody likes an outspoken girl. By the time college rolls around, a street preacher can call her a whore every single day on her way to class and she won't say a peep! Nice and polite and quiet, just like a lady should be.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [41 favorites]


I just feel nostalgic. We lived in Salem for 7 years and this was just something that happened around Halloween. I've seen this exact cart multiple times, but the preacher is new/ upgraded.

My oldest son, who remembers living in Salem still complains how Halloween is just a night now versus being a month.

Can't find the source now, but 500+ people identified as being witches when we lived there. I still love the town, but the school system is just horrible.
posted by zeikka at 8:59 AM on November 5, 2014


Wow, she's just as obnoxious as he is.

Yes, this is equivalent behavior in an adult and child. Let's berate a little girl's reaction to being berated, that's the point of this.
posted by spaltavian at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


You people who are calling bullshit on the little girl may not know any precocious 8-10 year olds, but I do and seriously, they are not afraid to stand up at a memorial service and memorialize a grown-up they liked, scream at a street preacher or argue a case as to why they should get the cereal they want in the aisles of a supermarket as well as, if not better than, a second year law student.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Wow, she's just as obnoxious as he is.

Pretty much. Sort of the mold for those smug college hecklers who literally try to scream out anyone they disagree with, or disallow them from speaking on campus.

Of course, no one should be allowed to use amplification to preach on a sidewalk.
posted by shivohum at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh man, with the elections being over, I was really worried I wouldn't get my fix of fallacious "both sides do it!" bullshit arguments. Phew!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:02 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


If this guy were not preaching the Bible but were instead just a garden variety lunatic shouting about precious bodily fluids, the CIA, and Area 51, would you still applaud Little Missie for yelling at him to shut up?
posted by IndigoJones at 11:23 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's definitely a point worth thinking about. Some of these guys aren't all there. On the other hand, a lot of them are very conscious of what they are doing and just emboldened by living in a Christian dominated culture that often approves of what they do. It's not really the same for a random nut who is only shouting because he thinks he is the only one who knows the truth about the aliens.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


would you still applaud Little Missie for yelling at him to shut up?

Unless you're going to produce some evidence that the guy she actually yelled at is mentally ill, I don't see the point of "what if she did the thing she did in a situation that is really not like the one that actually happened?" hypotheticalizing.
posted by rtha at 11:35 AM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


If this guy were not preaching the Bible but were instead just a garden variety lunatic shouting about precious bodily fluids, the CIA, and Area 51, would you still applaud Little Missie for yelling at him to shut up?

I really thought you were arguing the other side until that last turn of phrase; as in "if he was spouting conspiracy stuff, would you still be all offended because a girl told him to stop screaming?

The answer to your question is "yes". My specific answer is "yes, I you just listed 4 versions of crazy stuff, why would I feel differently about any of them.

But "Little Missie"? Come on.
posted by spaltavian at 11:37 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, when we say "preaching", let's be clear. This wasn't a modest man of the cloth talking about the good news, this was some bro asshole yelling at people with a microphone that they are going to hell.

Would you still be het up about the decline of civilized discourse if it the "burning" he was talking about was Xenu's volcanoes instead of Christian Hell?
posted by spaltavian at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't really know anything about film theory or the visual arts in general, but this entire conversation seems like an excellent example of how the act of observation reifies the context of an event, and how the depicted and undepicted become deliberate choices by virtue of reproduction. I had an ex-girlfriend whose masters thesis involved resonance theory, and she'd love this. The amount of life experience that people can inject into and recall from one little minute of recording is just astonishing and great.
posted by Errant at 11:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Uh....

Well, if anyone doubts the veracity of my comment, y'all can check it out here....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on November 5, 2014


You gotta let crazy folks, even religious ones, talk on their soapboxes. That's America.

It goes both ways. You gotta let people yell back, too.
posted by MissySedai at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Unless you're going to produce some evidence that the guy she actually yelled at is mentally ill,

Evidence? Are you kidding? Granted, I am not a shrink, but I think most people would agree that shouting religion (or much of anything else for that matter) at people through a megaphone for hours on end is not the sign of healthy mind.

