But it requires the most strenuous effort of conscience to refrain from crying "Serve him right" when we read of the stoning of Stephen; and nobody has ever cared twopence about the martyrdom of Peter: many better men have died worse deaths: for example, honest Hugh Latimer, who was burned by us, was worth fifty Stephens and a dozen Peters. One feels at last that when Jesus called Peter from his boat, he spoiled an honest fisherman, and made nothing better out of the wreck than a salvation monger.As a proto-deacon, I resent that remark. I find it humorous, and admittedly the speech in Acts is a tad over the top, but, as he was one of the first of the order I hope to join, I have a fondness for Stephen. And his forgiveness of his persecutors gallantly followed Our Lord's own example. Just this once, GBS's wit led him astray, sez I.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Happy St. Stephen's Day
Today is the feast day of St Stephen, one of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr. As is not unheard of for deacons, obliged to bring the world to the church and the church to the world, he could be, as Bernard Shaw noted, overzealous. Of course, Shaw, no Christian, put it rather harshly: