Reverend Daniel Brereton, a gay priest from Canada, was very Christian to a woman the other day who messaged him on Twitter to “alert” him that some individuals who work in pornography were following him. She may not have been expecting his response when she asked him if he was concerned about this.
It was a resounding “no.”
“Hey, I started following you because you’re a Reverend…” the woman starts, “but then I noticed you have a few people following you who, I think are in porn. Aren’t you concerned about that?”
“Nah,” Brereton replies. “I’m sure I have to sign a release form before they can post any videos we do together.”
The woman doesn’t appreciate the joke too much, saying that she thinks “it’s a serious thing when clergy tolerate porn.”
Brereton points out that he’s also followed by venture capitalists and is more concerned about that than sex workers. He’s also followed by atheists who he admits “probably aren’t fans of the religious thing.”
“But I think what matters more to us is what kind of person someone is and how they treat others,” he says.
The woman calls this “reprehensible,” and Brereton does what any reverend should do. He starts talking about Jesus.
“Jesus was followed by sex workers. He didn’t block them.”
To be clear, there was no Twitter in the time of Jesus Christ, but you get his meaning. Still, the unidentified woman decides to tell the priest how to do his job.
“You’d be better off directing sinners to scripture rather than just ‘showing respect,'” she says. Unfortunately for her, there are plenty of Bible verses on the matter of respect. And Brereton is ready.
“‘Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice’ -Matthew 9:13,” he quotes.
This is the point at which she blocks him.
Brereton’s tweet blew up overnight, gaining 14,000 retweets and nearly 100,000 likes since Sunday. Not every priest would defend sex workers like this, but he is correct in his assertion that Jesus spent time with people in this industry. Now, people everywhere are showing their appreciation for the reverend’s gentle clapback.