I just had an interesting experience. For the first time in my life, I was involved in a pretty in-depth discussion about my religion with someone who isn't a member. I can't necessarily say it was a good experience. This person was pretty confrontational about things that I hold dear to my heart, and I was not in a situation where I could really address them satisfactorily. I would love to have a one-on-one conversation with this person and be able to more thoroughly answer all his questions, though I don't know if the results would be any different. I felt like my answers were pretty solid, but he didn't seem to even be listening to me. It was like while I was speaking, he was just formulating another question instead of listening to my answer. And we were definitely bordering on "Bible bashing," which I know we're not supposed to do.
However, I'm actually glad I had that experience. It's one thing to tell yourself what you're going to do in that kind of situations, and it's a whole other ballpark to actually be in that situation. And since I'm thinking about going on a mission, I really need to be prepared for that situation, because I'm sure I'm going to meet as many confrontational people as receptive people. But let me just say this. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know with all my heart that it is God's true church on this earth. If you want to know more about it, I would be more than happy to share my beliefs with you and answer any questions you might have. If I don't know the answer, I will tell you straight out, and if possible I will refer you to someone who can answer your questions. Just please respect my beliefs, as I will respect yours.
What really bothered me was the discussion we had later. One of my friends said that she had gone to deliver food to a homeless shelter, and another friend said, "I hope you brought a guy with you!" At this point, the guy with whom I'd been conversing earlier jumped on that comment and said that it was very disrespectful, stereotypical, and judgmental. I responded by saying, "We (women in general) are not worried specifically about homeless people; we're worried about being out at night in the evening on our own." His response was, "Well, I've been out in the middle of the night plenty of times and haven't ever been threatened." My response: "That's because you're a guy." His response: "But I'm not all that big. All the guys here are bigger than me." My response: "You're still a guy, and believe it or not, that makes a big difference." He wasn't convinced.
Are any other girls out there fuming right about now? Because I certainly was. Guys, in case you didn't know this by now, let me spell it out for you: it is not safe for a woman to be out and about after dark alone. And I don't care how small or short you are; if you are male, you are much less likely to be attacked if you are out walking alone. So please respect us women if we get a little paranoid. I think we have good reason to be.