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Priest is heckled on radio as he says believers are often ridiculed

By on Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fr Jamison (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

Fr Jamison (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

The director of the National Office for Vocation of England and Wales was heckled on a radio programme as he began to tell the audience that people of faith often have their views dismissed or ridiculed in the public square.

Appearing as a panellist on the Radio 4 programme Any Questions?, Fr Christopher Jamison said: “I think what concerns me is that there is a kind of new discrimination emerging which is that we are very keen to have a neutral public square which is quite right and proper in a secular democracy. One of the difficulties for people of faith is trying to get their views heard in that public square,” but members of the audience then heckled him.

When the presenter Eddie Mair asked Fr Jamison why he thought he was heckled, he replied: “Well, I was intrigued, it sort of slightly proved the point.”

Fr Jamison, who is former abbot of Worth Abbey in Sussex, was replying to the question of whether he had ever faced discrimination. After being heckled he continued: “There is a real tension here because sometimes it can appear that if you believe certain things, although your opinion will be listened to often it will be ridiculed rather quickly.”

Fr Jamison told the audience: “At the time of the Papal Visit we had a fantastic opportunity afterwards where the British Humanist Association asked to meet a group of Catholic spokespeople and it was a really amazing dialogue. We said that actually there had been too much grandstanding around the time of the Papal visit and it had been a dialogue of the deaf. And when a group of us sat down and talked about the thing more personally there was a much more real engagement of listening and trying to understand.”

  • Cestius

    Did the hecklers not realize that they were merely proving his point?

  • RomanEnvoy

    Dare I say it, but the anti-Christian mob are almost becoming a parody of themselves now.

    It’s all rather distasteful, I know, but I do allow myself a wry smile at this sort of thing…..

  • JabbaPapa

    What an awesome irony !!!

    So many of these atheists and anti-catholics just haven’t the FOGGIEST clue …

  • paulpriest

    I heard it – especially the revisionist nonsense which implies they rescued the Papal visit and have an enduring dialogue with the secularists – and I’ve no sympathy/time whatsoever with someone who says the media is no place to evangelise.

  • teigitur

    One would expect no better from the hand-picked BBC audience.

  • Oconnord

    Although I wouldn’t defend heckling, it’s just bad manners towards both the speaker and the rest of the audience. There is a simple message, if you don’t want to be ridiculed, don’t say ridiculous things.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    I FEEL SORRY FOR FATHER AND FOR THAT MATTER FOR ANY ONE WHO CALLS HIMSELF BY A CHRISTIAN (CATHOLIC?) NAME WHO BEHAVES LIKE FATHER VOCALISING SUCH EXPERIENCES.

    BUT THEN I WOULD REFER TO ONE EXPERIENCES OF EXTREME ANTAGONISM AND ENEMITY I MYSELF HAD EXPERIENCED IN A NORTH INDIAN UNIVERSITY. I WAS ABOUT 36 YEARS OLD DOING MY M.A. IN HINDI LITERATURE. ON ALL COUNTS I LOOKED DIFFERENT, A KERALITE IN A WESTERN CREAM COLOUR JACKET.

    ONE DAY IT HAPPENED IN FRON’T OF THE HINDI DEPARTMENT. SOME THREE FOUR STUENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY WHOM I HAD NOT MET  EARLIER SARROUNDED  ME AS IF READY TO POUNCE ON ME AND PINCH ME TO PIECES. MORE PEOPLE KEPT ON JOINING AND IT WAS A MINI CROWD. NO WORDS WERE  EVER SPOKEN BUT THEIR THREATENING FACIAL EXPRESSIONS THE SPIRIT OF EVIL IN THEIR EYES AND BREATH WAS ENOUGH FOR ME TO FEEL HIGHLY INSECURE.

    WITHIN A FALSH IT ALL HAPPENED. I JUST JUMPED OUT OF SKIN AND REACHED OUT TO MY GOD JESUS  AND APPEALED TO HIM WITH AN INTENSE SIGH. THERE IT IS, LIKE HIS CALMING OF THE RAGING SEA WITH A WORD OF HIS! PEACE AND SERENITY CAME OVER ME AND FROM ME TO THE REST.

