What, if anything, would you say?


#1

Have you ever been in a social situation where someone in the group says something along the line of …“well, you know, their Catholic” or “those Catholics” ?

It happened before my journey into the church, and I was confused, maybe shocked. I never hear anyone refer to other denominations that way.

Well, tonight, I attended a Mom’s Night Out and a women was talking about a friend she didn’t get along with. “Those Catholics get married just to have s*x because it’s not allowed by their church outside of marriage.” Maybe one or two other comments that were true, but where necessarily a bad thing. Plus, I was amused the woman didn’t think there might be a Catholic (wanna be/RCIA :wink: ) in the room.

Do you speak up? "Yeah, I’m Catholic."
There really wasn’t anything to defend.

Do you ever just say your Catholic, let the person continue on unless it’s something negative, listen to know their true colors?
Or does it more depend on the situation?

TIA


#2

I have the tendancy to really listen to gain a true aspect of their true colors then make the remark “Really, those Catholics, eh? So, do you speak from experience because it sounds like you have first hand knowledge.” (especially the one where we get married just to have sex)

I’ve noticed that most people that hate the Catholic Church will gossip to no end about it (and it’s almost all negative) but they can’t definitively identify ONE thing that they really, truly understand and still hate.

AB Fulton Sheen said (and I paraphrase) “I’ve never met 100 people that truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are over a million that hate what they think about the Church.”


#3

I tend to walk away. I value my Faith too highly to allow myself to get heated over it.


#4

[quote=Maria3m] “Those Catholics get married just to have s*x because it’s not allowed by their church outside of marriage.”
[/quote]

I would have replied with something like, “Catholics having morals and not sleeping around. Terrable isn’t it.”


#5

[quote=JeffAustralia]I tend to walk away. I value my Faith too highly to allow myself to get heated over it.
[/quote]

I just laugh and say bigotry and ignorance comes from the most surprising mouths.


#6

I was blindsided by someone once when he said “Let me tell you about those Catholics” He had me in tears and I ended by telling him to go “do something to himself” . From then on I swore I would speak up no matter WHO said what. I have since spoken up at work and more recently to a 7th Day Adventist pastor…After that he avoided me.

                    Kathy

#7

As a matter of fact, yes. I wrote a short “fictional” story about it here:

catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=109&art_id=28704

:wink:


#8

Great story, Montanaman!

To the OP, when I have found myself in these situations, it ususally happens that someone else in the room ‘remembers’ or ‘realizes’ that, oops, Lisa’s Catholic, and announces it to the room. I have never had to make an announcement myself. As to comments, it depends. Sometimes I state simply what the Church teaches and let it go. Others usually don’t have enough ‘guts’ to attack someone face to face once they know you’re Catholic and that you’ll speak up. I’ve found that the original complainer is usually gossiping about another person when the comment was made so they are more embarrassed about being caught than anything else and the subject is dropped…or they say something like: “Oh, you’re Catholic? I didn’t know that.”

The one time that I did defend the criticized person (the object of gossip), it had the same effect as in the story Montanaman wrote. Dead silence, awkwardness, and I left the party. It was a situation though when the gossip was particularly vicious. I couldn’t sit back and smile quietly. I was not ‘Miss Popularity’ but then who needs friends like these? It sounds like your situation wasn’t so severe though.

Advice: I would simply say, “I’m Catholic.” And see where it goes. :slight_smile:

Lisa


#9

I’m not an aggressive or competitive person. Sometimes, I’m so intellectually lazy the effort to choose a t.v. channel overwhelms me. But when people start popping off with ignorant lies about Catholicism, my indignation becomes downright Jeffersonian. I’ve toned it down in the last couple of years, but my friends know to think twice about Church criticisms before they start talking.


#10

Look at situations like these as a great way to evangelize your faith. The comment you mention IS what the church teaches about sex. Catholics are called to a higher moral standard. We serve our Lord and the Church faithfully and obediently and get a lot of joy from this. Is it hard to stay obedient all the time? SURE IS!! Are we all perfect saints? Heck no! I just don’t like the use of the term "the Church doesn’t allow ‘xyz’ ". Makes it sound like the Church controls us like puppets on a string.

Never let situations like this pass without using them to educate non-Catholics as to what the Chruch teaches and WHY she teaches it. There is a reason the Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is immoral. Start from there and you will be surprised where the conversation leads. Be prepared to defend NFP, and speak out against the evils of abortion.


#11

Okay, but good luck. In my experience people can’t stay with an argument beyond the first assertion or so–especially on topics like abortion or sexuality. Sex-addled brains react violently with cogent arguments, and no matter how solid these arguments may be, the carnal brain will simply tolerate no restrictions on carnal behavior.

