I recently had a conversation with a young lady — I’ll call her Addison — who is the same age as my youngest daughter Teresa — 23 years old. I don’t know Addison very well, but I’ve known her parents for more than 20 years. Addison was raised as a Catholic and attended a Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and a private, secular college.
During our conversation, Addison told me that she had moved to another state and into an apartment with some girls who were her age. I asked her if she had her own bedroom and she said yes, so I suggested that she hang a picture of the King of Mercy on her bedroom wall.
She was not familiar with the picture, so I explained to her that it’s an image of the Risen Jesus with His left hand touching His chest where His heart is located. At the place where He is touching, there are two rays of light streaming from His heart — a red ray and a white ray. The red ray represents the blood that He shed for our sins and the white ray represents the salvation that He won for each of us by His death on the cross.
I told Addison that I have an extra 5×7 framed picture of the King of Mercy that I would be happy to give her to hang in her bedroom. To my surprise, she said, “All my life people have been shoving religion down my throat and I’m sick of it. I’m not even sure that I believe in God anymore. That’s something I need to figure out on my own. I don’t need other people telling me how I should think or believe. I hate it when people tell me what to do. When they tell me what to do, I always do the opposite of what they say. That’s just the way I am.”
She then declared, “I’m a feminist and I’m a woman warrior.” She apparently believes that being a feminist and a warrior are incompatible with believing in God.
I had to keep myself from laughing when she made the woman warrior comment because I knew how she was raised by her parents. She was spoiled as a child and they gave her practically everything she wanted while she was growing up.
Maybe she thinks she’s a warrior because she argues with her dad all the time.
The traditional definition of a “warrior” is “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.” The context in which Addison used the term would indicate that, to her, a woman warrior is a woman who is actively engaged in a public cause that involves struggle and conflict. If that’s what she meant when she referred to herself as a woman warrior, I’m not sure what struggle or conflict she is currently engaged in.
I looked up “woman warrior” on the internet and all I could find were references to women in Greek mythology.
Before I brought up the topic of the picture of the King of Mercy, Addison told me about the large company that she works for. She described her job as an entry-level clerical job that does not relate in any way to what she studied in college. She indicated that she is not involved in any women’s organizations, or any other organizations for that matter.
Whatever ideas Addison has about being a feminist and a woman warrior are probably related to something that she wants to achieve in the future, rather than something she is currently engaged in.
I could have asked her to define “feminist” and “woman warrior” and I could have asked her several questions that would have led her down a path in which she would have had to eventually admit that she has never accomplished anything for the feminist cause or actually engaged in any warrior-type activity. I could have also asked her who the people were who shoved religion down her throat while she attended college at a four-year secular institution.
I didn’t bother to ask any of those question because she was already on the defensive and would have either refused to answer them, or she would have become angrier and more defensive. It was obvious to me that she is the type of person who enjoys arguing for the sake of arguing.
I have found over the years that it is not productive to argue with someone who doesn’t really know me and whose beliefs are completely contrary to my beliefs. It’s usually better that I simply back off and show respect for the person.
A better use of my time would be to pray for Addison, rather than argue with her. She’s young and doesn’t really know what she doesn’t know. There may be a time in the future when she will be more open to what I have to say to her.
It’s too bad that there’s not more emphasis placed on the greatest woman warriors of all time, such as the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joan of Arc, St. Maria Goretti, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Philomena, St. Faustina, St. Edith Stein, St. Monica, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Rose of Lima.
There’s something that you and I should always keep in mind. We were created to be warriors for God and we can be His warriors by emulating the greatest of all warriors — the Son of God. He is the one warrior who always spoke the truth, took care of those who were in need, never backed down from his enemies, and sacrificed His life so we could someday join Him, His mother, and all the angels and saints in Heaven, for all eternity.