    AFTER FEW SECONDS I MOVED TOWARDS THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT AND CAME AROUND TOWARDS THE FRON”T GATE OF THE UNIVERSITY. THE FIRST GROUP THAT SOURROUNDED ME FOLLOWED ME AND OVERTOOK ME AND ONE OF THEM BENT DOWN AND TOUCHED MY FEET. THEN HE REACHED FOR HIS POCKET AND TOOK OUT SOME PRASAD ( SWEET GRAIN FOOD OFFERING FROM THEIR HINDU TEMPLE). I RECEIVED IT GRACEFULLY AND THEN THEY SALUTED ME RESPECTFULLY AND MOVED AWAY.

    AND I SAID IN MY HEART TO  MY JESUS, “OH WHAT A WONDERFUL GOD YOU ARE!”

    IN ALL MY UNIVERSITY DAYS I USED TO THINK AND BEHAVE CONSCIOUSLY THAT I BELONGED TO JESUS MY GOD AND HE ALWAYS STOOD BY ME. EARLIER THERE WAS ONE MORE SIMILAR INCIDENT WHEN I WAS DOING MY B.A. IN THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE.

  • teigitur

    Hello there Damo. In principle you are correct. The trouble here is the Priest was speaking the truth , so it was not a ridiculous statement.

  • Hank

    I’m sorry, I missed it. What did father say that was ridiculous?

  • JabbaPapa

    cripes, what an embarrassing manner to declare your non-understanding of the whole point of the article !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    hmmmm my dad was a Univ man :-)

    I’ve had that sort of experience too, but nothing anywhere near as intense as you describe.

    Then again, you’re the one with the vocation to the priesthood, my own is a bit different…

  • Kevin Mckenna

    Of course, there is growing antoginism towards the Church – and this is important danger to all Christian Churches, Catholics and Evangelicals alike.

    We are presenting a new Church Unity in that we all are being victimised; you see the Catholic Church and the Evanelicals stand up for Marriage – against the opinion of many – Catholics and Evangelicals stand up for the unborn – so many hold the opposite view and finally we can be ridiculed easily – we are seen to be fools. But then didn’t Apostle Paul write about being fools for the sake of Christ.

    That should be our encouragement.

  • Bob Hayes

    I heard the programme and (perhaps naively) was taken aback by the hostility shown by some of the audience. It was the boo-boy intolerance of Mosley’s Blackshirts. That said, I suspect every single heckler would have been proud of their self-proclaimed ‘libertarian’ values. It is a behaviour that can be found anywhere on the political spectrum: a behaviour that is driven by the same viciously intolerant mindset that underpinned ‘Jew-baiting’ in the 1930s. 

  • Oconnord

    I was speaking in general terms, heckling the priest was bad manners in this specific case. 

    But the second part was in reply to his statement…. “There is a real tension here because sometimes it can appear that if you believe certain things, although your opinion will be listened to often it will be ridiculed rather quickly.”

    If I may I use a sweeping gereralisation, respect is earned, not granted. So I can respect the priest as a person, but that does not mean I have to respect what his beliefs. 

  • Honeybadger

    That’s how brain-dead these hecklers really are.

  • Honeybadger

    The very question.

  • Oconnord

    See… you thought my point was ridiculous…. so you ridiculed it. Pretty simple concept. So I didn’t understand… back to the old default setting Jabba?

  • JabbaPapa

    I don’t have a “default setting” — though I would suspect that your own comment was motivated by just such.

  • JabbaPapa

    One’s respect for others is in fact granted a priori, rather than earned — or in the case of such as yourself, lost.

  • teigitur

    All people must be respected. But always we will have different beliefs to others, which we can acknowledge, but ultimately disagree with. Thats the nature of life.
     But here we are talking about a section of humanity, having beliefs that people think they can ridicule as a matter of routine, almost unthinkingly, at least in the public sphere. That may be fine too, as long as the media, who control society these days allow balanced redress. But of course they do not.
     Ridicule is fine, its human. But when your views are ridiculed in public, then public redress must be allowed. It is not.
     You will find little public ridicule of most Faiths,except Christianity. Evidence? Have a look at the picture on the Telegraph blog site,… the blog by Dan Hodges regarding Mr Assange. Just one example, and from today.

