Friday, 23 November 2012

Ten dinner party conversation openers.....

.....or closers.
Ah.....but where do you place the Catholic?

How often have we as Catholics kept our mouths shut when, in a group discussion, someone holds forth on the unfairness of a judicial system that penalises doctors who "help" their patients into an early grave.

Or, when the "abortion" word is mentioned, how often have we mentally turned away and ignored all that is being said in order that we do not cause offence.

There are times, admittedly, when to enter an argument when all present are charged up on Vino Collapso, is not a wise thing to do.
Arguing with raised voices over a dinner table is not Christ like.
It may even be a cause for scandal, depending on how charged up the party is; you are then right to 'keep mum'.

And then there are the times when you await your moment; the split second where you may enter the debate and deliver your one liner in defence of Catholic values without causing jackets to be removed.

But, how often do we open the batting with a question on morality or ethics?

With Christmas rapidly advancing I thought it might be helpful to have a number of openers to call upon, you may wish to contribute some of your favourites:-

1. "Does anyone know what happens to the bodies of babies after they have been aborted?"

2. "Of course, just thinking about homosexual acts conjures up feelings of revulsion doesn't it?"

3. I think the same sex issue is so funny; imagine, two women walking down the aisle arm in arm...what a hoot!"

4. "Sex education in schools should be re-named sex training, after all it is so explicit"

5. "I just don't know why schools insist on putting on Christmas plays that are totally secular in content"

6. "Anyone who gives or receives a gift at Christmas, or takes time off work, is taking part in the celebration of Christ's birth"

7. "Leaving children to make up their own minds over religion is so ridiculous, it's like saying that they can find their own way of crossing the road"

8. "The Catholic Church will never ordain women as priests because, you see, Christ took the male gender and, anyway, God has given us the Blessed Virgin Mary, His own Mother, to watch over and guide us"

9. "We don't participate in joint services with other faiths as it can give the false impression that they are right"

10. "Of course, real Catholics receive the Body and Blood of Christ kneeling and on the tongue precisely because it is the actual and real Body and Blood of Christ"


  1. Why do you go out of your way, and encourage your readers to do likewise, to give gratuitous offence to those who do not share your views?

    Can you really not see that alienating people in this way is wholly counterproductive? It brings the Faith and its defenders into disrepute.

    “Soyez toujours le plus doux que vous pourrez, et souvenez-vous que l’on prend plus de mouches avec une cuillère de miel qu’avec cent barils de vinaigre… Always be as gentle as you can and remember that one catches more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar." St Francis de Sales.

    Think on it!


  2. Unknown, please include your name when you comment. I am very pleased to be able to give gratuitous offence to those who would murder infants in the womb or seek to pervert the teachings of Christ. If people do not share my views then they are free to avoid reading this blog.

  3. Richard, I've been trying to follow your blog, and as you indicate in your comment, I'm afraid I shall have to stop as I agree with unknown. Perhaps you are right to wish to give gratuitous offence to those who support abortion, although I don't really see what is Christian about cracking jokes about the bodies of murdered babies or how this will bring anyone to the faith. However, I would be interested to see how you can reconcile these comments:
    2. "Of course, just thinking about homosexual acts conjures up feelings of revulsion doesn't it?"

    3. I think the same sex issue is so funny; imagine, two women walking down the aisle arm in arm...what a hoot!"

    with the Church's teaching that we are to treat those with homosexual inclinations with compassion. Obviously, compassion doesn't mean we should approve of either homosexual acts or homosexual marriage, but how is mocking these people or saying they cause revulsion compatible with the Christian compassion we are due to show them? I'm sorry to be harsh, because I do agree with some of your points and I think it's good you make them. But this type of invective does nothing but bring the Faith into disrepute. It is as bad as the people who say that Jesus would never tell sinners to stop sinning because he loves us all as we are and we need not change. Just as that is one extreme which clearly is not what the Faith teaches, so to are your comments an extreme on the other end. It seems to me your comments actually veer towards the Calvinist approach to life - treating all those who aren't saved (i.e. those who are homosexual, secular or support abortion) as irrevocably damned. I am the only Catholic in my family. I often debate these topics out with them and am not shy about defending what the Church teaches, although it has inevitably made things tense. So while I can agree in principle that we should absolutely have the courage to defend the Faith, what you are advocating is not defending the Faith. It is aggressive and uncharitable, and it does not serve the purpose of bringing anyone to Christ. I cannot imagine what non-Catholic would hear such things and think that our Church is the Church Christ created. Saying the truth with charity is clearly difficult; I certainly do not succeed in it. But I cannot understand the quite obvious desire to cause offence *rather* than bringing people to the Church. I think that many of your points truly are excellent, but delivered in this format, I doubt they will have the impact they should.

    I am again sorry if I have been too harsh, and as I said, I have agreed with and enjoyed many of your points. I will pray for you.


  4. Anonymous, again, please leave a name when commenting.
    Let me explain (not defend) my post. I would never use any of those "openers" sitting around a dinner table. My aim is to satirise the trends in our secular society where, so very often, the reverse views are expressed without considering for one minute that they are offensive to Catholics.
    I am suggesting that Catholics should be more direct with their righteous criticisms of homosexuality, abortion and all the other issues.
    That's all really; I try to inject some humour at times into my posts and often fail.
    I stand by what I stated to Unknown, I am relaxed about causing offence, provided that I act in a Christian manner. God bless.

    1. Hey Richard!

      I got what you were saying and enjoyed the satire. Actually, nothing this season has yet to come up about religious conversation around the dinner table. Great post - I definatly got the humor aspect of it.

      God bless! (and keep up the good work!)

      Chloe M.

  5. I'm very happy to identify myself. I didn't do so before because of my inability to master the technical requirements of commenting on a blog.

    My name is Michael Gormally. I am a retired Catholic schoolmaster living in London. I continue to think that the puerile attempts at invective which mark some of your postings will serve simply to confirm critics of the Faith in their anti-Catholic opinions, at a time when converting such people never been more necessary.


  6. Thanks Carey, you are now on my blogroll (not just because you made a kind comment).


  7. Michael - I greatly respect your background and record and I am sorry that you see my posts as puerile. I am also sorry that you cannot accept my rationale. I will pray for you as I pray for all who read this blog.

  8. I said "some" of your postings, Richard. I find most of them amusing and / or instructive. I know, also, that your heart is very much in the right place. You have a great love of the Church, and God will reward you for that.