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robbie

My Story

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I was raised in a nominally Catholic family and went to Catholic primary school. I don't recall going to church very often, except having Mass at school, and during important times and probably before and after my First Holy Communion.

 

Then I started going to church regularly. Everyone else at school did, and I felt I didn't really belong because they were all part of the Catholic 'in-crowd'. Even though I had, for as long as I can remember, believed very strongly in the tenets of Catholicism, much more so than my family and friends. Anyway, that stopped somehow or other.

 

Throughout this whole time I had always believed and been interested in my religion.

 

Then, as I recall, when I was about 12 or 13, I really started thinking for some reason about who I was. I had been at my (secular) secondary school for a couple of years, and was the only one from my primary school. Most of my new friends were not particularly religious and, for the first time, the majority of the people around me were Protestant (culturally at least). To this day I haven't found any horns on their heads...but I'm still convinced they have them.

 

So I decided that I was Catholic. That was a huge part of my identity...being an only child who was born in America and moved to England at age 4 and was raised by my American dad and second-generation Irish family (who never saw, or see, eye to eye) after my mum died when I was 5, I guess I needed to cement my sense of my own identity. I had to start taking my religion seriously. And I did. Very seriously.

 

Then what followed was what I like to call "the years when everyone else was having fun and I was having a guilt complex". Then, when adolescence got into full swing, it became more and more difficult not to 'sin'. So that meant the next 2 years or so involved me going to Confession over 100 times. I was something of a Confession-junkie. There are a number of things teenagers can't avoid that the Catholic Church says send you straight to hell. :wicked:

 

Then, when I went on World Youth Day in Germany in summer 2005, something started to click. Something about my 'Catholic' friends.

 

a) They drink more than my secular friends.

B) They have more sex.

c) They take more drugs.

d) They don't even go to church that much.

 

So I started to think 'what's the point?'...then after a few months I gave up going to church. Then I gave up going to Confession. I needed a break, because I was going to go insane and probably start hating myself to the point of being at risk.

 

When you feel numbed by the whole process of listing your sins every week, and you finally end up sitting there saying: "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It's been a week since my last confession and I've drank ______, smoked ________, watched _______, said ________ and snogged _________" and don't actually care, it's truly boring. :lmao:

 

After a good six months or more as a 'Catholic on sabbatical' (as I liked to say), I made a shot at it when I was on a retreat I'd joined up for before I 'deconverted'. It didn't work.

 

I realised I didn't believe it anymore...I could actually see where everyone else was coming from. I stopped calling myself Catholic. After reading The God Delusion, I realised I don't have to be ashamed of not being part of an organised religion. And now I'm not an atheist as such, but a seeker who is definitely not going back to organised traditionalist religion.

 

As much love and respect as I still have for Catholicism, religion in general, my family, my history, my fantastic old parish priest, the Church, Catholic culture, art and tradition, I don't really believe it. I'm a cultural Catholic, which, as I was telling my mates last night in the pub with a pint of Guinness in my hand, means, "I drink and I don't like Protestantism." :grin:

 

peace :woohoo:

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Welcome, Robbie. I'm trying to get out of Catholicism at this moment. Interesting, your comment about love and respect for Catholicism - it's so seductive in it's way, isn't it? (sigh). But as you say, there's all the other rubbish about confession etc - I cringe when I think of the things I've admitted to priests!

 

Glad to hear you were fortified by 'The God Delusion' - that's my next read.

 

Good luck to you!

 

From another recovering Catholic in England.

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Carolyn, good to see you! I've been thinking of you recently. You were one of the first people to welcome me here. I have never felt a need to talk about my beliefs, christian or otherwise. Maybe that is because I don't have any :wicked: . Someone on here described belief as something we don't know but hold to without rational logic. And I don't think I do that.

 

Hi there, I've been reading the boards on and off, as time has permitted and my internal dialog has evolved.

 

I am sure I do that, at least somewhat. I'm very much a humanist, I have strong opinions on gender roles, and though these values are important to me, I'm not sure I have a convincing reason to hold them, other than that I think they follow from a certain respect for human life, potential, and autonomy. I think they're consistent, at least, I hope they are.

 

I tend not to generally say that I am an atheist. People assume I'm...some form of christian.