  • Acleron

    Respect is earned.

    He should have been listened to out of politeness.

  • Acleron

    Respect is earned.

    He should have been listened to out of politeness.

  • Oconnord

    “default setting”.. of course not but you have to admit you accuse people of “not understand” a lot. But I have to admit to having my own habits if not settings.

  • Oconnord

    Darn it!! A reply was lost.

    But to recap, in the context of this article, courtesy was due, not respect. I agree that it is very, very bad manners to heckle a priest on a radio discussion show. I would say he, in fact, should be granted courtesy, a priori, but not respect. His views or beliefs were open to derision.   

  • Oconnord

    Two things,,,,

    Did you have a good visit to Dublin?

    Secondly, I agree with you, mostly. People should be respected but not their beliefs. But to do that requires a fair amount of cognitive dissonance and courtesy. 

  • JabbaPapa

    His views or beliefs were open to derision

    This attitude of yours is frightfully ghastly, and demonstrates all the civility of your common or garden internet troll.

    Do not be at all surprised that your own views should then be viewed with utter scorn.

  • teigitur

    I did indeed thank you. Visiting many old haunts and meeting many old friends and colleagues. Liver crippling draughts of alcohol were consumed as well as some very nice food. Great time.
     As were the hills of Donegal, where we went for the last few days……..and it did not rain ALL the time!

  • Kkberic_ariola

    Tnx to God and more Blss us 
    All Priest…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LWXLHOKGL2GITBG7F5IH6K4DJQ ian

    I agree: I think they’ve run out of steam. Its quite an achievement they’ve been able to run on nothing for so long

  • James

    Very true, there are umpteem mindless people on the Internet who have no idea what civility is… A load of vacuous hypocrites who don’t want to listen to people speaking the truth.

  • Honeybadger

    I wouldn’t say it was an achievement as such, ian.

    Like the behaviour of the average playground bully, they don’t stop acting the maggot until their ‘victim’ begins to stand up to them or just ‘blank’ these bullies outright.

  • Honeybadger

    These atheists and anti-catholics never had the FOGGIEST CLUE to start with, which makes their behaviour all the more laughable.

    Unfortunately, they supply the ink for the media rags to print with and take up valuable air-time to spout their grot to the wider world – and the world swallows it like castor oil.

    More fool them.

  • Kevin

    What did he say that was ridiculous?

  • John Wilson

     Is there just a chance that you might stop this kind of arrogant post? You are poisoning discussion here and elsewhere. I urge you to stop, and adopt a kinder response to those you disagree with; it is so immature of you.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

     WHAT  WAY  “different…”?

    IT IS SAID, IN THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH EVERY CHRISTIAN WAS AN APOSTLE.
    THIS IS WHAT MAKES A PERSON TRULY CHRISTIAN – APOSTLESHIP.

    EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH THE HELP OF GOD WHO IS SO VERY GENEROUS.

    LOOK AT SAUL WHO BECAME PAUL, THE GREATEST OF ALL APOSTLES.

  • John Wilson

     Yes they’re all fools unlike you.

    No wonder the church is going down the pan with knuckledragging views like yours to defend it.

  • Tybourne

    Listening to the radio programme online, it seemed to me that the ‘heckling’ was very low key. Are we over-reacting here?

  • Parasum

    “Priest is heckled on radio as he says believers are often ridiculed”

    ## Maybe they *deserve* ridicule, or even worse. Ridicule is better than committing indictable offences – and it’s not as though some believers don’t go asking for that to happen. I’m sorry he was heckled, but it simply not the case that “believers” (Christians ? Muslims ? others ? who ?) are poor persecuted inoffensive lambs who never give any reason to anyone to ridicule them. Plenty of “believers” spend a lot of time killing each other or rioting against each other – Hindus & Muslims, Hindus & Christians, Muslims & Christians. That is a bit more dangerous than being ridiculed. If believers can’t stand each other, but break each others’ heads, why should non-believers be expected to live up to standards the believers are so useless at living by ? As long as Christians insist on behaving as disciples of the devil, they must expect to be called to order by non-believers. They can’t expect not to be, unless they don’t believe their own religion. But if they don’t, they are double-dyed hypocrites & deserve all the grief they get. Some of the stories on this very site are about the hatred of one bunch of believers for a different  bunch of believers. 

