I was brought up Catholic, and got married in a Catholic church, even though Frank and I were both at serious odds with our own lingering beliefs in any sort of god. He’s since declared himself agnostic, and I generally think of myself as a secular humanist, but I am also comfortable with the atheist label.
Luckily, our paths to this point have been pretty smooth. Nobody in our family is particularly knock-down crazy religious, so while we got a couple eyebrow raises because we didn’t baptize our kids, there weren’t any damnations or disownings or anything like that.
There are things I really miss about organized religion. I love the sense of community that a church provides, and I love the formal sense of ceremony of a mass. These two relatively minor things were actually my greatest personal stumbling block with disavowing my Catholicism and all the teaching of Cathol (anyone?). But as religion has figured less and less into my life, I can’t really understand why I was so attached to it. Familiarity, perhaps… the same reason why some people travel the world and still only eat at McDonald’s.
But, there’s the other side of the coin. The sex abuse scandals. The “we’ll take our social services away if you legalize gay marriage” threats (because that’s what Jesus would do!). The extortion of socially liberal Catholic politicians with the denial of Communion. And that’s just the Catholic church.
Yes, I know they do good things, too. But the bad things… the domineering, bullying, hurtful, hateful bad things, they sure make me happy I can say I have nothing to do with them anymore.