Sunday, December 03, 2006

In Truth, the Text is Tougher Than the Tongue

A gentleman was wearing a t-shirt with a religious slogan on the front of it at our friends' daughter's 1-year birthday party. I just couldn't resist asking him about it. But the point of asking him really wasn't because I didn't understand it, it was because I didn't agree with it. So he and I got into a slightly heated discussion about it. He made some points that I've never heard before, so I didn't defend myself (or my faith for that matter) as good as I could/should have. I wouldn't say I got beat, but I wouldn't say I won either. Maybe it was a stalemate, and as easy an argument as that topic should be to rebuke, I'd call that a loss on my end.

But then again, I'm not a very good arguer. In fact, I would venture to say that I'm kinda lousy at it. I'm not quick witted enough, and I tend to get either too defensive or too offensive, or both. Writing is different though, I can take my sweet time to generate a response, and I'm analytical enough to usually come up with a pretty good one. I can mull the whole idea of the argument and ponder the particular points with much better clarity and less abrasiveness. Plus there's the whole backspace key that comes in handy.

But the friends' house we were at are Atheists, and I don't know if I set a very good example. I've argued for Christianity with the female half of this couple before, and we have also invited them to church with us several times. But they always refuse and I probably did more harm than good in our discussion. I'm somewhat surprised (and delighted I might add) they have stayed friends with us actually. I hope I didn't make an ass out of myself at their party though, like I just have to argue with everyone I come across about religion.

But maybe that 's not completely inaccurate. I have a burning passion for the truth. The more I learn of it, the more protective I am. If someone is stepping on that truth, then I really just want to shove them off of it (verbally, not physically) and defend it. I'm a bit of a fighter, on the outside and the inside. I'd rather get my ass kicked than to shy away in fear of getting licked, or for fear of offending someone for that matter. The biggest regrets I have in life are a) when I have hurt someone unnecessarily (emotionally, physically, etc) and b) the moments that I was afraid and let that fear get the best of me, when I shied away from a battle or an opportunity and acted like a coward, and believe me there are plenty of them.

If I can only learn how to debate/argue/discuss without getting too emotionally involved in the discussion, then I'd be much, much more effective. I'm working on it though, and at least I think I can say that I'm better than I used to be. Probably by the time I die, I'll be a mighty verbal warrior. For now though, I'll do my best to type it out as often as possible.

Oh, and the actual t-shirt will be the topic of my next post.


Anonymous said...

Let me get this're invited to somebody's house and then you proceed to argue with them about how your beliefs are right and theirs are not. Nice. It is amazing you guys are still friends.

michael said...

No, not with the hosts, with another guest whom I'd never met before.

I argued with the hosts (just the wife - the husband didn't participate) a while ago when just our two families were hanging out.

Susan said...

You know some people like to argue (debate). I think that it is great that you hold strong to your convictions. Also, if no one left because of your discussion with this other person then I am sure that no irrevocable harm was done. Who knows it may be looked at as a party foul.

I can't wait to read what the t-shirt said.

I Eat Dentists said...

I keep seeing things we have in common. You describe me to a pin point about verbal arguing vs. writting. I also get emotionally involved. Heck, I get bent out of shape arguing about football at times.

Anyway, I was wondering what the t-shirt, and proceeding argument was. Is it worth posting?

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