Tired of being called judgmental


#1

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle issues of Catholic sexuality in a convincing but gentle manner? I am engaged to a wonderful woman who is strong in her faith; however, her sisters are rather more “open-minded” in their views about sexuality, especially regarding premarital sex and homosexuality. Recently, there was an argument about a gay pride parade, and I confess to expressing my opinion in a harsh (and admittedly un-Christian manner) way, and although my comments were deliberately directed towards the general scandal and impropriety of dress of the parade, and not towards homosexuality in general, I fear, well, in fact, I know, that they believe me to be a bit of a bigot.

Truthfully, I would avoid the matter, but it tends to come up. I have already planned to apologize at the least for my strong words, if not for my ideas. It is clear that in their minds I am the close-minded one; this I knew prior to any discussion from their reaction to my and my fiance’s rather traditional devotions and decision to wait until marriage, and especially our orthodox views of homosexuality.

Any other ideas for gracefully handling the situation? Most especially, the charge that I am simply close-minded and judgmental…it is the only one that I truly find offense with, as I honestly believe my views to be the result of a rather rigorous journey of research, study, and (I hope) honest self-reflection.


#2

They’re entitled to their opinions and you’re entitled to yours. Tell them that. —KCT


#3

Pope JP II said something once in an address to youth, I think in Spain, about it being time to call Black, black, to call white, white, and to call sin, sin.

As far as it goes, I am close-minded about sinful behaviours, but I don’t judge the person, only the action.

bigot: a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

***Catholic Christian: ***one who adheres to the Teaching of the Church

We are all going to be called bigots soon, if we hold to the Faith, and can expect to be persecuted by those who are intolerant of *our *beliefs. What does that make them?


#4

Bigotry is a word often used by those people who are not fond of your absolutism or objectivism. If you are not enough of a subjectivist or relativist to lend some validity to other people’s opinions which conflict with your own, then you are a bigot.

Personally, I will not lecture people unless I’m invited or there’s an urgent need or a chance of success, but I won’t at any point “agree to disagree” or give any illusions of approval or agree with any statement implying coexistent truth of mutually exclusive options.

I find that sometimes they will pressure you to find a certain point at which you will bend and agree that yeah, in this case the principle doesn’t bind. Examples include abortion in case of rape. If you are not willing to admit any exceptions from the rules, then you are a bigot.

I concern myself with the form, but when the problem seems to be in the matter of what I say, then well, it’s their problem.

Funny thing how “open-minded” people have a problem with the content of what we say while they preach it’s the form that matters and everyone’s entitled to his opinion.

An example would be an abortion debate. To a typical tolerance-minded person, abortion on demand will be a step too far, but a legitimate opinion. Exceptions for rape, incest, underage pregnancy and whatnot, will be limiting but reasonably so. “Good reasons” and preferably judged by the woman herself, will be the best way. But no abortion ever, that will be a bigoted view.

In addition to explaining how they are wrong, I generally try to show them how they are inconsistent in their thinking patterns. I take a loooot of time and display a looot of patience. This is why I’m scary. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

Unfortunately - doing and saying the right thing - is usually never the popular thing to most people.

Keep on doing and saying the right thing. It isn’t the easy thing - but its always the right thing. Others “open minds” have been poisoned by the culture and a gentle reminder of reality and decent behavior sort of snaps them off guard.

Keep it up. They don’t have to agree with it, but you certainly have the right to profess it often and without regret. Good luck.


#6

Any other ideas for gracefully handling the situation? Most especially, the charge that I am simply close-minded and judgmental…it is the only one that I truly find offense with, as I honestly believe my views to be the result of a rather rigorous journey of research, study, and (I hope) honest self-reflection.

:smiley:

I know exactly what you mean. I feel that way alot. I often think “what is the Christian way to tell someone that they are nuttier than a fruitcake?” I realize that they are not looking for or would they take correction from me anyway.

My family however is very judgemental and I realize the harm that comes from that. I don’t believe that I have an answer, except that you can be honest and you can be too judgemental. Somewhere there is a balance. The people who want to do the right thing end up feeling guilty and like bad people for judgemental attitudes towards them and then they shutdown and stop thinking and the self rightous just want to fight. Neither way is good.

I remind myself that Jesus didn’t back down from a fight - but I don’t think he caused any fights either. The whole “gay” issue is a challenge, but in those situations and others I just tell my kids that those people are misguided, confused, they need our prayers - I would never get in a debate because they just want you to go along with them anyway.

Terry


#7

In a polite, and non confrontational manner, you should ask them why they have the right to judge you but you have no right to judge that certain behavior is immoral? They are not using a consistent standard. They claim you may not judge, but they may judge you.

The close-minded remark is common. What they mean is you do not accept their moral relativism. Being open-minded includes evaluating many varying positions, but it does not include concluding every single position is equally valid.


#8

The problem, it would seem, is not with your values, but rather the manner in which you expressed them. That is what the sisters are reacting to–they haven’t even had a chance to hear a coherent explanation of what it is you believe. Apologize for the harsh tone and avoid it at all costs in the future. If you cannot explain your difference in opinion/values without becoming emotional and offensive then you would be better off remaining silent until such time as you can express yourself without compromising your credibility and the validity of your position.


#9

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