I really thought you were arguing the other side until that last turn of phrase.

Now I'm not sure what you think I meant. Clearly I was unclear. I was arguing that the man is more than a bit off the beam and as such more to be pitied than censured. As we pity other off the beam people, and do not, as Regency Englishmen, considered them cheap entertainment.

I was suggesting that it was the religious, specifically Christian, nature of his rant pushed out any other considerations in deciding how, or whether, to react to it.

I was suggesting that papa might have restrained the girl from shouting had the man's rant been more secular, on the grounds of compassion and there but for the grace of God.

I was suggesting that there's an ugly touch of self-satisfaction, even smugness, in going after this guy, which is unseemly in a child, worse in her proud papa.

But "Little Missie"? Come on.

It's a pretty mild pejorative, now doubt milder than what she would call him, and I stand by it. She is ill-behaved and therefore I give her the respect I think she deserves. I hope she grows out of temper tantrums, that over time she will reflect on her behavior, on what this guy's life must be like, and come to feel perhaps a bit of regret. Given the applause she is getting for her behavior (reinforcement, I think the shrinks call it), I worry she will not.

Uh...

I, for one, never doubt the Empress, and generally read her attentively and with interest.

It goes both ways. You gotta let people yell back, too.

Quite. But I don't have to respect them. One side has the excuse of lunacy. The other should know better.

Walk on by, just walk on by.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2014


It's weirding me out how many people here want to hold a 9-year-old to higher standards than the preacher guy, and chastise her for not working in a gentle and engaging way to change minds, but give him a pass.

But it's about ethics in journalismfree speech for street harassers.

If you don't think that screaming "Burn in hell!" at strangers is harassment, you've got some screws what need tightening.
posted by MissySedai at 12:50 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Perhaps the little girl was overcome by the spirit of Rebecca Nurse. After all, the town of Salem has had to listen to people of his ilk for a good 300 and some-odd years now, they must be sick of it.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a pretty mild pejorative, now doubt milder than what she would call him, and I stand by it. (emphasis mine)

But she didn't call him names. You aver that she would have so of course that makes it okay for you do actually do so. I think that's pretty gross, especially when directed at a child. And especially since you seem positive that her "proud papa" must be right there - why not send the ire his way, as he must surely be the responsible party? After all, if preacher dude is mentally unbalanced enough (according to you) that he should be pitied and not sneered or shouted at, then don't you owe at least that to a pre-pubescent child?
posted by rtha at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


Based on the reactions of some of the more prim members of this forum, I expected the little girl to be a raging psycho, but then I watched the video. Honestly, I have very little tolerance for religious preaching and think having these assholes amplified is pretty awful, so I'm on this little girl's side. The video doesn't last that long. She's just saying "shut it." It's not cute or useful or anything, but at least she knows what he's doing is wrong, and she has time to learn how to ignore crazy religious people and contribute in other, better ways. She's just a kid.

But I compare angry little girl shouting "Shut up - shut up" to angry little girl saying "That's not nice! You should apologize right now!" and I'm pretty sure which one has the virtue angels at her back.

So you like the cutesy widdle girl in the fake Internet story and you don't like an actual little girl who is reacting in frustration the way many little kids in actual life do. And the fake one has angels on her side or something. Got it.

She is ill-behaved and therefore I give her the respect I think she deserves. . . . Walk on by, just walk on by.

She is nine. You sure must've been a sugar sweet, mild-mannered little cherub of a child to judge a nine-year-old.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


now doubt milder than what she would call him, and I stand by it.

Yes, and that too. How on earth do you know what this child would call someone? What sort of scenario did you make up in your head about this child in a video that is not even one minute long?
posted by pineappleheart at 1:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Evidence? Are you kidding? Granted, I am not a shrink, but I think most people would agree that shouting religion (or much of anything else for that matter) at people through a megaphone for hours on end is not the sign of healthy mind.

