To speak or not to speak; that is the question


#1

I am going ot be 16 tomorow (Thrusday). aS you can tell I am in highschool. This boys curse all the time on the bus, I tell them every once and awhile to stop. Once, soemone made a joke aobut catholic priests, so I blantly told them to shut up. The jokes have gotten wrose and worse untill today they said its o muhc, and I faught so hard, I started to cry. My mom and dad won’t taek me off the bus vecause they just say that I shound dignore them, and that they are just tring to get me anry. this might be rtrue, but then they said you never discuss polotics or religion. I useally only bring up polotics or religion if someone says somthing super immoral, and against the profound teacthings of the Chucrth (abortion, homosexuility, ext.) but I said, if someone says their against abortion, I have an obligation to say somthing back.

On the bus today too, they insultind my Holy MOther, I told them I lvoe her and also added in my angar “shtu up1” because no one can go against my Holy Mother like tha.

Do I stop telling the kids to be quite if they keep talking about priests?

How do we knwo when to say somthing in shcool about Christ and the Chucrth, and when do we not?

How do we keep are tempers from explodeing?

Where do we find ral good Catholic friens?

Wath do I tell my parants, and am I bound by their order, never to sepak about religion? I know its wrong enver to speak about religion, but am I bound to follow the order?


#2

Happy birthday! 16 is a wonderful time - cherish it! You’ll be old soon enough!

If I were you, I would go to my parents and tell them that I would like them to go the principal and let him know that I am being **harrassed **by other students because of my religious orientation. They are creating a hostile environment that is clearly discriminatory. I would use those words, because they key adults into thinking “law suit”. This gets action. You may also cite the Oh. Const. Art. I, § 7 and *Ohio School Law Guide § 4.15 (*Anti-discrimination law), which says that you should be protected from religious discrimination at or going to/from your school. (Actually, it says a lot more than that, but this is the specific application.)

After I spoke with my parents, I would do as they permitted. If they say you should shut-up, you should. If they tell you to talk to the principal yourself, go in and talk to your principle. He’ll probably be reasonable, especially if you’re not a trouble-maker. I would expect a talking-to to be the result. If you do this, they may pick on you more. Don’t be ashamed of what you believe, and don’t compromise your faith. Be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might.

In any event, you should pray for patience with your classmates. You should also pray for your classmates. Keep in mind that being persecuted for your beliefs is exactly what Christ promised would happen to His faithful. Don’t be overcome with wrath - that is a trick that Satan wants you to fall for.

Good luck, and God Bless,
RyanL


#3

Emly,

Boys your age are profane. I know. I’m one of them (well, a year older). This doesn’t excuse them from doing so in your presence.

There are a few things you can do. The first thing is to be prepared to defend yourself. First, on the issue of priests and priest abuse. I suppose that was what he was cracking a joke about?

There is absolutely no evidence that Catholic men (or more specifically, Catholic priests) are more likely to be pedophiles than anyone else. These are my words with reference to other sources:

The only person who I’ve ever heard try to put statistics onto this is the Anglican writer Philip Jenkins (Pedophiles and Priests) who puts the rates at similar to prevailing rates in society. Something like 0.3% for the incidence of pedophilia among priests, I believe. So, when we’re talking about very young children, which pedophilia is, it is extremely uncommon. Ephebophilia is what most of the problems have been, i.e., adults to teenage boys. I believe he finds that the incidence is 2%, which is supposedly comparable to the rate of the same incidents among married men.

What accounts for the differences in perception?

I think [media bias] might possibly be a latent cause, more of a reflexive, knee-jerk type thing than overtly.

But the difference is also in the structure of the Catholic Church. It is centralized, things get reported. Protestants are highly uncentralized. Since this information implicates the rate among Protestant clergy, I read this (in a review of the book):

[QUOTE]Notwithstanding the difficulties that such data comparisons hold, the available information on clergy sexual misconduct shows that the problem is bigger among Protestant clergy. For example, the most cited survey of sexual problems among the Protestant clergy shows that 10 percent have been involved in sexual misconduct and “about two or three percent” are “pedophiles.” With regard to the “pedophile” problem, the figure for the Catholic clergy, drawn from the most authoritative studies, ranges between .2 percent to 1.7 percent. Yet we hear precious little about these comparative statistics.

I don’t know how accurate these are, I’m just saying, it’s not as if people are putting these in context. Whenever adults regularly come into contact with children, I can imagine rates of these horrible things are comparable.

The issue is framed around the idea that it is a problem deriving from celibacy. That’s probably why Protestants are ignored. Anyway, the idea of celibacy being the problem is nonsense, celibacy does not drive you to become a pedophile, certainly, nor for a male priest to molest an altar boy. Pedophilia and ephebophilia are disorders, not lapses of self-control.
[/QUOTE]
That should generally cover the types of objections people make about Catholic priests. Normally I have no problem with joking about anything, even my faith, but the picture painted on Catholic priests is such a ridiculous caricature that I refuse to comply with it.

