"Orange Is The New Black" actress Lea DeLaria raised eyebrows on a New York subway early Tuesday when she began heckling another passenger who was preaching to commuters.
The openly lesbian actress, who plays Carrie "Big Boo" Black on the Netflix series, was captured on video bullying a man who was trying to share the Gospel with other passengers while riding in a subway car.
As soon as the unidentified christian man began reading scripture out loud DeLaria, who was wearing a black t-shirt with the words "Bad Jews" emblazoned on the front, sprung to her feet and began angrily heckling him.
"You have no right! You have absolutely no right sir. Go to another train, get off this train. Other people believe other things and have absolutely every right to believe other things in this planet and in this world," DeLaria yelled.
"I have to tell you the truth...," the shaken man said quietly to which she interjected "We do not have to be force fed this man's religious beliefs! Jesus never said for you to do this, ever! Not anywhere in the bible. Show me anywhere in the Bible where it says it's ok for you to do this ... show me where Jesus told you to do this!"
The man attempted to read a passage from the Bible in response to the actress but she refused to let him explain.
"Don't just read me one quote sir, you've got to read me the whole thing because about two lines after what you read me it's gonna tell you not to eat pork and not to wear clothes that are made from mixed fiber," she ranted. "Don't come at me because I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I know every line. You don't have a right to do this! This is mass transportation. As long as you keep talking, I'll keep talking."
The incident garnered mixed reactions on social networking sites and it raised questions about what exactly the Bible says about public preaching.
Pastor Reggie Stutzman of Real Life Church NYC said people like DeLaria should be "ashamed" for using the word to try and "manipulate" people to stop them preaching in public. He also cited the writings of Paul in saying we're actually commissioned to preach in public and share the gospel.
"She ought to be ashamed of herself for using the word to manipulate someone … that's a crazy way to stop someone from preaching the word of God or using the Bible," Pastor Stutzman said of DeLaria. "I don't know what Bible she's reading. What a false claim to try and manipulate him from stopping to preach that's terrible. What biblical authority does she come from to say that it's wrong. What a terrible way to manipulate the situation."
Stutzman said there is nothing in the Bible that condemns public preaching.
"There's nothing that says not to do it so that's why I do it. In fact we're commissioned to do it. It's more of an issue of style but not doctrinal, biblical indifference to it," he said.
In the past, many public preachers have cited scriptural references which encourages public preaching.
1 Timothy 4:13: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching."
Mark 16:15: And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."
Stutzman said public preachers who are met with resistance should not be deterred and that in fact they should "hold onto their beliefs with conviction."
"Well first you have to know that [public preaching] is actually what you're called to. And if that's it, then there should be no apology," he said. "What Paul wrote in Romans is 'I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power' ... and when we hold our beliefs with conviction that we are not ashamed of it (whether we preach in the middle to Times square or red square), we are not ashamed and no one can try to manipulate by using the word against us to not preach the word."
Does public preaching bother you? Let us know in the comments below.