A cursory glance at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides nothing that suggests this is a mental illness, and I think it is cheap as hell to suggest that the common and accepted behavior of getting up on a soapbox is evidence of mental illness, as everybody must surely agree.
posted by maxsparber at 1:19 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


We know nothing about the girl, the preacher, or the person with the camera other than one minute of their lives. Any individual among them may be angels or devils outside of that minute. We are all making guesses based on the context in which we expect this sort of confrontation.

The person I judge most harshly from this based on just that one minute is probably the person with the camera, who saw a girl seemingly wandering around alone at night, videotaped her, and then posted her all over the internet. That uh, is a choice you just made for her that might have some long term impacts. In that position, if I was impressed with her, I think I would only go forward if I could track her parents down to make sure it was cool with them and that the child was prepared for potential internet fame.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:19 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


One year at Memphis in May I saw the greatest counter to the typical Fundamentalist group.

There are several groups of fundamentalist street preachers who frequently plague Beale Street and Memphis In May. Several years ago, the last time I went to the Memphis In May Barbecue Contest, one group, a family led by a tall, white-haired preacher, set up their huge, car-battery-powered loudspeaker in a spot so that everyone who was standing in line trying to buy a ticket to the event had to listen to them. It was completely miserable, and so loud that it was difficult to have a conversation or to even complete the ticketing transaction at the box office. I complained to everyone I could find who had Memphis In May credentials or was wearing a police uniform. Everyone agreed he was annoying, but no one was inclined to take any steps to make him less annoying. So I went into the festival grounds and tried to forget about it.

I had a lousy time at the BBQ contest because I wandered around constantly missing the people I was supposed to meet, and, since you can't get into the BBQ cooking teams' tents without knowing someone from the team, I was smelling BBQ the whole time and couldn't eat any. So after two hours, I gave up and left. But on my way out, I was again accosted by the street preachers who, for some reason, singled me out for abuse as I was walking peaceably on the sidewalk. Now, I was raised in a fundamentalist church, and I couldn't get away fast enough, but in later years I have been trying to show the same tolerance I found lacking in my family's religious tradition. But that night, something in me snapped, and snapped hard. I went completely bughouse on the preacher. I got into his face and screamed at him until the I was hoarse. After a few minutes, I was joined by some other people who supported me. Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, no one came to the preacher and his family's aid. There were just an equal number of us on both sides yelling at each other, only one side had an industrial strength megaphone. Finally, the cops stepped in and dispersed us. I didn't hear the preacher's bullhorn again as I left, but I am sure he started back in as soon as possible. I complained to the Memphis In May leadership and sent an email to the mayor and the chief of police, neither of which were ever answered. But in returning to Memphis In May, I have noticed I never saw that particular group again, nor have there been amplified preachers in the neighborhood since.

When I was younger, confrontations with fundamentalist preachers always left me jazzed up with righteous anger, but this time, I just felt tired and disgusted afterwards. Maybe that's a sign of maturity, but I just wish some of these street hate preachers would grow the hell up, too.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


A cursory glance at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides nothing that suggests this is a mental illness, and I think it is cheap as hell to suggest that the common and accepted behavior of getting up on a soapbox is evidence of mental illness, as everybody must surely agree.

In these situations, I usually lead with "You are the victim of a mind virus that has completely crowded rational thought from your brain and has now hijacked your words and behavior to try to spread itself to others." Then I work from there.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine once encountered a leafleting/witnessing type in the Walmart parking lot. As he was a very hostile atheist, he drove the guy off pretty quickly. But as the guy was walking away, my friend, who may have had a few drinks, stood up suddenly and yelled, "COME BACK I NEED JESUS!" and the dude just kept running.

Girls in general need to be well-practiced in calling out assholes; for a girl, this a valuable life skill. I don't mind her practicing on this free-range asshole.
posted by emjaybee at 2:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


This is not some abstraction where, from a distance, we can tut tut because a little girl got angry and how dare she not live up to our ideals of the marketplace of ideas, and it is shitty that we have imposed these standards on her and found her wanting.

What I find wanting is the celebration here of a rhetorical strategy I usually associate with Bill O'Reilly. It doesn't surprise or appall me that a child would behave this way.
posted by fivebells at 2:57 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Evidence? Are you kidding? Granted, I am not a shrink, but I think most people would agree that shouting religion (or much of anything else for that matter) at people through a megaphone for hours on end is not the sign of healthy mind.

