Once catholic, not always a catholic

sent in by Adam

I was raised in what you could call "Medieval Catholicism". There was lots of emphasis on Hell, Purgatory, blood, sins of the flesh, penance. I sure wish I could have a "do over" of my younger years, because I spent those years scared and burdened with theological bs that a kid should not have to worry about. But my past is what it is, and now I am a better person because of it.

Sometimes I think I can enjoy the present more because I am able to contrast it with the difficult past. Overall it would have been better to have a healthier, functional past, but if I had, perhaps I would not have the insight that I do now to help others.

Sexuality was the deal-breaker for me in regards to christianity. The theology basically teaches that sex is a necessary evil, to be tolerated ONLY to procreate to make more catholic people. To the extent that I felt sexual, I'd feel guilt and far away from god. After many years of that I just finally decided that I was not going to screw up the rest of my life feeling guilt for being who I am. So I tossed out the parts of catholicism that were at odds with sexuality. But it was like pulling on a thread on a sweater... the rest of the religion just unraveled.

Also, I could not believe that god would demand a blood sacrifice to atone for humanity's wrongs. I don't believe god, if god exists, would be so primitive. I also don't believe humanity is "fallen". So there's no real reason to be christian for me any more.

When I finally admitted to myself that "Jesus is not God" I thought my life would fall apart. I thought that without the religious structure, I'd be a "ship without a rudder". But nothing like that has happened! My marriage is fine, the kids are fine, my job is fine, I can sleep at night, I don't swindle, cheat and steal.

The only thing that has fallen apart is my relationship with my parents, who still very much believe what they always did. Silly me, I thought that as I matured, my parents would also mature, and that we could discuss theology like grown-ups. Nope! They have accused me of blasphemy. They choose their religion over their relationships, and that is too bad.

I'm very glad to have found this site and I really enjoy reading what others have shared. Some of the stories I read remind me so much of my own experience or thoughts, and I am relieved that I am not the only one thinking or feeling as I do.

11 comments:

brigid said...

Adam? Hi honey, my name is Brigid. I was born and raised a papist, and I got out when I was 16. I was a good catholic girl, didn't think about sex, didn't play with my little thing. And then......people here have heard this story......I was in a public library and I found a book about the Inquisition. It was quite graphic and detailed, even had drawings of the torture tools. I got sick. I bolted for the ladies' room and came up about 10 feet short. I splattered my quarter-pounder and fries all over the fucking linoleum, and I was never so humiliated in my life, not before or since, but I walked out a new person. I had just turned 16.

A few days later I was with a boy and we were watching tv at his place and we watched Robin Hood, Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHaviland.......uh.....1939, I think. This is a film with action, ideals, comedy, tragedy, name it. It is also a love story that can tear your heart out. I knew, watching that film, that I did not want doctrines and dogmas and holy books and holy water and holy anything. I just wanted a warm boy to hold me and be nice to me. I didn't want any gods. I gladly gave up my virginity that evening. It hurt like hell and I loved every second of it.

Oh, by the way.....I am known as "mademarian" in the shoutbox. Catchy, huh?

Since that time--and it happened fast--I became an atheist, then a lesbian. I am deeply in love with a woman who I call Mistress. She is my lover; best friend; mentor. I am her lover; best friend; servant; little girl. I am happy and I wouldn't enter a church for all the money in the gross national product.

I drop in here regularly. I like it here, and I hope this is treated like a welcome. It is an education to simply share the same space with these people.

Just one more thing before I shut the fuck up. I am Irish, on both sides, and I often find myself getting pulled both ways. My catholic ancestors were treated like shit by the english protestants, worse than shit, worse than animals, so I still feel an odd sort of loyalty. But it was done in the name of jesus. I do not know who will be reading this, but I would not wipe my ass with the name of jesus. Every fucking fundie in this part of the world is going to tell us that "they really were not christians" but I would like to be told, from the records of history, what the fuck a christian is.

OK, sweetie, me gotta go. Have fun, and don't be a stranger.

FatherTyme said...

