When a mouthy little girl approached a Christian street preacher and began shouting at him, a photographer caught it all on tape.
In college, I witnessed street preachers doing their thing every day. They mostly showed up to tell us we were sinners, fornicators and “filthy homosexuals.” I will never forget a preacher who stood with his young daughter at his feet and told her he’d cast her from his home if she came out of the closet. Street preaching is often rooted in judgment and hate. It doesn’t inspire much in the way of joy or hope.
At face value, it looks like this unnamed little girl is just fed up with the loud preaching. Whether or not you’re a Christian, the sound of someone yelling into a microphone isn’t exactly soothing. But what’s really going on here? The girl glances at the camera a few times, as if seeking approval. Did an adult put her up to it? Is it performance art? It’s hard to believe a child that young would have that much pent-up rage at street preachers.
Responses to the video have been primarily negative toward the little girl, ranging from calling her possessed to suggesting she needs to be beaten. There’s no doubt her behavior was incredibly rude, but I found myself grinning as she shouted at the young preacher.
My stance is that everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but when you come into a public space and shout about those beliefs, you’re inviting debate — even debate in the form of a pint-sized “demonic” naysayer. I’ve never liked street preachers, and I don’t like it when they preach in front of children. Religion is a very personal thing, and parents have the right to decide how they want children educated about different faiths. I don’t want to explain the Christian concepts of hell and sin to my kids in the context of a stranger shouting about them on the side of the road.
What’s the final verdict here? If the girl was having a genuine outburst, then I sympathize with her frustration despite how rude she was. If an adult put this little girl up to it, then that adult should be ashamed. I’m sick of kids being used as pawns in desperate attempts to go viral — especially when kids are coached to shout obscenities.