These are weasel words. An "unhealthy mind" is ambiguous to say the least, and can encompass the severely mentally ill to your next door neighbor who has a few weird ideas about 9/11. Are you attributing this street preacher's behavior to insanity? How convenient you slough off any religious context or personal responsibility. Understand something--the preacher is the one creating the offense and the girl is reacting to that offense. You say we should pity the preacher because he...what? Needs meds? Needs to be locked up? I await your expert medical diagnosis.
posted by zardoz at 4:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


We know nothing about the girl, the preacher, or the person with the camera other than one minute of their lives.

I'm curious to hear more from robocop is bleeding, since he was there and does seem to have some knowledge of the principals involved.

In that position, if I was impressed with her, I think I would only go forward if I could track her parents down to make sure it was cool with them and that the child was prepared for potential internet fame.

I agree. In terms of sidewalk etiquette, posting this without their/her permission is worse than anything in the video from either side.
posted by torticat at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I find wanting is the celebration here of a rhetorical strategy I usually associate with Bill O'Reilly. It doesn't surprise or appall me that a child would behave this way

I didn't realize she had invited him to be on her television show and could literally kick him out of her studio. I was under the impression that he was standing in the street speaking through a megaphone.
posted by maxsparber at 4:06 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


You may be taking the comparison too literally.
posted by maryr at 4:08 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


gree. In terms of sidewalk etiquette, posting this without their/her permission is worse than anything in the video from either side.

We just don't know, do we? Earlier, posters were speculating that this was all a put on and the parents wanted the attention. Now we're speculating that the filmmaker posted this without the kid's or parent's knowledge. If you're curious, shoot the filmmaker a note, but I don't see what good speculating does.
posted by maxsparber at 4:12 PM on November 5, 2014


Now we're speculating that the filmmaker posted this without the kid's or parent's knowledge

The filmmaker asserts this is how it happened.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:15 PM on November 5, 2014


Well, I was taking the guy at his word, that he didn't see her parents and that she just showed up & then disappeared.

He did say that, didn't he? I just checked and the description doesn't include that part anymore.
posted by torticat at 4:16 PM on November 5, 2014


The filmmaker asserts this is how it happened.

Where?
posted by maxsparber at 4:20 PM on November 5, 2014


I see it in the description in the FPP, but I don't see where the quote comes from.
posted by maxsparber at 4:22 PM on November 5, 2014


Ah, here, maxsparber. Check the fpp:
I never even saw who her parents were or where she was from. She just sort of showed up and then ran off again."
posted by torticat at 4:22 PM on November 5, 2014


I'm not gonna comment further unless someone can confirm if the quote was present on LiveLeak or not at the time of the FPP.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:25 PM on November 5, 2014


I find it interesting how constantly "little girl" is being used on this thread as a rhetorical club against opponents.

If you disagree with her actions on this video, you are by implication "against little girls," with all their innocence and purity and goodness and rainbows.

Reminds me of how "the troops" are used constantly in manipulative ways to shame anyone who disagrees with a war.
posted by shivohum at 5:28 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Your comment doesn't so much call to mind the troops or little girls as it does straw men.
posted by maxsparber at 5:34 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


All the way down here, and not a single person has articulated any reason why I am suppose to just silently take it when a person yells at me with a megaphone that I am going to hell.

And when I say "I", I literally mean me, a thirty something white man. Because I am positive if this was a video of an asshole with a megaphone screaming at me, and I responded "Hey man, shut the fuck up", there wouldn't be this hand-wringing about manners and being ill-behaved, and Bill O'Riley.

So if you're worried about "little girl" being used as a cudgel, let me be more plain: I would get "good on ya" for sticking up for myself. "Little Missie", however, needs to learn some manners. The clear double standard is worse because she's a child.
posted by spaltavian at 6:21 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Little straw girls?
posted by ostranenie at 6:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


me, a thirty something white man. Because I am positive if this was a video of an asshole with a megaphone screaming at me, and I responded "Hey man, shut the fuck up", there wouldn't be this hand-wringing about manners and being ill-behaved, and Bill O'Riley.

