The Things People Say

Me: Good morning aunty.

Aunty: Good morning, where are you going?

Me: Church. Today is Palm Sunday.

Aunty: Oh, when were you baptised?

Me: Last Easter Vigil.

Aunty: Good, good. Congratulations. Which church do you go to?

Me: Holy Spirit.

Aunty: Where is that?

Me: Green Lane.

Aunty: All the churches are the same. We all pray to the same God, except the Catholics – they worship Mary.

Me: I am a Roman Catholic.

Aunty: Oh! Err…

Is there really a necessity to blow out another light to let yours shine? I wonder what Jesus would have said had he overheard this conversation. Like all other denominations of Christianity, Roman Catholics worship God and God only. How can there be unity in Christendom when there are those who try so hard to point out the differences but fail to see that we are similar in more ways than one?

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

24 thoughts on “The Things People Say”

  1. As the only Catholic in a Methodist/ Anglican family, all I can say is this: Maybe all we can do is try to love. With all our hearts. Everybody, whether they judge us or not. To all who judge us, to those who are merely ignorant, let our witness to them be our love for our Lord Jesus Christ — the foundation of our faith, anybody who attends Mass would know this, for the ENTIRE liturgy is about the grace of our salvation through his living sacrifice –, our trust in Mother Mary. I myself have never been clever enough to find the right words to rebut a “born again” Christian who was anti-Catholic, without being defensive and adding to their prejudices. Maybe all we can do is think, “Bless you, sister (or brother)!” in our minds, and let the power of Jesus work. love, Auntie

  2. I had gotten this remarks before but I think it is more of a misunderstanding more than any bad intention. In fact, I got one long lecture by a different denomination saying that Jesus never acknowledge Mother Mary as a mother in the Bible. Oh well, I am too dumb to argue so I just nod, nod, nod.

  3. Division in the Church is a ploy of the devil to divide the people of God. We all belong to the same Father and to Him and Him alone, we pledge our love and loyalty, regardless of denomination.

  4. sorry for disagreeing, bkworm, but i don’t think we should attribute the divisions of the christian faith to anything ‘supernatural’ like the ‘devil’, etc. people with influence have different views of how religions should be practiced. in turn, their members would be indoctrinated to follow whatever ideas that are not against their ideologies and take them as ‘truths’. protestants tend to say that catholics worship mary, and all the other saints, etc., yet, catholics say that the protestants’ bibles discount many other books and chapters which are found in the catholic bible. so who is wrong? and who is right? who is responsible for such divisions? the devil? or societies?

  5. People often ask me these kind of questions too..

    Often my answer, after going through the Cathecism and the Bible itself, is that “at the end of the day, we still worship the One True God”

    I could say more actually, but don’t want to start a big debate 😀

  6. Auntie,
    I agree that ignorance is one of the factors. There is no desire to delve further into what was being fed that they accept it in totality. People who think that Catholics worship Mary should spend some time attending Mass and RCIA sessions to see for themselves what we are really all about before shooting from their hips.

    Arguing is fruitless when the misinformation had been drummed into their minds to such an extent that thinking objectively and seeing the fact for all it is worth is an impossibility.

    Truly we are all from Him but many fail to see that and prefer to focus on the differences.

    As long as one thinks that he is right and others wrong there can never be unity. I believe it is people themselves who are causing all these with their own interpretations of what one should and should not do.

    All Catholics know the Apostles Creed by heart which begins with “I believe in God.” That sums it all up.

  7. Was sharing similar experience with a friend yesterday. A typical dialogue/exchange go thus:

    >>Non-Catholic Christian (NCC): You Catholics worship Mary

    >>Catholic: We don’t worship her. We honor her.

    >>NCC: But you pray to her.

    >>Catholic: We pray for her intercession.

    >>NCC: Why you people need to do that when you can pray direct to God?


    Yes it can often fell so futile to engage in this sometime hostile exchange. However, if you’re feeling particulary tolerant and patient the next time this situ arises, you might want to try “staying with the task” thus:

    >>Catholic: Hello, Like us Catholics, you guys also pray for others, ask others to pray for you, pray over others, don’t you. That’s also asking others to INTERCEDE for you, no?

