Woman Preaches The Gospel At Her Gate After Mission Trip, Internet Goes Wild

After a three day mission trip to the Netherlands there was one last bit of preaching to do before heading home – inside the airport. This video has been viewed several million times after being posted yesterday.

Naturally twitter responded like twitter to the notion.

Now, Matthew 6:5 says that the purpose of prayer shouldn’t be to put oneself on display, but this isn’t a rejection of public prayer just the motives that some may have (condemning “the hypocrites”).

There’s really no reason to be offended. There’s nothing exclusionary about what I saw on the video.

Now, I’m Jewish and I have memories as a child feeling strange walking into a church, like I was doing something wrong. I’m not sure where that feeling came from, though I outgrew it, and I’ve been a part of Catholic weddings. When other groomsmen took communion, I simply crossed my arms to indicate to the priest that I wouldn’t take part, but that’s only because I didn’t want to disrespect the ritual as a non-believer. Others taking communion wasn’t a threat to me.

Airports Aren’t Prayer-Free Zones

The first airport chapels in the US were Catholic. They began to take off in the 1950s. The very first in the U.S. was at Boston Logan named “Our Lady of the Airways.” The second was at then-Idlewild (now JFK) in New York, “Our Lady of the Skies.”

Religious services in airports aren’t limited to chapels. Chaplains pay a role when dead bodies are moved through airports. (People also die at airports, too.) Chaplains are often the ones to notify family members when someone dies inflight. This can happen with some frequency at the biggest hubs.

Airport police will also sometimes refer problems to the airport chaplain as an alternative to arrest. People behave better around religious figures.

Interestingly there’s no chapel in my home airport of Austin. There’s also no designated chapel space at Las Vegas (where they might need one most!), Los Angeles, or Philadelphia. Dallas Fort-Worth has five.

Alaska used to pass out prayer cards with meal trays. After 30 years Alaska Airlines ended the practice in 2012 (they started offering it only in first class in 2006, when they stopped providing meals in coach). The idea originally came from a marketing executive who brought the practice to Alaska from Continental.

But Doesn’t Christian Prayer Exclude Others?

Perhaps the strongest way this was put out on twitter was as follows:

The idea that a prayer from the Quran is foreign to aviation seems odd, every time I departed Etihad from the United States this is what played on the ground:

And more broadly the idea seems to be, why privilege Christianity? Airline chapels are interfaith, and some in the U.S. even do have Muslim prayer rooms, here’s one in an Etihad lounge.

It’s Not The Prayer It’s The Noise

I guess I have a hard time seeing the harm in a passenger praying. And by the way I’m Jewish, this isn’t defending my own religion.

But passengers don’t like other people making noise, especially noise that doesn’t fade into the background. It’s not that they’re trying to concentrate per se, just find some peace in the sea of people we’re surrounded by during travel. So in some sense it’s the worst and most annoying time to offer proclamations of any kind.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary, you know the comment section is going to go wild on this one LOL:)

    My two cents: I’m with Gary in that I don’t mind praying in public spaces, and having prayer rooms is great as far as I’m concerned. But – watching this lady in the vid – she’s walking up & down, screaming towards passengers with her testimony. Not cool. Makes people feel invaded. As emotionally genuine as she may be – get a grip on yourself. You’re in a public place.

    P.S Gary – about how you felt somehow ‘wrong’ walking into a church: it’s funny because actually Jewish orthodox law does in fact prohibit jewish people from worshipping at churches (interestingly, the orthodox law does allow worshipping in Islamic mosques)

  2. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. End of story.
    If you don’t like it walk away.
    If I hear the Biden Regime spew their garbage on TV, I just turn it off.

  3. Having a mission trip to the Netherlands sounds odd, a bit like Ned Flanders in the Simpsons talking about how he gave money to “Bibles for Belgium”. I see though it was for prostitutes and the homeless. Admirable, I guess. But my “belief” is that people should keep their own to themselves. After all, shouting what you think isn’t exactly a way to attract permanent converts. And in a public space with many people feeling tired or slightly stressed this just isn’t needed.

  4. I’m a very strong Christian in my faith, but I found myself cringing when I heard this woman. If we change the topic of what she was yelling about, from Jesus to oh I don’t know, how delicious coffee is, let’s say, it would still be annoying and it would not make me want to stop drinking tea.

    I am both a coffee and tea lover, so please don’t preach the virtues of either. Haha

  5. This made me howl. “The first airport chapels in the US were Catholic. They began to take off in the 1950s.” Wow supernatural powers or brilliant engineering? making chapels take off like airplanes. Lol

  6. The Istanbul airport has 44 prayer rooms (22 for each gender), as well as a mosque that can hold over 6000 people!

  7. Airports are no different from any public building – in the western world which espouses freedom of speech and religion, you either restrict the ability of anyone to speak above a volume necessary to communicate to someone directly next to them (very hard to enforce) or you allow this and any other kind of speech.
    Whether it is effective or not is up to the person that chooses to communicate to decide but there is a whole lot of market that has a near zero chance of changing anyone’s behavior but marketers still engage in it any way.

    Yes, I prefer a quiet airport environment but that also includes not having to listen to airline X make umpteen terminal boarding calls for their flights or for family Bozo that can’t manage to get to their flight – or the volume of the CNN airport channel which is thankfully going the way of the dustbin. If I or anyone else want to watch the news, we can do it on our phone w/ headphones.

  8. Like sex, religion should ONLY be practiced among consenting adults in privacy. Anything else is offending and abusive.