I wouldn’t worry to much about them asking you for sources, most teenage boys don’t think that way. A quick, informed response from you may very well shut them up. They’ve never had this assumption of theirs challenged. If you tell it to them forcefully once, they’ll always have it in the back of their mind whenever they say it. And whether for the love of truth, or for the fear of refutation, they may be more reticent about doing it in the future.

Then, when you argue, try not to present it emotionally. If it gets a ‘rise’ out of you, then they might very well do it just to annoy you. Talk dispassionately about it, don’t get emotional. Unfortunately, I think this is a skill a person either has or doesn’t (and don’t get me wrong, it’s very difficult to do!). But still, good general advice. And too, don’t get into conversations you don’t have to get into. Pick and choose some things, leave it there. Don’t feel compelled to respond to everything. Not if it hurts you more. There’s no need to be crying, dear, so I’d recommend arguing less than more when in these situations. We wouldn’t want to give them that victory anyway, eh? :stuck_out_tongue:

My first course of action would be to locally try to solve it. You know, counter with the statistics and maybe ask the bus driver to ask them to calm down. Perhaps after you’ve tried to convince them and taken basic steps to have them stop, then maybe taken Ryan’s advice.


#4

Emly,

RyanL has given you very good advice. I hope you follow it.


#5

How about having a little talk with your bus driver. S/he should have some control over what is said and done on your bus. If that doesn’t work go to a school counselor or the principal and complain using the expressions Ryan cited. You don’t have to take this kind of behavior. If you know the names of these boys maybe your parents could talk to theirs and ask them to tell their boys to stop acting like horse’s patoots on the school bus. All boys that age think being a pain in the rear is clever. They know what you buttons are and have no shame about pushing them. So, get the adults involved here. Teenaged boys! Is there any more clueless creatures on the face of earth? I don’t think so. :wink:


#6

Teenaged boys! Is there any more clueless creatures on the face of earth? I don’t think so.

Ahem…


#7

Ah, to be 16 again. Second thought, no thanks! The previous writers have offered up some good advice. Hypothetically, if you were an atheist being harrassed by Catholics you and your folks would own that school. Be that as it may, young people that age will continue to harrass you as long as they know they can get to you. Come to think of it, some people my age (I’m an old goat) act the same way. If they can’t get to you they will eventually move on to some fresh suspect to continue their “fun”. As for you defending your Faith that is all lost on people who are only finding a means to get to you. If you do complain to the principle, be prepared for some additional fall-out from players outside the original circle of “fun” Ignore them and they will go away. The fact that they already know they can get to will take a little longer but eventually they’ll get the message. These are obviously Democrats in training. Well, if none of the aforementioned recommendations prove effective, call Orkin!

Good luck!


#8

Lawsuits, principals, bus drivers…

All in all, if the girl isn’t in physical danger, all the things you people have mentioned will only serve to make it worse.

The best advice for the girl is to be calm and not “come back” at the boys with statistics or arguments of any kind. The boys are almost certainly not trying to propose any kind of philosophical point, but are just playing the get-your-goat game.

There are several things that she could do to defuse the situation, but it would involve her being more mature than she seems to be based on her post.
The best thing she can do is pray for a spirit of calm, and not to fuel their “game” by freaking out.


#9

[quote=bengeorge]Lawsuits, principals, bus drivers…

.
The best thing she can do is pray for a spirit of calm, and not to fuel their “game” by freaking out.
[/quote]

Boy, you’re no fun. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=RobNY]Emly,

Boys your age are profane. I know. I’m one of them (well, a year older). This doesn’t excuse them from doing so in your presence.
[/quote]

VERY TRUE. Now can somebody tell me why?

[quote=Della]Teenaged boys! Is there any more clueless creatures on the face of earth? I don’t think so
[/quote]

Not true. Ohh, I’d love to debate this…


#11

Pray for them. You suffer when they say these things. Turn your suffering, caused by them, into prayer for a change of heart for them. Think of being thankful that God loves you enough to use you in this way. Jesus suffered silently when he was mocked. Be sure that when you are to say something, that the Holy Spirit will strengthen you.

Of course we are offened when our Lord/Church/Mother is abused, Jesus said that we will suffer persecution for His sake. Memorize Matt 5:10-11

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”


#12

Uh, actually, I agree with that. My dictum is, men are oblivious. The upside is that men are rarely malicious because of their cluelessness. The downside is just the abject cluelessness. :stuck_out_tongue:

VERY TRUE. Now can somebody tell me why?

I’m not sure. Try an easier question first, Mary.

-Rob


#13

[quote=Emly]The jokes have gotten wrose and worse untill today they said its o muhc, and I faught so hard, I started to cry.
[/quote]

That’s what they’re trying to do – make you cry.