A white man screaming at someone to shut up would not be news because we do it all the time, not because we are any more or less right than when little girls tell people to shut up, but because we make a major habit of it.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:33 PM on November 5, 2014


They assured me this comment would be backed with an animated song that would rival "Let it Go."

But they haven't delivered.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:57 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would get "good on ya" for sticking up for myself. "Little Missie", however, needs to learn some manners.

Seriously? I completely disagree. I think the girl gets way more sympathy than an adult man throwing the same fit would.

But any adult speaking more reasonably -- even in a similar protest -- is often supported. See for example this video of Orange is the New Black actress Lea DeLaria engaging with a subway preacher. The commenters -- and presumably Youtube is more misogynist than MeFi -- mostly support her.
posted by shivohum at 7:00 PM on November 5, 2014


I am positive if this was a video of an asshole with a megaphone screaming at me, and I responded "Hey man, shut the fuck up", there wouldn't be this hand-wringing about manners and being ill-behaved, and Bill O'Riley.

Oh, I don't know. I have three daughters, ages 8, 11, and 16. I would support ANY of their saying "shut the fuck up" to someone attacking them personally (and have done, starting a couple years ago with the oldest; it hasn't come up with the others yet).

If you (spaltavian) told someone to STFU, that would be one thing. If you stood in the street yelling "Shut it shut it shut it, SHUT UP NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU" over and over, people would think you were throwing a childish tantrum. Because it is childish, and a tantrum.

There is part of me that loves loves loves this video because it's a girl not backing down in the least against someone who ought to intimidate her. I LOVE THAT. There is another part that thinks, where are your parents; why have they not taught you about a public, general vs a personal attack and discretion/courtesy in responding to one vs the other; what about the fact you're being taped and there is a person calling you a "cunt" in the LiveLeak comments? There are a lot of issues here when you're dealing with a kid.

[And I'm kind of mixing them all together. With regard to the street preacher specifically, I'd consider him a public nuisance but would also prefer that my kids not take it personally. Kind of like I'm constantly saying don't read the youtube comments, as opposed to yeah, you should totally get in there and throw down some truth!]

Grownups can respond to the preacher as they see fit. But a child? If the parents knew, then I (personally) think it was irresponsible of them to put her in that position. If they didn't, then it was definitely irresponsible for the video dude to post this and expose her to online commentary (like, e.g., mine).
posted by torticat at 8:14 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want to give the girl credit for being at least a little bit creative. I mean, I don't think "Shut it" is a particularly common expression in the US and "Piehole should be QUIET" is brilliant.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:40 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lea DeLaria (the actress who plays Big Boo on Orange is the New Black) recently had a similar interaction with a homophobic preacher on a subway train.

DeLaria's attack doesn't dismay me like the OP video. She tries to engage him with actual arguments about the appropriateness of his behavior and the soundness of his opinions before resorting to "99 bottles," plus I think she avoids personal attacks.

Amusingly, the sidebar to that link contained this awesome compilation of Chomsky responding to hostile questions.
posted by fivebells at 9:28 PM on November 5, 2014


Yes, this is equivalent behavior in an adult and child. Let's berate a little girl's reaction to being berated, that's the point of this.

Oy! I didn't realize .. sorry. I'm not sure which way I should read your comment because I can't read the tone.

Am I berating her? I could go into a long song and dance about living in a community that claims to hold the guiness record for most churches. How I find those who shove religious tracts into my mailbox, come to my neighbourhood once a week to knock on my door telling me that I can find salvation by joining their ranks to knock on the doors of others, abhorrent. Or, how when I walk through a particular area the assumption is I need the kind of salvation they're offering as they try to shove a pamphlet in my hand. "No, thank you. I'm a Buddhist!*" and keep walking as she yells out to me, "Jesus loves you ..."

I'm floored by the bold arrogance on their part.

