I got to thinking. In these increasingly, almost entirely secular times, part of any man of God’s ministry must be to spread the Word that they see clearly to the ranks of those who do not.... There’s little point speaking on such subjects in sermons at Mass: that would be, quite literally, preaching to the converted. The majority of the secular population will only come into contact with ministers on ceremonial occasions: weddings, christenings. And funerals. So, on the seesaw between honouring the one member of the congregation and preaching the Word of God to the unbeliever, where should the priest come down?
I respect Stuart Langridge for this article. While he is still uncertain as the appropriateness of the moment chosen, he has actually put some thought into his feelings about this situation. People in most Christian denominations, believe that sharing their faith is a fundamental part of their belief system. They believe that not sharing their faith is akin to failing to notify someone that their house is on fire. Far to many people feel that being exposed to other people's religion's is offensive. (Of course most of them only feel this way about Christianity.) The great thing about free speech is that with it come the right to ignore anyone you want. If you don't want to hear about Christianity, you have the right to tune them out. You have the right to think about baseball, pasta, or porn while they talk. You do not have the right to tell them they can't tell you about Jesus. If you tell someone "I don't believe in Jesus" you have shared your religion with them, you cannot be offended if they feel the right to do the same to you. If you don't like it, suck it up. Seriously. Christianity is as much a protected belief as Islam, Bhuddism, Wicca, or any other. Just because it's popular doesn't make it wrong.
If the person at the funeral that Stuart Langridge attended shared the same faith as the person speaking at the funeral, there is a good chance that for the speaker to not share a message of faith would have been more dishonoring to them than anything else. The next time you hear someone sharing their faith and feel offended by it, ask yourself if you feel they should be offended if you told them that you did not share their faith and that they were a bad person for holding that faith.