Man, I really like what you are saying, because you make good and clear your actual circumstances, which seem to be that, in a matter of speaking, your work space is in the heart of “enemy territory.”
Because if it wasn’t, your co-workers would leave you very much alone.
My own case is no ways similar, because my “planet” is “el mundo latino” or to put it correctly, “The Latin World.”
Unhappily, perhaps, in the “Latin World” you can be a declared enemy of the Faith, or some sort of practicing Catholic. Period.
But! If you start militating an aggressive form of non-Catholic Christianity, both these former “extremes” will curtly dismiss you out of hand - if you so much as TRY to convert people on the job --as literally a “biblical fool,” and generally say so to your face, mincing no words and with a fine disregard for “ecumenism,” whatever Anglo America means by THAT curiously ambigious term.
Now: how do I react personally when young, nervous, and totally sincere Spanish-speaking non-Catholic missionaries show up on my own doorstep?
With open arms and a profuse welcome!
As I swing wide the front door their eyes are drawn to one of two fine flamboyantly colored portraits of Our Lady of Guadalupe being ceremoniously crowned by reperesentatives of Mexican labor and management.
We have it facing the door, so they can get the picture.
Pow! Just like that!
We then pull out our prized Gideon English Bible with St. Montfort’s famous quoation on the front cover and St. Paul’s “Boastful Resume” on the back.
Then we establish ready raport by asking them if they believe their own bibles were worthy of credence, and if so, do they believe every word?
They’d better say yes!
Then we go on from there: Do you believe in John 3:16? Cool! Suave! Do you believe what YOUR bible says about 2nd. Peter 3:16? You don’t? Why not? What does John 6:37 to 6:53 mean to you, in YOUR bible? John 6:54 to 6:75 (or whatever)?
The exception to this is the older generation of thoroughly Anglicized Roman-Catholic hating hard cases. When THOSE clowns come around THIS neighborhood, they are received correctly wih a distinct chill, whatever they have to offer is politely accepted, and a gesture directs their morose attention to the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
This is done with the pointed reminder that they are too old to have any real excuse “for betraying the faith of your forefathers, and if you do not repent the penalty may well be very severe indeed. Nonetheless, we hereby recommend your souls to our spiritual mother, so that she may help you repent of your foolishness and pride leading to said cultural-linguistic betrayal, and all the above in God’s good time.”
This does the trick, Mr. Flopfoot, and those guys NEVER ring our door bell again.
More, we become so radioactive within that community, that far from merely “glowing in the dark” – it’s more like we “glow in mid day.”
Thanks! Hope this helps!