When I, my mom, brother, Escobedo family, and Jason Naut, drove to California early Friday morning the reason for my excitement was because the next day we would hopefully be in Knott’s Berry Farm. That night we would be attending a debate between my father and Mr. Staples. I was looking forward to it, of course, but I was more excited about being dropped at rapid speeds from 30 stories in the air on Supreme Scream. But, honestly, that night was not what I expected at all.
When I sat down at the debate, I decided to introduce myself to the girl sitting next to me. I shook her hand and said, “Hi, my name is Summer White,” and her expression was as if I had turned into a heffalump right in front of her. She leaned over the person next to her, then that person looked down at me the same way she had, and on and on down the line everyone gave me that look. That was my first introduction to Roman Catholics at the debate.
Mr. Staples started off the debate with an argument on Matthew chapter 16 verses 17 and 18. A normal argument of the Catholic faith about that subject, I guess, but the topic was on papal infallibility, as my father was soon to point out in his opening argument.
The crowd was very upset when my dad informed them Mr. Staples was not sticking with the topic. It seemed as though they were ready to start a riot at the drop of a hat.
My dad’s opening argument was like a history lesson, and it was something every catholic in that room needed to hear. Sometimes I had trouble understanding what my father was saying, but that did not make it boring. When his time was up, I wasted no time in standing and applauding, and letting everyone know, that’s my daddy!
Of course, in the 15-minute rebuttal period Mr. Staples was lost for words. His hands were shaking. He mumbled, and tripped on his words a lot.
As my dad began his rebuttal period I leaned over to Abigail Escobedo and whispered, “This is it. This debate is over.” She looked at me questioningly, but all I did was nod. My father told me what he was going to say, and I just couldn’t wait. At the end of his 15 minutes dad pointed out that in some catholic documents Alexander said that a laymen, which is what Mr. Staples is, is not to engage in a public discussion of issues with a heretic, which is how they classify my dad. He added that either Mr. Staples will end the debate right then, or he will say that rule is no longer in play.
During the 15 minutes break, my best friend, Angelique Escobedo, and I talked to a nice girl on the other side of Abigail. I think she said she used to be Catholic but converted, and now she enjoys my dad’s work.
The crowd here was much more aggressive than anyone expected, especially during the Q and A section. Half of that time was taken up by the incessant clapping, cheering, and, of course, booing. Mr. Staples did not follow the rules, but kept on giving little sermons with each of his questions, instead of short question, short answer, so on.
After, there were questions asked by the audience. 99% of the questions asked were for my dad; I believe two were aimed at Mr. Staples.
Over all, I believe that the debate was very, interesting, and extremely influential in the minds of a lot of Roman Catholics in the audience. I sure know a lot more about the Roman Catholic faith, and I hope to attend another debate with a Roman Catholic.