As a result of talking to my neighbor, I did indeed feel as if I had come across a Chick Tract. I didn’t bother trying to correct him because I could tell he believed that kind of conspiracy stuff on some level, he was drinking beer, and he wasn’t a complete jerk about it. It just sounded like he was spouting lines. I just let it go.
I know there are people that think any slight against the Catholic Church, even done in ignorance, should be dealt with immediately and with prejudice. Basically, correction at all costs. Or a “need to prove I that I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality. A verbal slap down, as it were.
Sure, you could do that but it’s a sure way to alienate your audience and get them to not listen to you. And it proved their misinformation and flawed views right. I’m not saying don’t correct the misinformation but do it in a manner that respects the person and that you respect that this is what they believe but that they have been given misinformation that’s not beneficial to them. Don’t place blame.
All of us get misinformed all the time. And most of us look for the correct information once we figure out the info we have isn’t correct. Most people who pass on misinformation or bad information aren’t doing it on purpose. They trust the source they heard it from, which isn’t the problem. It’s accidental, unintentional not malicious. It’s the information that’s faulty, not the people.
But each situation is different. Thus neighbor was drinking beer and mixing alcohol and politics, religion, or sex together isn’t a good idea. Plus, you can tell when a person is responsive to you, willing to listen and take what you say seriously. I didn’t see that in that situation. So I just let him talk. Like I said, he sounded like a Chick Tract.
I know there is a lot of anti-Catholic garbage out there. But I don’t have to act like a jerk to correct it. And sometimes the better solution is to not correct at that time. Some people are not going to responsive to it, some will see your defense as proving themselves right, some just don’t care. Each situation is different. But you are responsible for your own behavior. You catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.