Why so defensive? (CHRISTIANS ONLY)

by besty 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • besty

    The wife and kids and I were round for dinner last night at some good friends of ours - very informal and relaxed. We have been there many times and its home from home.

    They have 2 boys same as us, and they also had another friend (Jane) over with her 3 boys - as both Dad;s from each parent couple were out of town it was me and Sam and the 2 mums + 7 boys under 7 to take care of. Cue another glass of wine please.

    Eating outside in the front yard, kids playing on the walk street, sunset in the background - you get the idea.

    So it turns out Jane (who is a very confident, outgoing, successful businesswoman, and attorney) is from Texas, and very proud of that - rightly so - but lives in LA. I asked her over dinner if Texas had their Education Board under control yet. (see here for background) She asked what I meant, and I said for example the Board was trying to remove evolution from the science textbooks. She replied that was a good thing.

    I asked if she believed in evolution. No. I clarified if she included micro-evolution. Yes - she did not accept any evolution or other theories such as the Big Bang. (I was completely stunned to meet someone live in the flesh who although educated and smart seemed so anti-science)

    Anyways she continued that shortly there was a movie coming out that explained why the Big Bang was not credible. Ignoring the rapid switch away from evolution I asked her if she felt it was a good idea to get science education from movies. She replied - somewhat edgily - 'what sort of question is that?' I replied that I felt it was a rational question. She then asked if I felt that it was possible for information to be presented in a graphical, entertaining way that made the point. I agreed of course that was fine but I preferred to get science from books - I was about to explain why I felt that way - filmakers agenda, lack of peer review, credibility of sources etc etc but before I could she blustered that she couldn't believe she was having this 'argument' and that she didn't want to talk about it, at which point our gracious hostess poured some oil on the water and smoothed things over.

    We didn't really fall out and we left on good terms but it was just bizarre to see someone like Jane blow up so quickly.

    I'd like to know why she became so defensive so quickly - its not like I was picking on her or bullying her - remember this is an attorney businesswoman.


  • garyneal

    I read over this at least two or three times to see how she could've gotten so upset over this.

    I guess she just does not like the idea that you may be right about something that goes against her internalized beliefs. The movie denouncing the Big Bang theory agrees with her beliefs, it did not matter if that movie was scientifically accurate or not. Now, I bet she would be singing a different tune if a movie came out denouncing her Christian beliefs.

    Personally, I do not understand why she is so quick to denounce the Big Bang theory or the theory of evolution, particularly microevolution but people have their own worldview. I like to hear each individual's particular world view on things even if I disagree with them in part or in whole. This one was fascinating.

  • tec

    People who get flak for their beliefs are often defensive on the smallest things brought up - OR - they learn not to be bothered by it at all. It may have been a double hit for her, because she is, as you say, well educated and proud of her accomplishments- and so its a jab at her intelligence and pride, asking her if she thinks its a good idea to get info from movies. (I don't know what your tone was, but the question itself sounds rhetorical)

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.


  • agonus

    Just remember how rapidly we would get defensive when our faith was challenged even casually... back when we were in Da Troof... it's a gut-level response, a mechanism designed to protect our most cherished beliefs, without which we'd have to adjust to a worldview that is VERY uncomfortable to us... most of us do this, whether our belief sytems are traditionally religious or otherwise...

  • sweet pea
    sweet pea

    On the contrary Agonus - I used to welcome a debate on faith when I was in Da Troof, I liked the challenge, I liked other people to express their point of view who could perhaps teach me something or where I could feel I could throw something into to the mix that would perhaps convince them over to my point of view.

    What was really jaw dropping the other evening, was that here was a very intelligent, professional, eloquent woman who crumbled at the first fence. She wasn't interested in proving her side of the argument or hearing why/what any one else believed. I would have put money on her fighting her corner in a very logical, confident way; instead she became like a child. Very interesting.

  • agonus

    sweet pea... if that's true, then what made you leave?

  • sweet pea
    sweet pea

    I left when I realised something was badly wrong with the organisation and was open minded enough to explore my doubts. Something this woman appeared to be too emotionally involved with her beliefs to do.

    On a side point, our hostess's view was that it boils down to a combination of a Christian's subconsciously knowing there are serious flaws in their beliefs and fear of death that makes them defensive and unwilling to debate. She is an agnostic BTW.

  • agonus

    I see. Fair enough. I know what you mean, though, about Dubs becoming like screaming children when you hit a nerve with them... kind of like my mom when we get into heated discussions about stuff like blood and shunning, and she'll yell something like, "well, at least WE DON'T BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS!!!'

  • agonus

    You know, funny thing about death... I'm still a little scared of it sometimes though I also often feel it might be preferable to suffering... it's such a hot-button issue, you know... the unknown always is... we hate not knowing what we can't know...

  • StAnn

    Sweet Pea, you've already answered your own query. She was too emotionally involved to view things from a rational perspective.

    Regarding your friend's comments about Christians, huh???? Not sure where she gets that.

    As a Roman Catholic, I was very pleased to hear John Paul II say that of course the Church would accept the Big Bang Theory~so long as we gave credit to God for using the Big Bang in his creative process.

    Same with evolution. If God created human life on this planet in a way so that it would evolve into what we have become, so be it. He's the Creator and can use whatever process He wishes. How He caused us to come into being really isn't important to our salvation.

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