How should I deal with a Protestant minister who demeans my faith?

I regularly play volleyball in the gym of a Protestant church. One of the requirements is that we sit down for ten minutes, and do this little prayer thing. Generally the minister/volleyball player gives a very vanilla-flavored talk, ecumenical enough to allow me to be comfortable in conscience. This past Friday, however, he took a couple of cheap shots at the Church, which I could tell were directed at my mother and I, the only Catholics there at the time. She was able to calm me, but I was wondering, how much of that should I put up with? Morally, when should I leave, or when should I make a counter-argument (which I’m more than capable of doing)?

It’s possible that the minister did not intend to “target” you and your mother, but simply wanted to distinguish between his faith and the faith of Catholics. In any case, you might politely state to the minister, “Perhaps you didn’t realize that my mother and I are Catholic.” If he becomes embarrassed and apologizes, you need merely accept his apology and suggest that everyone get on with the game. If he says yes, he did realize you’re Catholic and wanted to share with you the good news of Jesus Christ, you need merely say that you already are Christian and suggest that everyone get on with the game.

Whether or not you should find another place to play volleyball depends on whether or not one of the conditions of playing at this gym includes not just ecumenical prayer but allowing oneself to be proselytized. If proselytism is part and parcel with the fellowship, I can only recommend finding another volleyball team.

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