I miss it less and less

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.

2 responses to “I miss it less and less

  1. As you well know, I’ve been an atheist for 20 years now, and I completely understand how you feel. I also missed the community of church, which is why I started going to the UU church, which is made up of primarily atheists and agnostics who want to do good without all the hocus-pocus that surrounds other religions. Most of them would probably refer to themselves as secular humanists as well. I was just reading the article about how some independent commission just said that the bishops in Ireland knowingly covered up the sex abuse scandal there for YEARS, and allowed systematic abuse, not only sexual, but physical as well, to continue basically undeterred. Disgusting.

  2. For whatever reason, I (agnostic/atheist/sec.hum) have a disproportionately large number of Catholic friends of varying degrees of faith & practice. Many were raised Catholic but no longer feel it fits them. However, to a person, they all speak of the ritual and ceremony, and how nothing else “feels like church.” Even my husband, utterly logical and long disenchanted with things Catholic! We too attend UU, though not regularly. It at least feels pertinent.

    Re the scandals and the heavy-handedness… you said it best: because that’s WJWD!!(??) It’s all wrong.

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