Back in my career days all the sales guys I knew were always talking about their “elevator pitch, ” a compelling, 30-second summary of what their company sells and why you need it that they’d use in case they ever happened to rub elbows with some big potential client, say, in an elevator. Obviously it’s not meant to close the deal on the spot, but to at least pique the potential client’s interest and get them to want to follow up.
So my husband and I have spent a lot of time lately trying to come up with elevator pitch for Catholicism. One of the upsides of our former debaucherous and completely non-religious lifestyle is that people are shocked — shocked — when we tell them that we’re becoming Catholic. And I think we need to have EMS standing by next time we tell someone that, yes, we mean orthodox Catholicism. (The response that we both get frequently is “What?…You’re kidding, right?…What?”) The surprise of us becoming serious Catholics is enough to shock people into having an open mind for a moment. They ask us why we chose this route and listen intently while we answer.
I’ve been in this situation three times in the past couple of months, and my husband has experienced it probably four times. It’s stressful because I feel like the spotlight’s on and I have just a fleeting moment to get this person to possibly open her mind to faith (all the people I’ve talked to happen to be agnostic/atheist and have a particular distaste for Christianity).
So far most of the people I know have no idea that I’ve gone this route, so I’m going to find myself in the position of being asked about my faith more and more over the next couple of years as it comes out. Before everyone gets over the shock and just starts writing us off as “that weird religious family” I’d like to make the most of this rare opportunity to explain my theological decisions to people who are actually listening.
I have a few different pitches I’ve used that seem to have been somewhat successful. I was going to lay them out in this post but decided I’d like to hear what other people have to say first. If you were to find yourself in a position where somebody who is not particularly religious asked you why you’re Catholic (or whatever your religion is), and you only had a few sentences to summarize it, what would you say?
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