    ..Catholic: And, FYI, The HAIL MARY has its origins in St Luke’s Gospel when the angel Gabriel greeted Mary: “Hail Mary, fill of grace, the Lord is with you”

    At this juncture, recite the Hail Mary. reinforcing the intercessory nature of Marian prayer in “PRAY FOR US SINNERS… Amen”

    From experience, this usually works with all but the most unreasonable and rabble-rousing.

    Related to Hail Mary prayer:

  8. Arusa,
    That was the greeting when the archangel Gabriel appeared before Mary to announce to her that she is to conceive a son she must name Jesus. I later discovered that the name Gabriel is so meaningful that I adopted it for my baptismal name.

  9. Yes it was in the Annunciation.

    Gabriel by the way, also means “champion of God”
    You have certainly chosen an awesome baptismal name, Peter 🙂

  10. I always thought that is typical Christian attitude.
    That is why I avoid talking about religion with Christians fearing that I might get bashed.

  11. Life Feel,
    That is certainly not a typical Christian attitude. That was pride, envy and anger talking – three of the seven deadly sins.

  12. I am a person with no religion and am always considered a fair target for religious zealots of the Christian faith who will not hesitate to preach to me the moment they hear that I have no religious commitment. This irks me no end but one thing that irks me even more is when those who claim to be Protestants make the pronouncement that Catholics are not Christians and I always tell them that for a non-Christian to bad-mouth a Christian is bad enough but for a Christian to bad-mouth another Christian is sacrilegious. I am a regular reader of your blog.

  13. virgorat,
    Christianity is good. I can attest to that. It is the people who claim to profess the faith tha makes it otherwise.

  14. Peter,
    It is not my contention, that Christianity is no good. In fact I have nothing against religion and it would be daft of me to argue that the four great religions, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, are not good. I don’t subscribe to any organised religion because I feel that it is not necessary. However, I feel that people should respect my choice just as much as they would want me to respect their religion and nobody should try to convert me or try to evangelize to me without first asking whether I am willing to listen and above all they shouldn’t feel that just because I don’t have a religion I am a freak. I always tell these over-zealous Christians who try to convert me by evangelizing to me with permission that the most effective mode of evangelism that they could use would be to conduct themselves as good Christians and respect others as they would want to be respected themselves.

  15. virgorat,
    I agree that people who evangelize to you irrespective of whether you want to listen to them or not are rude.

  16. Errrrmmmm,

    whell, im back.
    Can’t realy say why…
    I’m not Christian at all and was wondering if ya think praying to god will make a difference?
    Becose i more believe in fate than religion.
    Exuse me if that is rude to ask!

    Greetz, Tha

  17. Thais,
    I do not doubt that prayers work. They do, always. Like you, I never had a religion and never believed in the power of prayers. I was also a believer in fate but ask yourself this, if indeed there is fate and destiny, who is determining it?

  18. But….Peter,

    If i’m not shure i want to pray to God or Jezus, who shuld i pray to then???

    (Totally confused),Tha

  19. Thais,
    If you want to learn more about Christianity and the power of prayers, I suggest you look for a Roman Catholic church near you. They will be able to instruct you further.

  20. “I don’t care what church you belongs to, but as far as in Jesus we stand, if by grace through faith you have been saved, you are my brother/sister so give me your hand”.There is no denomination in heaven. What matters most is..Is your name in the book of life?, Are you in that number saved by grace? Anglican, Roman Catholic, protestant,jews moslems,gentiles etc,etc…those are just names. Do you identify with the body of christ? Does he know you? Do you know him? ” And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
    Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead”. Acts 17:30-31. Remain blessed.

  21. sunny,
    If only my brothers and sisters in Christ from other churches do not try to impose on me their own concept Christianity. I do not hate them. I just do not like to be near them when they get nasty in this way. I would like to be left in peace to continue practising the Roman Catholicism way of Christianity.

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