Culture

Please Enjoy These Exasperated Sydney Train Passengers Shutting Down An Anti-Abortion Preacher

"You're the selfish one because you WON'T SHUT UP"

Sydney Trains abortion preacher

The sheer fury of commuters on Sydney trains is, quite frankly, the stuff of legend. I mean, who wouldn’t be angry, in a city where train services are routinely cancelled or delayed for hours because it rained one time?

Usually, this anger remains bottled up, leaking out in the form of exasperated sighs whenever the station gates decide to close on someone’s leg, or when a bloke in corporate attire invokes his god-given right to make a thirteen minute speakerphone call in the quiet carriage. This week, though, the anger of Sydney commuters found a worthy enemy: an anti-abortion preacher from the US who decided a peak hour train was exactly the place to start preaching his views. Very loudly.

That went about as well for him as you’d expect, based on a video now circulating on social media. It kicks off with the preacher yelling “hello Sydney, allow me three minutes of your time, if you don’t mind”, while standing in a packed train carriage full of tired Sydneysiders who look like they really do fucking mind.

“My name’s Phillip Blair, I’m from the United States, and I wanted to talk to you about where you’re going in life,” he continues, as the passenger next to him rolls their eyes. “We’re all rushing through life, we’re all on a train, we’re all going somewhere.” A stunning insight, really.

After several more minutes of yelling obvious truths, Philip gets to his point: spewing anti-abortion propaganda. He barely get through a sentence of that before someone snaps “yeah, thanks mate”.

Phillip, clearly accustomed to being allowed to continue preaching on trains, whips around, looking a little taken aback.

“Nope, I’m not going to stop, because I love you that much,” he responds. “We have to return to living in a moral way –”

“We do not have to return anywhere, thanks,” the extremely beleaguered passenger says. “Yeah, shut up,” another passenger chimes in. Phillip struggles along for a bit longer, as the pissed off legends who frequent Sydney Trains turn around, block their ears, and ignore everything he’s saying.

“Mate, if you ask for our time, we have the right to say no, we’re not giving it to you,” one passenger points out.

“Why are you so triggered, my friend?” Phillip asks.

“Why won’t you just shut up?” the passenger responds. “Speak quietly to someone who wants to listen.”

At this point, the train reaches a station, and almost everyone seizes the opportunity to get as far as possible away from this guy. He keeps trying to yell things, but it’s a bit hard to hear him as people shoulder through him to get to the Opal gates.

“I’m here because I care about you — one more stop and I’m leaving!” he pleads, trying to get a single person to hear him.

“Oh, thank god,” someone responds.

“I care about you,” he tries again.

“Apparently not about our opinions, because we’d like you to shut up.”

“No one wants to hear it, bro,” another passenger adds.

“I’ve been in prisons in El Salvador, I’ve been in the slums of India, I’ve –”

Nobody cares, okay?” the first angry passenger explodes. “I don’t care if you love me. I don’t know you!” Half the carriage is laughing at this stage, and cheering every time someone gets the preacher to shut up.

You’re the selfish one because you won’t shut up! Can you not see that? You’re forcing your opinion on everyone in this train. We are asking you to shut the fuck up. And do you? No! How selfish is that?”

At this stage, the guy finally, finally shuts up. Salvation is close. Heaven, in the form of a quiet peak hour train carriage, looms. And then another passenger begins to speak. “Well, let me give my testimony,” he says. “I used to be a Buddhist, for 27 years of my life, but I became a Christian, um,”

“Oh no,” someone sighs. The guy closest to the ex-Buddhist shakes his head and puts his headphones on. “Nobody asked,” someone else groans. “Shut up, you sound like such a dickhead.”

Usually I hate almost everyone I encounter on Sydney trains, but today I’m proud. Good work, Sydney. And Phillip, if you’re reading this: shut the fuck up.

Update: A Sydney Trains spokesperson told Junkee that “Sydney Trains has zero tolerance for any anti-social behaviour on our network. We encourage anyone who feels uncomfortable on our trains due to the actions of others to report it to our staff immediately or contact NSW Police.”