"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Catholicism led me to atheism--and not like you might think.

Also a true story.

My parents, wonderful people that they are, raised their children to think for themselves. Catholic + thinking for yourself = oxymoron? Perhaps. Never underestimate the power of compartmentalization--but that's a whole new topic unto itself.

I was raised as a Catholic homeschooler in a society of publicly-educated Protestants. I was raised in an environment where I was different, I was not like *anyone* else around me--and that was a good thing. It was good to be Catholic, because that was the truth and hang anyone who thought otherwise. Being homeschooled was a good thing, because it allowed my parents to teach us their beliefs undiluted, and public school would have interfered with that.

Of that last bit I have no doubt and do not speak tongue-in-cheek; the best way to ensure your children share your values is to shield them from other opinions. But by the time I was 14 and enrolled in public high school, I had come to think of myself as a brave soul, a warrior of truth forging my own way through a jungle of error, enlightened in the midst of darkness.

And when you look at it that way, it's really not that surprising that I ended up an atheist. My parents raised me to question authority--from my teachers to the laws of society. I am eternally grateful to them for this; they were the first to instill in me the belief that morality and laws do not always go hand-in-hand.

But back to my point: Questioning the laws of your society is not all that different from questioning the laws of your religion. When you're taught to question the president of your country, is it really that difficult to make the leap to questioning the pope?

1 comment:

  1. How interesting that your skepticism and ostracism about another brand of Christianity led to your atheism. Thanks for sharing!