  9. @WileyDog lol…. offensive and abusive? I don’t think you understand the meaning of either word…

  10. Conflating prayer with proselytizing doesn’t aid the debate. Public prayer for the purpose of emphasizing one’s own holiness is condemned. But as to proselytizing, the Great Commission is pretty clear, Mark 16:15: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Being condemned by those who hear the gospel shouldn’t be a surprise – especially considering the fate of many of those who first shared the gospel. All that said, preaching to a captive audience may not be terribly considerate or effective.

  11. Better than listening to CNN Airport Network TV. I would defend her right to voice her beliefs at the airport but I’m not sure it’s the best way to go about it.

  12. And the circus continues. I dont want someone preaching in my face. The airport experience is taxing enough as it is. Religion is a private thing. I do not wish to be converted whether I’m about to crash and burn or not.

  13. @Andy
    As opposed to listening to Chump’s lies, but I don’t turn him off as I like to laugh at that damnable liar. fool, and complete A-hole.

  14. As an atheist, I’m amused.

    So much time effort and money for imaginary beliefs.

    Still, no more strange than people on their way to SciFi or furry conventions.

    Everyone lets their freak flag fly, even if it means getting together weekly in buildings and chanting about their invisible sky pal(s).

    But the question is: is her doing this a form of advertisement? After all, she is promoting a product.

    Would we be ok if random strangers got up and started taking of the wonders of Sham-wow or the Popeil pocket fisherman? How about the myriad of local lawyers looking to get your accident or mesothelioma business?

    Add to them 15 hucksters promoting various credit cards. Maybe even timeshares to the destination you are headed….

    Look at it this way: some states have laws that prevent billboards so you can see the sights and avoid distractions. Those that don’t have stretches of road where it is difficult to see beyond the advertisements.

    It has the possibility of becoming a mess.

    Sort of like gas pump video advertisements… before you know it, you can’t escape.

  15. “So much time effort and money for imaginary beliefs.”

    Beliefs aren’t imaginary. Beliefs are beliefs.

  16. @WileyDog

    They are actually heros and patriots. Democrats are the fifth column in this country.

  17. @ Koggerj
    You are exactly what’s wrong with this country. Talking liberty and waving the flag while supporting a treasonous ex-president who values his ego above our laws and the Constitution. You are.a hypocritical cultist who probably claims to be a Christian while ignoring all the teachings of Christ. You, and your ilk are a loathsome bane on this great country and we will not let you destroy it. Nuff said.

  18. Many people or groups publicly and peacefully display their values, such as LGBQT. So be it for other groups who choose to do the same. You may not like the message. If that’s the case, walk away. That’s what I do.

    It’s called tolerance, folks.

  19. @WileyDog

    No that would be people like yourself. You’re like a cancer on our society, a cancer that should be removed.

    @DFWSteve
    No they harm society.

  20. To help financially troubled airlines receiving revenue from credit card sales, American Airlines could clone 1,000 of these people to preach to the attentive gate lice the tremendous benefits of owning the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® where you can EARN 65,000 BONUS MILES. Once passengers board and take off, as a captive audience, imagine the fun of hearing a bonus nonstop four-hour in-flight sales pitch during your next nonstop flight between New York and California.

  21. So it’s okay for me to do the same thing but about how much I love Satan? Total double standard. I don’t want to hear your nonsense about your imaginary friend. STFU.

  22. Airports prohibit public soliciting

    Publicly preaching or praying is a form of solicitation. Nobody preaches to the converted on a mission trip. The goal is to convert and that is solicitation

    There is a chapel at airport .pray there

  23. now the witches can do the same? Can they preach that women stay at home and keep silent like the bible says? How about multiple wives for some husbands?

    Keep your point of views at home not in public dont push your religious, political or other view on me.

    Be Kind

  24. Why do these poor misguided souls feel that preaching to pax awaiting their flights will accomplish anything more than annoying everyone in earshot? Are they so full of the ‘joy of the Lord’ that they have no room for any judgement or ability to control their own behaviour? These people need to get a life where they can be productive and fulfilled. Pathetic, I feel sorry for them desperately craving attention.

  25. By comments on this board we now know the liberal “progressive” (or is it regressive) view is to squelch any and all dissent. It never was tolerance to begin with. You want your point of view aired. But your fellow American can’t do the same? Bear in mind that anti-establishment people who think for themselves will never be silenced. You senile inflation-loving Biden idiots can go take a kerosene enema and call your LBDYRFJUQ+~ friends and scream your misery into a toilet bowl. May the airport preachers live on!!!!!!!

  26. @DFWSteve – funny… I rember when conservatives used to be the establishment.
    Now they’re just lost.
    How things change.
    Sounds and fury, signifying nothing.

  27. The internet is so fun. :). So many people always say what they believe at the same time they say others should keep their beliefs to themselves. Lol.

  28. Loud public prayer IS proselytizing. Also “freedom of religion” also includes “freedom from religion”. I unfortunately had a parent who suffered from scrupulosity/ extremely excessive religiosity. For example, family outings to restaurants meant he’d launch into loud “grace” consisting of 2 to 3 prayers, disturbing and annoying the other diners who were of different religion or no religion at all. It was socially ignorant behavior AND proselytizing (because it would always be done when there were other people to witness it). Those prayers could have been “said” silently to himself, and he could have done a dozen or a hundred silently, and could have done 500 in the course of a dinner, silently, so the other 60 people in the room would not be offended. So…the woman at the gate was proselytizing, disturbing other people, and being socially ignorant.

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