Try as we might, it’s hard not to judge others when we see them doing something we would never do in a million years.
However, providing of course that what they are doing is causing no harm to others, we generally keep our mouths shut, and just move on with our lives, and let them move on with theirs.
Some people, however, are less able to hide their judgment, or in some cases disgust, and have no trouble publicly shaming and condemning the actions of others.
A recent Redditor recently caught the attention of one of her fellow travelers during a flight.
This mystery traveler apparently had a problem with what the original poster (OP) was reading, and took it upon herself to offer the OP some unsolicited advice.
Equally put off by this stranger’s actions, the OP decided to put her in her place with a gesture this stranger will likely remember for the rest of her life.
Wondering if she went a step too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA if I ate and swallowed a ‘message from God’ on a tram?”
The OP shared how she by a stranger’s guidance so personally, she left this stranger even more offended than she already was:
“I’m a 36 year-old F[emale] traveling for work this week and had a few hours layover in ATL Airport.”
“I’m tired, I’ve been traveling since very early this morning and have been on-and-off engrossed in a book during times of inaction to keep my anxiety from peaking.”
“I just got off the plane and had made my way to the tram to get to the next concourse.”
“I noticed the lady who had been seated with me on the prior flight was also following me to the tram for transfer.”
“It’s not uncommon, many people are heading to the same relative locations or at least on the same train.”
“As I boarded the tram/train to get to my connecting area, I headed to a corner and reopened my book.”
“It’s a simple, non-heavily-brainy book and part of a well-known series and does have some explicit/smutty sections.”
“Whatever, it’s an easy read, doesn’t involve alot of cognition to follow, and entertaining.”
“The lady who was next to me on my flight ended up next to me on the (sparsely occupied) train and did a loud ‘ahem’.”
“I’m not one to openly engage in other peoples lives and ignored it.”
“She turned her head to look right at me and said “are you really ignoring the light?”
“I genuinely had NO clue what she was referring to.”
“It was really early morning (took a redeye) and I genuinely thought she meant the rising sun.”
“I glanced out and said something like, ‘is kinda cloudy so I didn’t notice’.”
“I don’t fully recall.”
“She stared really intently and grabbed a piece of paper out of her handbag to hand me.”
“This was a small, little more than fortune cookie size paper.”
“It had a Bible passage on it, something about God and the light without darkness, I do remember the passage was from the book of John.”
“She said something about she felt called to ‘guide me out of the sinful darkness’ when she saw what I was reading on the flight and instead of exiting the airport to go home she KNEW she was meant to follow me to my next area to show me the light.”
“I grew up in the South on Bible belt of NC.”
“And I felt all the hypocrisy that organized religion was promoting and had some trauma from it.”
“I’m not proud to say this triggered a little and reacted on the trigger.”
“I grabbed that stupid slip of paper and wadded it up and shoved it in mouth.”
“I started chewing.”
“I looked this lady in the eye and chewed and swallowed.”
“And then said her bullsh*t was delicious.”
“She immediately called me a heathen, said I wasn’t capable of grace, and she wished she hadn’t wasted her sacred message on the unworthy.”
“She said she knew what kind of floozy (😂) I was by the filth I was reading.”
“I just said I’m glad she enjoyed it as well and provided the name and author before exiting the train at the next concourse, even though it wasn’t the one I needed.”
“She didn’t follow, but called me a ‘unhinged jerk’ before scooting away.”
“I thought about it, and felt a little bad about my immaturity and could’ve just accepted the paper and ignored her. I know this is a very religious city.”
“So, am I the unhinged jerk (a**hole)?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for swallowing the Bible passage handed to her by the stranger.
If the Reddit community thought the OP did anything wrong, it was that swallowing the passage wasn’t a healthy thing to do, but most pointed out that as this stranger was shoving unwanted information down the OP’s throat, she might as well follow through.
“But from a health perspective, you probably shouldn’t eat random things that unhinged strangers give you.”- nycgarbagewh*re
“Why was she so mad?”
“God is inside you now.”
“She brought the lord into your stomach.”
“All seriousness, NTA.’
“Was it sorta petty and unnecessary?”
“Did it drag the conversation out, probably?”
“Was it funny?”
“If you don’t mind being petty to someone being rude to you, then I think you’re fine.”
“It’s weird she was focusing on you so much that she followed you on your tram, so honestly that kinda creepy.”- Lyntho
“This sounds absolutely hilarious.”
“She came up to you, followed you to try and push her ridiculous bullsh*t down your throat by force. That kind of self-righteous narcissism always merits mockery in response, and yours was perfect.”
“Good for you.”- SassyWookie
“She tried to shove her bullshit zealotry down your throat, but you beat her to it!”
“Starting interactions with others on public transport is a cardinal sin.”
“As someone familiar with those bits of NC myself, I thank you for your service.”- Imaginary_Map_962
“No, I’m a Christian and NTA.”
“You responded perfectly.”
“What she was saying was condescending bullsh*t.”
“She didn’t care about you, she care about her own ego.”- FluxKraken
“As a Heathen, I appreciate you’re response to her trying to push her religion and beliefs on you.”
“Hahahaha nah man, that was hilarious.”
“Doesn’t really work to be civil with these people, so what else can you do?”
“Also side note, why did she want to ‘guide ya’, just random, or is it something about the book you were reading?”- Achieving_Serenity
“Some of the least Christian people I know are, in fact, Christians.”
“However, in the future, may I suggest you refrain from consuming random scraps of religious propaganda?”
“You have no way of knowing where that’s been.”- mollydyer
“You’re my new hero.”- GandalftheWhey926
The OP later returned with an update, thanking everyone who took the time to comment while also sharing some more information about this presumptuous stranger, and whether there were any repercussions from her ill-advised snack:
“Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.”
“I tried to respond to as many as I could, but there are so many now!”
“I’ve finally made it home to the PNW after a very long travel day, got some rest, and still feel unsettled by the situation.”
“Many people assumed the lady was elderly from the post (likely due to her vocabulary), but she was around my age.”
“Sorry, I failed to make that clear!’
“In truth, despite how many of you fine folks supported my behavior, I recognize that I absolutely was not OK with my reaction and understand why others would not approve.”
“I posted a few times in comments, but the book in question was Solstice of the Drowned Empire by Frankie Mallis.”
“It’s part of a series and a great read for anyone who likes fantasy series.”
“As far as smuttiness goes, it’s not high on that scale (more of a slow burn), but there are graphic scenes.”
‘There have been no adverse effects from eating the stupid paper.’
‘I again appreciate everyone who commented regardless of judgment.”
What the OP chose to read was her decision and her decision alone, and no one should shame her for her choice of book.
Especially since she was keeping to herself.
One can only wonder if the OP’s memorable decision to eat the passage might make this God-fearing stranger think twice about shaming others for their choice of literature, or anything for that matter, ever again.