    To complain of non-believers for chucking a few non-violent jibes at a man of the cloth is absurdly over-sensitive, and that is putting it nicely. To say nothing of the odious behaviour of the body that cleric represents. It was his own fault for going along in the first place; what did he expect – a standing ovation ? People are sick of the CC’s shenanigans, & having a priest around was a good opportunity for those present to make their revulsion at what he represents unmistakably clear. The CC’s personnel need to learn just how despised they are, even by many Catholics; if he learned that, then some good will have come of the evening. 

  • Kevin

    I think what concerns me is that there is a kind of new discrimination emerging

    What concerns me is that Father may come across as seeking permission to speak. This is to give atheists (I assume) a position of power that is not at all warranted by their intellectual failure to prove the non- contingency of matter. Theism is the more rational position, and Christianity involves the acceptance of historical evidence. The only logical tool at the atheist’s disposal is negation. Giving into this is like giving in to the games of a child.

  • Oconnord

    Err… I fully expect derision! It’s the nature of the forum. I don’t claim to have unassailable “Answers, Truths or Beliefs” from special Revelation.

    Have you noticed how quickly I apologise if I’m incorrect? Or can acknowledge that I made a bad argument? 

    But in this particular case if you read the article you see where the heckling occurred.

    “…. was replying to the question of whether he had ever faced discrimination. After being heckled he continued: “There…….”

    I don’t don’t have access to the BBC Player, but I surmised that the hecklers were objecting to a catholic priest being asked about personal discrimination, while his church is campaigning against gay marriage.

    As I said from the start, I don’t approve, but I can understand why it happened. He was not heckled from the opening, but at his answer to that particular question.

  • Oconnord

    Umteen…. Is that a teenager working for Willy Wonka?

  • Oconnord

    We in Wicklow have claimed most of the rain this year. Nice to hear you got to Donegal. I rarely get past the Wicklow to Dublin and back again line.

  • Oconnord

    Sorry for splitting replies again, but I wanted to digest your Telegraph example. Though I fully agree that public redress must be allowed, I again have to put it in context. With faith or opinion, or witness testimony that should be the case. But the same is not true for evolution vs creationism. In the latter “a prepondurence of evidence” must be used. 

    As to the Assange example, well I’ve never understood “hero-worship”. So I wouldn’t defend him, but I would question whether he’ll receive a fair trial. To me if that was not a case of rape, (if true), then it would be assault with a (possibly lethal) weapon. (I’m sure as a catholic you could consider that as a twice, possibly, lethal weapon, if it led to a termination, rather than HIV). 

  • JabbaPapa

    To complain of non-believers for chucking a few non-violent jibes at a man of the cloth is absurdly over-sensitive, and that is putting it nicely

    Ludicrous — the point being made is that these uncouth trolls tried to drown this priest’s denunciation of the mindless nature of this mockery in a chorus of mindless mockery.

    The rest of your post is just garbage.

  • JabbaPapa

    There’s obviously a difference between engaging in a regular discussion forum and the more generalised forms of hostility of society in general, that the priest was talking about.

  • Carolsheridan13

    When I read how you religious types reply to each other, I am so glad I am an atheist.
    Not everybody deserves respect, and certainly not child abusers and those who cover up for them.

  • Oconnord

    So was he heckled from the outset… or when he was replying to that question? 

    Is that not an obvious difference? And a pertinent one? We are talking about this case, if you want to open it up to absence of respect for religion in debate that’s fine. But it’s not what’s on this thread.

  • Oconnord

    How about a comprise before this thread gets too small and silly? Can anyone out there can provide a link to the debate, available to non UK residents, on a basic player.

    I will readily concede if the heckling is personal to him or his priesthood. If,  though, the heckling is limited to the question of discrimination, are you willing to do the same?

  • teigitur

    You shoud get out more Damo!! lol

  • John Wilson

    Another mindless, vicious post from Jabba. ThIS man is a thug, an extremist as much as any mad mullah.