To be fair, we're not here to budge. That's not really what we're going for here. But we are here to try to understand. And sometimes, we get so caught up in listening just so we can respond that we forget to ask the question: why? Why does this person believe what they believe?
For that matter, why do we believe what we believe?
For those of you who haven't been told that "you've been brainwashed by 'the establishment, and that we Catholics only believe the things we believe because we've been told to believe it": I envy you. I don't know how many times this has come up in my life, but I assure you, the number of times I've had to argue against this point is not in the single digits. It may even be in the triple digits.
When I was first given this argument, I was taken aback. I didn't know how to respond. I actually had to go home feeling like I'd "lost the argument," because I wasn't sure what to say at the time. And, of course, by the time I had done my research and given it some thought and come up with a good answer, that friend of mine didn't want to talk about it anymore. But I still had my answers, and I was still able to give those answers to the next person who posed that argument.
And even though some people will refuse to accept this answer, the best response I was able to give was actually one I had stolen from a Protestant friend of mine who was getting ready to take the plunge at Easter time and join the Catholic Church. Because, you see, I had asked her why she wanted to convert to Catholicism one day, and she looked at me and shrugged as though it were the easiest answer in the world and said, "Because it's the truth,"
Not everyone will want this answer, and most people will want it explained further. But the answer remains the same. Be ready to give it, and be ready to have it challenged.
"And if wicked tongues insult and hate you
All because of me,
Blessed, blessed are you."
~'Be Not Afraid,' by Bob Dufford
CYM, St. John the Evangelist