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Sunday 18 August 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Witness to religious disrespect

THE EDITOR: I know this will be a sore point but I am not about religion-bashing; so, please bear with me. I have been taught that we should all respect the points-of-view of others, especially where we do not agree with them. Likewise, we should be respectful of the religions of others.

I attended a funeral in a Roman Catholic church recently where several members of a different religious sect were in attendance. These are the ones who go preaching from door-to-door with the aim of getting people to visit their halls and ultimately, become members of their congregation.

They are opposed to many things deemed normal in our society in that they do not stand during playing or singing of the National Anthem; do not celebrate birthdays; do not observe Christmas or Easter; among others.

When they go to other churches, they sit at the back and take no part in the service, which brings me to the point of my letter. At the funeral, the church was filled and funeral programmes ran out, so those who arrived late were unable to get. Many from the other religious body had programmes, but made no use of them whatsoever since they took absolutely no part in the service.

Some kept the programmes in their hand bags and did not see it fit to share with others near to them who had none. Even worse: they sat throughout the entire service and did not stand for anything, even when the congregation was invited to do so, thus treating the church with contempt. One would think if one is in another’s place of worship and unfamiliar with the rituals, one would do what the others would: that is, stand when they stand and sit when they sit.

Worse was to come. When the collection was being taken up, not one of them placed something in the collection baskets. The person who was taking the collection, on reaching the area where the majority of the sect was seated, appeared appalled by what she was witnessing. To me, it would have been better if these people had stayed away from the funeral altogether since there appeared no purpose in them attending.

It was nothing short of total disrespect for the host church and its religion; yet, these are the same people who would go to the homes of others seeking to preach to them. About what, may I ask? I understand now why they are treated with such scorn by many householders whenever they call at the gate.


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