 

Glad you said that. I see you're from Toronto. I'm in KW and I am a lot like you. It's simpy not safe to state unbelief. Canada is supposed to be so much more liberal and less religious, but we have our intensely religious pockets. I think Southern Ontario is one of these pockets. I have often wondered how this part of the world compares with the American Bible Belt and your post confirms my opinion that the differences are not all that great. I think there is a difference in the flavour, so to speak. It's religious intensity without Americanism, if that makes sense.

 

I mentioned before that I lived about six years in KW - it was a lot more religious than I was used to in a lot of ways. (I grew up in Montreal) I seem to remember a weekly creationist letter in the paper, and anti-abortion ads (with incorrect developmental timelines) on the bus. One of my old profs there is a very vocal atheist, and I wonder why he chose to live in such a place. Certainly, I think that part of Ontario is pretty religious.

 

Toronto is a bit different, but there is still an assumption that you have some religious beliefs which should be respected more than any of your other beliefs.

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Carolyn, I think somehow you managed to post this in the wrong thread. Yeah, this town is like a "church on every street corner." Within about a thirty minute walk of where I live (not all in the same direction) there are a Baptist Church, a Lutheran Church, a United Church of Canada, a Jewish synagogue, and I think I also saw a mosque. Another fifteen minutes would take me to a Mennonite Church and also a UU church. And on the city bus there's still other kinds of religion represented. I just see the religious clothes; don't know what their religion is--probably Hindu or some Arab religion, or both. I guess that's religious alright. No wonder I keep my beliefs to myself. I hope if I don't bother others they won't bother me.

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OK, that's cute, I quoted in one forum and it turned up in another. I should see if I can fix that. Sorry. Hi. :)

 

I'm another former catholic, now a cultural catholic, for me that means that I still have a creche at christmas, and occasionally light candles and so on, but more for the familiarity of a ritual to gather my thoughts.

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Welcome, Robbie. I'm trying to get out of Catholicism at this moment. Interesting, your comment about love and respect for Catholicism - it's so seductive in it's way, isn't it? (sigh). But as you say, there's all the other rubbish about confession etc - I cringe when I think of the things I've admitted to priests!

 

Glad to hear you were fortified by 'The God Delusion' - that's my next read.

 

Good luck to you!

 

From another recovering Catholic in England.

 

 

funny how to see this member cringe to stuff he admitted to his local priest....here's a tip...his poop smells just as stinky as yours..

 

in regards to those who gave up christianity, no one can blame you either. In the model of life, you are born, date, get marry (divorce), have kids and when life gets boring, you turn back to god because that is all you have left. The starter of this thread who gave up religion is probably at the beginning stage of this model of life theory but once everything is acheive and out of the way, sex, drugs and alcohol is really so last year.. Repent and come back to god. LOL

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I was raised in a nominally Catholic family and went to Catholic

 

Wow! I am a 49 year old ex catholic! I worshipped and went to confession as you for most of my life. To cut to the chase, I still attend church Christmas and easter but consider myself an atheist. Fuckin confession and guilt fucked up many aspects of my life till I finally had the age and reason and balls to say FUCK IT ALL! Religion never worked for me so why pretend?

When forced to attend, I even receive without confession and with many mortal sins on my soul! Guess what? Fuck it!

Religion is all a sham to me anyway and I love my 2 year godless life.

If you wish to speak more or if anyone wishes to comment I still need support as a new atheist. Thanks.

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Welcome to the board :wave:

 

I also am an ex-Catholic. I was born in a cultural Catholic household, took the religion seriously, dabbled in Protestantism for awhile, went back to Catholicism, and then gave it all the boot and decided to just be honest with myself.

 

Funny how I never saw the wickedness and filth of the religion while it was a part of my life, but only recognized it as garbage after I had left and put some distance between it and myself.

 

Life is more enjoyable now that I am an honest Pagan Atheist than when I was a practically Atheist confused Xian.

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] Repent and come back to god. LOL

 

I sincerely hope this is not a proselytization attempt. :twitch:

 

Robbie- good to see you here! I remember you from CF!

 

Rosa

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Hi Rosa, long time no see. I remeber you because you joined about the same time I did. It was a pretty intense time for me and the first people I met and identified with are sort of special. About this shaman person, I wouldn't give a hoot what he says. He's a fake, so I think. And not worth any attention. That is my personal opinion and it may be wrong.

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