The best argument is to be a good person, to live the faith, and shut up–with one exception: Mastering talking points, delivered with wit and grace, go a long way. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned through often painful and humiliating experience that there’s almost no social situation (especially when alcohol is involved) where NFP, abortion, or really, anything Catholic) where Catholicism can be discussed with the care and attention it deserves. We are a culture of soundbites and platitudes. So, when it comes up and you want to make a stand, make sure you’ve got an arsenal of one-liners ready, but be prepared to improvise. What’s Paul say? “Be as docile as sheep but cunning as wolves?” (I know, I mangled that).


#12

[quote=montanaman]Okay, but good luck. In my experience people can’t stay with an argument beyond the first assertion or so–especially on topics like abortion or sexuality. Sex-addled brains react violently with cogent arguments, and no matter how solid these arguments may be, the carnal brain will simply tolerate no restrictions on carnal behavior.

The best argument is to be a good person, to live the faith, and shut up–with one exception: Mastering talking points, delivered with wit and grace, go a long way. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned through often painful and humiliating experience that there’s almost no social situation (especially when alcohol is involved) where NFP, abortion, or really, anything Catholic) where Catholicism can be discussed with the care and attention it deserves. We are a culture of soundbites and platitudes. So, when it comes up and you want to make a stand, make sure you’ve got an arsenal of one-liners ready, but be prepared to improvise. What’s Paul say? “Be as docile as sheep but cunning as wolves?” (I know, I mangled that).
[/quote]

I agree with everything you say. However…our carnal brains need rattling. I love the idea of using humor and good taste and a good example to share the faith. If sharing our faith makes others squirm so be it. Just proves that they need a correction. My sister always gets very squirmy everytime I start talking about defending the Church’s teaching especially on topics of homosexuality and masterbation. I know her well enough to know when to shut up, but she is SO off track on these things that I pray that at least a small seed takes root somewhere in her brain. She has become a victim of our secular culture and although calls herself Catholic and attends mass on Sundays with her family, she is far from knowing the fullness of the truth.

I like your idea of learning one liners. Any ideas where to go to find them?


#13

Well you could just say something like " Oh shoot. Is that why I married him? And I thought it was because I loved him…I’ll be darned. Learn something new everyday." Say it lightly and with a smile. Hopefully they will realize how funny it sounds. That announces to them that you are a Catholic and might stimulate interesting conversations.
I use that tactic a lot.


#14

[quote=Maria3m]Have you ever been in a social situation where someone in the group says something along the line of …“well, you know, their Catholic” or “those Catholics” ?

It happened before my journey into the church, and I was confused, maybe shocked. I never hear anyone refer to other denominations that way.

Well, tonight, I attended a Mom’s Night Out and a women was talking about a friend she didn’t get along with. “Those Catholics get married just to have s*x because it’s not allowed by their church outside of marriage.” Maybe one or two other comments that were true, but where necessarily a bad thing. Plus, I was amused the woman didn’t think there might be a Catholic (wanna be/RCIA :wink: ) in the room.

Do you speak up? "Yeah, I’m Catholic."
There really wasn’t anything to defend.

Do you ever just say your Catholic, let the person continue on unless it’s something negative, listen to know their true colors?
Or does it more depend on the situation?

TIA
[/quote]

Well, everyone I know already knows I’m Catholic, but sometimes I’ve encountered this when travelling or on business or something.

Yes, I’d stand up and tell them I’m Catholic and I’m offended by their ignorance and uncharitable attitude,

I’d also point out the prohibition of sex outside marriage is not unique to the Catholic Church.

True story-- I worked with a guy who was Church of Christ and that is the reason he got married-- to have sex. Seriously, he talked about it endlessly in our office.


#15

Montaman- EXCELLENT story! I agree with the response that one should remain civil and defend the Church. One may not be quick or witty, but sometimes a simple and heart felt (rebuke)response may cause another to ponder what they said, more than fighting words that embarrass.


#16

[quote=DVIN CKS]I agree with everything you say. However…our carnal brains need rattling. I love the idea of using humor and good taste and a good example to share the faith. If sharing our faith makes others squirm so be it. Just proves that they need a correction. My sister always gets very squirmy everytime I start talking about defending the Church’s teaching especially on topics of homosexuality and masterbation. I know her well enough to know when to shut up, but she is SO off track on these things that I pray that at least a small seed takes root somewhere in her brain. She has become a victim of our secular culture and although calls herself Catholic and attends mass on Sundays with her family, she is far from knowing the fullness of the truth.

I like your idea of learning one liners. Any ideas where to go to find them?
[/quote]

Yeah, my mom has (temporarily, hopefully) succumbed to our culture’s relativism. Not only does she find the defense of the faith distasteful, she becomes hyper-anti-rational about it. I say “Catholics need to know their Bible and Faith better,” and she hears, “You’re a terrible person for not preaching on the street corner, you’re a terrible mother, and come to think of it, you’re getting fat, too.” Mom and I don’t find much to talk about any more, obviously…

As for the one-liners, I don’t know. I don’t recommend going my route–falling into doubt and cynicism, loading up on Simpsons anecdotes, and then coming back to the Faith but retaining the sarcasm. My experiences have made me into some kind of weird, bitter, warped Catholic who finds pleasure in demolishing anti-Catholic stereotypes. Whatever ability I have to keep it pithy came from this fetid pool of experience.

