I was asked this a few times as well. Once, when I was much younger, I asked what that person meant, because I told them, in order to be Catholic, you must be Christian.
The person told me that most Catholics she knows are only Catholic “in name” and don’t act as Christ taught us to act. She explained that the Catholics she knew tended to act pious in Church but were either 1) sooooooo dedicated that they forced their views down everyone’s throat, “shunned” those who didn’t agree with their “antiquated” views, felt like they were the only ones who were “right” and thus the only ones who were saved, or 2) they were soooooooo far from being Catholic that it was a joke (drinking, drugs, sex, etc.). Or 3) even that they said they were Catholic, but from where she stood they didn’t appear to practice the faith at all, which she didn’t get because that’s not being Christian either. So she said, when someone says they’re Catholic, it means nothing to her because none of the Catholics she knows act like Christ said to act. However, she said, “most” of the people who defined themselves as Christians were Bible-thumping, Church going, always-talking-about-God people who were living the label.
Now, that’s just her labeling, not mine. That’s just ONE “outsider” perspective. I’m not about to change how I answer the question.
The only other person who asked me if I was Christian (after telling him I am Catholic) was raised Baptist and just have never met a Catholic before (I moved to the Bible belt, yes he shocked me, “what do you mean you’ve never met a Catholic before?”. But apprently, being Catholic in the Bible Belt can mean different things, and can accompany different “levels” of faith. I guess just like my friend up North?
But since I’m usually not in the mood for a sermon, or giving one, at the time I’m asked, I just answer “A Catholic is a Christian” and just go on my way. Then I try to live by example, that way they can see what kind of Catholic I am. That way, they get their answers in my actions. Because talk is cheap. You can spew out all kinds of teachings, rules and regulations, but IMOHO the way you live will define you better than rules you can recite. But again, that’s just MOHO…