Sunday, September 22, 2013

Is Anyone Out There??


Sometimes I wonder whether I should keep up with this blog, since it doesn't seem like I'm reaching anyone except for a few other fellow Catholics. However, they are not my intended audience. I'd much rather reach out to non-Catholics and their perspectives on the issues I present.


I don't want to be thought of as the "morality police" or for people to ignore what I have to say. I get the sense that people blow me and this blog off since it may not coincide with their views. Margo's just being a Catholic freak again, why doesn't she just leave us alone?


I'll tell you why. YOU are too important and too loved to be left alone. If you are a human, then you are loved by God, simple as that.


God gave me the gift of writing, specifically explanatory writing as well as the passion for His teachings. I greatly desire to share that gift with others as well as to engage in thoughtful discussions. Yet every time I try (either on here or through Facebook), there are only crickets.


Would you rather have me shut up and leave you alone to do whatever you wish even if what you are doing is really hurting yourself?


As Penn Teller once said, "If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?"


I really would appreciate some feedback from anyone out there reading (preferably from non-Catholics). What changes should I make to better communicate to you?


Never forget how much you are loved :) Many blessings!

2 comments:

  1. As a non-Catholic, I have no problem with reading about your views or anything like that. This is your blog, so you should honestly write about whatever you choose.

    BUT if you are specifically trying to reach the non-Catholic audience in an attempt to "convert" (I'm using the term lightly, but you do believe that Catholicism is the one true religion) or facilitate a discussion, you can't really go about it by telling people they need to be Catholic and that being Catholic is the only true religion. I've seen this issue before in person at a religious retreat- the organization hoped to convert the non-believers in the room and build a stronger sense of faith for the believers, but their message unfortunately isolated non-believers even more.

    If I were an atheist (this is hypothetical, as I am actually a Christian, but I'm involved in interfaith discussions often to understand others' beliefs), what would you say to me to convince me to become Catholic?
    Things to think about:
    1) you can use the Bible as support, but don't use it as your crutch. Remember that as an atheist, I don't buy into the whole Bible and Jesus dying for our sins thing.
    2) you probably shouldn't use the compendium as support, as it is a text specific to Catholicism and not to other Christian denominations.
    3) why are YOU a Catholic? why do YOU believe this is the only true religion? once again, the Bible shouldn't be your only source for reasoning because a non-Christian most likely won't believe it.
    4) pretty much, think of questions you would ask a non-Catholic who wanted you to convert to their faith. While your default response would be to defend your faith, ask questions to get a feel for what they believe and why.

    Overall, just listen to people, hear them out without planning how you'll convince them that you're right and they're wrong (not saying that you don't listen to people, this is just general advice).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here is the opinion of an Agnostic recent Bradley graduate that you have never met, but I found this post by a distant touch of our social circles.

    1. Anon makes good points, using Bible verses or Canon law convinces me. I have no reason to believe in either at this point.

    2. Be dialogue oriented. Nobody is going to get involved with a discussion that they know they will lose because of being ganged up on or because the other person isn't even vaguely interested in what they have to say. If you want to know WHY people aren't Catholic, ask and be legitimately curious. Don't spout scripted answers, we've heard them all.

    3. Morality doesn't have to be the centerpiece of every discussion. In most people's lives it is something that just "is". Dictated by their upbringing, cultural location and personal experience. Most of us find no issues, for example, with homosexuals so hammering away on why homosexuals should be banned from marriage is missing the point, because invariably you'll go back to point one: citing something that your audience won't take seriously.

    4. Do not become too fixated on political issues. It varies by person but this is a major red flag for me, personally. I'm sort of economically conservative but very socially libertarian. If I see a church [or any organization] that spends all of its time talking about politics and the conspiracy against them, I'm going to write them off as paranoid and not interested in my well-being because they're too busy with their own agenda.

    5. Don't make assumptions. This is a general comment to all people. Recently I had someone come up to me and start talking about how they were tired of hanging around all of those "terrible non-Christians" not realizing that I wasn't Christian. I brushed it off but it was a major foot in mouth moment for them. Don't assume for a moment that people will use the same frame of reference as you when discussing something. We're shaped by our experiences and relationships which are all unique.

    Long story, short: if you want to engage people in a meaningful way you have to TALK to them. You can't approach us the same way you approach your Catholic friends, which you probably vent your frustration to. People regardless of religion can sense when someone has a motive or isn't being genuine. If you are legitimately interested in someone's life, struggles, understanding what they believe and why then they're far more likely to offer you the same respect. If your belief system plays a large part in your life and the positive effects can be seen, it will help your cause.

    Hopefully I didn't come off as too pretentious. Just wanted to offer some semi-anonymous help.


    ReplyDelete