Here are some off-the-top-of-my-head suggestions for answers to tough situations:

If your typical non-Christian relativist is blabbering about cro-mag Catholic moral practices, you might keep it simple with:

“You have no idea what you’re talking about–the Church doesn’t fear sex, it turned it into a Sacrament. Don’t you think you should know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth?” (The trick is to make sure he/she and everyone else knows that they’re blathering on about things they have no clue about.)

If you’ve got one of those fun ex-Catholics on your hand, test him/her:

Ex-Catholic: “Oh, I’m a recovering Catholic. I got out of that a long time ago.”

Catholic: “Hah hah, that’s funny.” (Take a sip of your martini–it’s always good to argue these things with a martini in your hand). “I bet you couldn’t tell me the difference between the Virgin Birth and the Immaculate Conception.”

If, by some miracle, this person can, well, I don’t know. It’s never happened before.

My expertise is in dealing with condescending Protestants. The same technique is used–keep it simple, demonstrate their ignorance. Hell, you don’t even have to know much about Catholicism. Just know the basics, and then highlight their misrepresentation of the faith. They’ll always do the “where in scripture does it say X?” If you know nothing else, know how to lob 2 Tim 3:16 back at them. Master that defense. It’s their best card, and it’s incredibly weak.

But, who knows. No matter how much you study and practice, you still have to learn to think on your feet. I’m no good at that unless I’m so riled up I forget to be self-conscious. Of course, at that point, I turn green and defy the law of conservation of mass. I tend not to be persuasive in that state.


#17

[quote=Maria3m]Have you ever been in a social situation where someone in the group says something along the line of …“well, you know, their Catholic” or “those Catholics” ?

It happened before my journey into the church, and I was confused, maybe shocked. I never hear anyone refer to other denominations that way.

Well, tonight, I attended a Mom’s Night Out and a women was talking about a friend she didn’t get along with. “Those Catholics get married just to have s*x because it’s not allowed by their church outside of marriage.” Maybe one or two other comments that were true, but where necessarily a bad thing. Plus, I was amused the woman didn’t think there might be a Catholic (wanna be/RCIA :wink: ) in the room.

Do you speak up? "Yeah, I’m Catholic."
There really wasn’t anything to defend.

Do you ever just say your Catholic, let the person continue on unless it’s something negative, listen to know their true colors?
Or does it more depend on the situation?

TIA
[/quote]

In any given situation like this I try to discern whether or not I am called to say anything, and if I am supposed to say something, what it is that I am called to say.

Looking at your example I would probably say, “I know for myself the Church’s teaching on the beauty and sacredness of human sexuality was the main reason that I waited until marriage to have sex.”

Then, take it from there…


#18

[quote=slyboots]Well you could just say something like " Oh shoot. Is that why I married him? And I thought it was because I loved him…I’ll be darned. Learn something new everyday." Say it lightly and with a smile. Hopefully they will realize how funny it sounds. That announces to them that you are a Catholic and might stimulate interesting conversations.
I use that tactic a lot.
[/quote]

I think that is the perfect response. :thumbsup:


#19

Sometimes a mere look can say more than words ever could. Just the other evening I was at a candle party given by one of our nieces. My sil and her youngest daughter, attending her first year of college, were there. They are both Catholics and the daughter was brought up in the Church. Just between the 3 of us the subject turned to her older sister and her boyfriend, a devout Catholic young man training to be a policeman. My sil confirmed they are still seeing each other and her youngest speaks up and says, “Yea, but they’re not living together” as if it were a blot on her older sister’s character! :eek: So, my sil answers, “They don’t believe they should live together…” and before she can say another word the youngest chimes in with a sneer, “Oh yeah, morals…” and then shuts up when she sees the look on my face and sees her mother turn away from her in embarrassment. I don’t think she’ll be sneering at her sister’s decision to remain celibate until marriage in my presence again any time soon! :wink:


#20

[quote=Della]Sometimes a mere look can say more than words ever could. Just the other evening I was at a candle party given by one of our nieces. My sil and her youngest daughter, attending her first year of college, were there. They are both Catholics and the daughter was brought up in the Church. Just between the 3 of us the subject turned to her older sister and her boyfriend, a devout Catholic young man training to be a policeman. My sil confirmed they are still seeing each other and her youngest speaks up and says, “Yea, but they’re not living together” as if it were a blot on her older sister’s character! :eek: So, my sil answers, “They don’t believe they should live together…” and before she can say another word the youngest chimes in with a sneer, “Oh yeah, morals…” and then shuts up when she sees the look on my face and sees her mother turn away from her in embarrassment. I don’t think she’ll be sneering at her sister’s decision to remain celibate until marriage in my presence again any time soon! :wink:
[/quote]

Good point.


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