We spend a huge amount of time teaching little girls how to be nice and just stfu already and go make him a sammich, to be peace makers and community builders not to shake things up, but I wasn't even headed there ... she could have been an 84 year old man for all I cared.

My second thought after stopping the video part way through was, "what a colossal waste of time and energy on her part." And, as I think about it some more, both their parts. Her yelling, "blah blah blah," at him isn't going to make him budge his world view any more than his heckling will change hers (ours). And, imho the net effect on both counts is it causes people to switch off and tune out.

As I get older I've come to a point where I'd see someone like him and think, "thank you for showing me who you really are since it saves me wasting the time and energy to discover for myself." And then, I'd do a little Metta Sutta in my head.

I want little girls like her to grow up and challenge the status quo, smartly. Except what she did had about as much finesse as a ... uh help me out here! And I'm not sure what she hoped to accomplish.


*I'm not. It just slipped out one night with an ease that surprised me and has me wondering if I really I am (long story).
posted by redindiaink at 6:50 AM on November 6, 2014


I'm not sure why anything thinks the point here was to, or should be to, change the preacher's mind. This was a little girl doing something a lot of adults- especially women, I imagine- want to do: not take this kind of harassment lying down. Everyone saddened by quality of discourse, or the girl's bad behavior or not following Robert's Rules of Order seems to forget this was a man screaming at people on the street with a megaphone. Not every interaction needs to be about learning and hugs.

But I'm not sure how this is a "colossal waste of time and energy" for a girl that age. Was Dora the Explorer on?
posted by spaltavian at 7:51 AM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Thank you for posting EmpressCallipygos. I expect that to be the best story I will read all week.
posted by vignettist at 8:28 AM on November 6, 2014


And I'm not sure what she hoped to accomplish.

I think she wanted him to stop berating her and her community with a megaphone.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:26 AM on November 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


That's what I think too. We had (have) a self-styled street preacher here in Calgary who used to "conduct services" with a megaphone. Not sure if he was berating passers-by - he does that, but maybe not with a megaphone. Anyway the bylaw people gave him a couple of tickets for noise violations, he complained about his freedom of speech rights, there was a court case, and he won because the city hadn't done its legal homework. Nevertheless, his behaviour in and out of court was such that as soon as the case was appealed (or maybe it was a new charge, I don't remember) that was the last straw and he was convicted. There was a bunch of other nonsense too, but he was eventually able to read the writing on the wall (apparently you really can't fight city hall).
But the overall reaction of the community was that No, we don't want people running around with megaphones claiming that God says they can do whatever they want.

Our guy does appear to be mentally ill (I've talked to him a couple of times, and he's an obsessive and transparent liar - only my opinion though). But it's clearly easy it is for him to interpret the public criticism he's received as evidence that he's doing God's will. Sort of a no-win situation for all concerned.
posted by sneebler at 10:36 AM on November 6, 2014


Drinky Die: I honestly just don't buy this whole idea that free speech means we have to turn sidewalks into broadcasting stations for any random person.

Who, like Occupy Wall Street or any other protest group?

The little girl has as much right to yell "SHUT UP" as the street preacher has to preach, or anyone else does to express their opinion in a public space. It may not be speech that you like, but to say that sidewalks are not "broadcasting stations for any random person" is an dangerous path to go down, where the powerful can easily shut down dissent. To say what you just said there only strengthens the position of the powerful.
posted by anemone of the state at 12:02 PM on November 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


I want little girls like her to grow up and challenge the status quo, smartly. Except what she did had about as much finesse as a ... uh help me out here!

AS A NINE YEAR OLD MAYBE?

Yes definitely we should expect every nine-year-old to understand the nuances of targeted political activism and engage that knowledge with "finesse." That seems utterly reasonable.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:15 PM on November 6, 2014 [15 favorites]


*sigh*
posted by redindiaink at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2014


You gotta let crazy folks, even religious ones, talk on their soapboxes. That's America.

As American as mom, apple pie and mass school shootings.


I would blame school shootings mostly on the 2nd amendment rather than the 1st.

The 1st Amendment is pretty cool, you guys. (As are mom and apple pie.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:13 AM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


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