Angry Churchgoers In The Public Sphere

This makes me sad.  My reaction to follow.


Source: Chronicle Herald (of all places) An account by Irene Albertson of the events which unfolded during the May 15th Town Council Meeting

What was supposed to be a meeting earlier this month to inform the people of Springhill on the reasons why the decision was made to apply for dissolution of town status turned out to be a well-orchestrated plan by former MLA Murray Scott and his supporters to discredit the integrity, credibility and honesty of Mayor Maxwell Snow and Deputy Mayor Darrell White.

I don’t know what Mr. Scott’s agenda is, but holding a plebiscite, which was demanded, will only put additional financial strain on the town and the result will be the same — we are swimming in debt and about to drown. We are being handed a lifeline, for which we should be grateful, and our mayor and council should be applauded for having the courage to take the steps necessary to “save this community.”

I, too, am a proud Springhiller. However, I am embarrassed to admit it after witnessing the personal attacks, rudeness and hostility directed at the mayor at that meeting.

Shame on you, Springhillers (you know who you are), and shame on me for not speaking up at that meeting and showing my support for the decision made to amalgamate.

Irene Albertson, Springhill


I was not at this meeting, so I’m not sure exactly what happened, therefore I can only comment on information I received from secondary sources. Like I said before, it makes me sad that members (apparently according to another secondary source, it wasn’t just Mr. Scott.) from my own church acting this awfully in public.  I know Mr. Scott, he’s a great friend and person in general.  He treats everyone well…even with his days as a politician behind him.  So it came as a shock to read about him in this light.

It’s not a bad thing to disagree on things…but you don’t have to rip people completely apart over them.  It is good to debate respectfully in these situations, especially when you think of the fact that those who were at the meeting who aren’t Christians are watching how you react in situations.  If they see a few angry people in a public meeting, it is possible that they might think that all Christ followers are like that…and possibly that Jesus himself acted like that.  (He did knock over tables in the temple once… just once…and become righteously angry with certain people…but it wasn’t like it was an every day thing).

When people who claim to follow Jesus act in ways he wouldn’t, it’s no wonder our witness confuses people on the outside and makes them think, “Boy, these folks sure get angry alot…look how they mistreat people.  I don’t think I want to be involved with those people.”  We are the only examples even remotely close to Jesus that anyone else is going to see on this earth, what with the average person not wanting to pick up a Bible and read it these days…they’re watching how we act in all sorts of situations.  We have to be careful….and we fall short all the time, but that is no excuse to not at least try to treat people decently.

I understand that Mr. Scott and many other folks who go to the same church as me are angered at the fact that Springhill will most likely have to join the Municipality of Cumberland County, and thus are fighting to keep the town as it is…and not have to resort to using  the lifeline that Irene talked about in the article earlier.  This situation could have been handled with much more dignity, respect, and class…but it wasn’t.  We as a church had a great opportunity to be like Jesus to people and witness to a community how we handle pressure situations…and some of us failed miserably.  It should be noted that not all the church members who were at the meeting acted this way.  However, some did, and it’s staining our witness in the community.  Unfortunately those few people were not thinking about that at the time.  Yet they wonder why nobody new shows up very often.  I’m ashamed of what took place at this meeting….and I wasn’t even there.

I’m going to leave you with a verse from the book of James 1:19 on this topic.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

We all need to work on this.  It would make communication with people so much better.

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