Hi Adam, Most of us were bamboozled by our parents, because they were bamboozled by their parents, it's such a shame. Santa and the Easter Bunny would be worshipped, had they came with a book with a salvation plan. I can relate how your parents are still in the mind cult and live in fear of losing their fairytale myth jesus savior. My parents, too have gave all their love and common sense to the church, preacher and jesus, that was stolen away from us, that we deserve as being their children. Welcome to freedom.


Brigid Hi Honey, Miss seeing you, hope you and Mistress are doing fine, Love you as always. Ben

brigid said...

Hi Ben. I love you too. Mistress and I are doing just fine, closer than ever. I hope Adam responds to us......I just LUV lapsed catholics. We don't belong on our knees. None of us.

ADAM!!! Get back here!! goddamnit. Talk to us.

Hugoboy76 said...

Is Jesus God?

Yes, he is.

Amen.

Dan
www.icminternational.org

georgespiggott said...

or....

Did Jesus exist?


Probably not.


Normal service resumed.

boomSLANG said...

OR....

does 1 + 1 + 1 = 1?

definitely not.


www.getyourheadouttayourass/

BornAgainAtheist said...

Hey Adam (and Brigid for that matter)!

I'm the Born Again Atheist (see "Previous Articles" sidebar. Ya, it's tough getting over the blood-n-guts and stuff, but it does make you appreciate "Hellraiser" a lot more, no?

From a journal entry years ago: "I was raised with a very strict (overly zealous and sexually frustrated) distant uncle who acted as if everything but suffering and pain was a sin. This kind of stress seemed to excite me, and I attempted to thrive on it, drinking as if from a delightful cistern. ... I was told that if you weren’t a Pope-worshipping Roman Catholic like him, you were as good as condemned to hell, and if you sinned at all you had to burn in Purgatory, and to be somewhat ‘perfect’ on this earth, you had to suffer.

Any way I turned, I had to suffer. Their god screamed at me from his cross, with his heart held out, dripping with blood onto my forehead, searing my dreams with excruciating pain. His mother, also, glaring at me and caressing her bloody heart, beckoning me to join her and her son, and suffer. When I began to run away to flee from the pain of beatings, they began to say that I was their ‘favorite son’ and they loved me so much that they were forced to give me the blessing of pain. (You know – ‘this hurts me more than it does you.’ BULLSHIT. Of course, they deny any maltreatment or unfairness.) They then told me that no one else could love me as much as they did, and ‘you only hurt the ones you love’. I learned of Catholicism as a religion of hate, death, and pain. ... But now, all alone, I shout my pain and sorrow into the echoing emptiness of my heart. But no – my heart is not empty. It is full – of blood. Blood from a wounded dignity. Blood from my erratic emotions wringing my brain. Blood from the scarlet letters pinned to my chest. Blood from the memories which cling to me like thorns in my mind. Blood from the splintered cross of my past, in my present. Blood from my throat from screaming out for help, for years, with my back turned to a deaf audience. Blood from the knife I use to slash my thighs. And the blood of the innocent, poured out upon me to bathe in."

DAMN - seems like another Life!

Good luck, and hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Hello Adam.
First of all, congratulations for freeing yourself from the madness. Once again, it's proven that the Biblegod is created by men, and it is created, as you discovered, to screw us up. The Evangelical Protestant circles I moved in, there would be head shaking and sucking in of breath when the Catholics were mentioning 'all tricked by Papist lies and on their way to hell'. God says what we want him to say, that's all, and the more it messes with our heads, and goes against our human nature, the better. I'm dead sorry your childhood was so damaged by indoctrination. The Scriptures(of all faiths) and anything coming from them, (the churches etc) should have a health warning attached, not suitable for children sort of thing. As for your parents calling you a blasphemer, didn't the lord and saviour say 'I come not to bring peace but a sword', and when faith and family clash faith will always win out for true believers! At least you're free and you've got a happy marriage, kids etc.
All the best.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
corkjaw said...

Thanks everyone for your responses to my original post! It's helpful when people share their insights. Here's an insight I realized just yesterday...People often turn to their faith to help them when life seems crazy. But actually, I turn to reality whenever religion seems
crazy. Hmmmmmmm.

Brigid - thanks for your comments too - sorry I was gone for so long. I did read your post and I thank you for it!

donna said...

peace + blessings to each of you,
donna
www.myspace.com/donna_ellis

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