When you get angry, that’s their reward. That’s why they keep doing it – to see how much they can get you to react.

[quote=Emly] My mom and dad won’t taek me off the bus vecause they just say that I shound dignore them, and that they are just tring to get me anry. this might be rtrue, but then they said you never discuss polotics or religion.
[/quote]

Your mom and dad are absolutely right. And if they take you off the bus, things will only get worse. These jerks will see they’ve forced you off the bus, and will start looking for you during school hours, or even after school.

[quote=Emly]I useally only bring up polotics or religion if someone says somthing super immoral, and against the profound teacthings of the Chucrth (abortion, homosexuility, ext.) but I said, if someone says their against abortion, I have an obligation to say somthing back.
[/quote]

No, you don’t.

You have an obligation to do what works – and what you’re doing only makes things worse. Don’t play into their hands.

Yes. Pray silently, but don’t react to them.

[quote=Emly]How do we keep are tempers from explodeing?
[/quote]

Pray that God give you the strength to endure this kind of slobish behavior.

[quote=Emly]Where do we find ral good Catholic friens?
[/quote]

How about the kids in your Catechism class?

If you’re not attending Catechism, ask your parents to please bring you.

[quote=Emly]Wath do I tell my parants, and am I bound by their order, never to sepak about religion? I know its wrong enver to speak about religion, but am I bound to follow the order?
[/quote]

Your parents are right in this case. They don’t mean “Never” – they mean don’t get into fights you’re bound to lose. Don’t give a bunch of jerks the satisfaction of seeing they can get your goat.


#14

Sorry you are going through this. My 14 year old son gets very upset when those around him swear and take God’s name in vain…and he goes to a boy’s Catholic high school. He does ask them to stop but he does it calmly and coolly…does not show emotion but he is firm.
joeysmom
PS: Happy Birthday :dancing:


#15

[quote=RobNY]I’m not sure. Try an easier question first, Mary.
[/quote]

An easier question? I can’t do that. The purpose of a question is to find an answer.


#16

[quote=bengeorge]Lawsuits, principals, bus drivers…

All in all, if the girl isn’t in physical danger, all the things you people have mentioned will only serve to make it worse.

The best advice for the girl is to be calm and not “come back” at the boys with statistics or arguments of any kind. The boys are almost certainly not trying to propose any kind of philosophical point, but are just playing the get-your-goat game.

There are several things that she could do to defuse the situation, but it would involve her being more mature than she seems to be based on her post.
The best thing she can do is pray for a spirit of calm, and not to fuel their “game” by freaking out.
[/quote]

That’s all good advice.

First: people are entitled to their opinions - in a free society, people are sure to say bucket-loads of things we disagree with. Maybe they don’t like our opinions either :slight_smile: There is certainly no law, moral or other, that requires us to avoid all criticism of the clergy. If they behave in a lousy way - then they’re begging to be criticised.

There are two problems with “speaking out” about (what are perceived as) the faults of others:

  1. the danger of sounding “preachy”

  2. the implication that one is setting oneself up over others - if one seems to be doing that, it’s a good way to get people watching for one’s own frailties: and we all have them - unfortunately, we can often be the last people to be aware of them.

Teasing people, and “getting a rise” out of them, is fun - for those doing it; especially if the person being teased, is very solemn & serious; or seems to be over-reacting.

People are far more likely to listen, if they respect the person who’s talking - otherwise, they may simply be irritated, and give that person “more of the same”; because it gets a reaction. It’s much more fun - and far safer - than poking a wasp’s nest.

Sometimes, keeping one’s mouth shut is by far the wisest policy. There is an awful lot to be said for self-control. ##


#17

Congrats on 16! It is a tough year, but a good one. I have alot of the same problems…perhaps not quite as difficult. You have gotten alot of good advice…so I probably will just be yet another voice to add to the confusion.

You have a duty as a Catholic to speak out if anything heretical is said…to shut up and not say anything would be sinful and therefore you should avoid it. If however what they are saying is just to make you upset…self-control would be the order of the day. I know this is hard…but its a good time to develope a strong-will…at 16 you need it anyway. If you are anything like me, you want to defend your Faith and you probably want to kick those kids rear ends. Jesus tells us blessed are the Meek. I suggest praying the St. Francis prayer… “Lord make me an instrument of your peace…etc” Just remember you have a guardian angel who looks out for you and Jesus is right next to you, sitting on that bus everyday. All you can do is tell them that their behavior is ungodly and that they will be rewarded for their Faith (or lack thereof) later in eternity. Take care of your own spiritual life…Satan’s best way of getting at you is making you forget your own prayer life…Trials come and go but God is always there…God Bless and keep the Faith through the next few years of temptations. It sounds like you want to do the best to serve Him and that is what God looks for.


#18

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