Hate Speech?

Thankfully, complaints addressed to our parish are few and far between. I did, however, receive two irate phone messages over the Christmas weekend, possibly from the same family.

The man and the woman each complained about the bells we played after the midnight mass on Christmas Eve; they said the bells waked them up as well as children who were staying with them.

I can understand the complaints; we stopped playing the daily bells at 9 AM so as not to disturb people who work night shifts, and I can imagine some people might be annoyed at being waked up. However, we do this only once a year, and few people work on Christmas Day, so the annoyance should be manageable. Outside noise from construction and traffic in the middle of the night is not exactly unknown in this busy neighborhood.

Most unusually, in his message, the man referred to “#@*&! Christians” while the woman said she “hated” our church and would never attend there. I wonder if they would have used these terms about a synagogue or a mosque. In any event, I had no way to respond or express sympathy, since the messages were anonymous. —J. Douglas Ousley

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5 Responses to “Hate Speech?”

  1. Jane says:

    If they were not anonymous, would you have responded or expressed sympathy?

  2. J. Douglas Ousley says:

    Of course.

  3. Jane says:

    I wonder, then, why did they leave anonymous messages?

    p.s. “woke”, “woken”; “waked” is more dialectical

  4. Jane says:

    By the way, why did you tag this “atheism”?

  5. John says:

    This is very typical of angry, frustrated people with other issues in their lives and simply waiting for anything in order to vent out their negative inner feelings. They remain anonymous because in reality they don’t want to confront or debate, they simply want to vent. Working in customer service for many years now, I have seen this unfortunate and ultimately immature behavior increase. The only thing to do, let it pass by and if there are any threats involved, always notify police authorities in case something does happen in the future.

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