First, let me share this experience with you because I have no Catholic friends (other than my husband) who can hear this story and actually understand how I felt…
I had a harrowing experience last night. I got together with two fellow law students, both atheists. “Jane,” the one whom I consider to be a close friend is a married woman who was raised in the Catholic church and is now very “anti Catholic.” The other woman, “Laura,” is a friend of hers whom I have never particularly enjoyed, but have tolerated.
At one point, Jane mentioned that the Catholic faith “won’t let you marry unless you both vow to raise your children Catholic” (a sloppy interpretation of the Catholic marriage vows), to which Laura promptly responded: “That’s DISGUSTING!” :eek:
I think the conversation might have moved along to other topics if I hadn’t put up my hand and said, delicately, “Laura, let me stop you right there. You KNOW that I am Catholic. If I were Muslim or Jewish would you tell me that my faith and the vow I made to my husband and my God was ‘disgusting’?” She kept trying to turn the conversation into a religious debate (comparing my marriage vows to a Muslim honor killing, for example), and I kept saying “This isn’t a religious debate. This is an etiquette debate, and I believe your statement–that a basic precept of my faith and my marriage is “disgusting”–is a serious breach of etiquette.”
Both Laura and Jane belittled me, berated me, and derided me for my Catholic faith. They delved into many areas of the Catholic church while I refused to engage in the religious debate and just kept redirecting them back to the breach of etiquette: “regardless of your beliefs, it is not appropriate to tell a friend that the tenants by which she lives her life are ‘disgusting.’”
Even if Laura and Jane were to apologize to me for their horrible behavior, I don’t think I could ever feel “safe” in this friendship again, and I don’t think I could ever see past the bigotry they both exhibited last night.
(I honestly can’t find the words to describe how I felt, but I was shaking and on the verge of tears while they berated me for 45 minutes straight. I kept my cool, but it was definitely a test of patience.)
**So, that story brings me to my real point of this post: How can I meet “casual Catholic” friends? **
I have tried joining Catholic and/or Christian organizations, but those people seem to want to discuss/debate religion all the time. God is the focus of my life, but that doesn’t have to be the focus of every conversation! It’s exhausting and doesn’t satisfy my desire for a “fun” social interaction.
A little about us:
We don’t have kids yet, but we’re hopeful that 2011 will be “our year” for our first baby. :o I am 27 years old and a third-year law student. I hope to be a stay-at-home-mom for a few years before going back to work. I’m blessed to be married to a wonderful Catholic man who is absolutely unerring in his beliefs and moral compass. He is the captain of an adult recreational hockey team and I have been trying to “reach out” to the other players’ wives, but I haven’t truly “clicked” with any of them.
We live in Minneapolis and don’t really have any family in this city (just a few distant cousins). I love entertaining in my home (anything from 4-person dinner parties to 25-person cocktail parties), going out to lunch/dinner/movies with my friends…the usual!
Help me brainstorm how we can meet young married couples like ourselves. Book clubs? Cooking clubs? A knitting circle? Volunteering somewhere? I just don’t know where to look and would love your advice.