Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Half the Catholic and Twice the Fun!

From Zach, a sophomore at Oklahoma University:

I was raised Roman Catholic and was an alter boy until about my early to mid-teens. I always pretty proud of Catholicism for allowing the theory of evolution, but that was pretty much it. I knew everything in the Bible wasn’t true and I thought, “Well, why do I consider the rest of it true?” My answer was in science. I never really fully believed everything that the Church or the Bible said, but it was starting in my junior year in high school I started having severe doubts about my religion.

It was during this time that my brother was too, so him and his wife converted to Episcopalian or “half the Catholic and twice the fun,” as they would put it. By the time I graduated high school in 2007 at the age of 17 I considered myself agnostic, but not necessarily an agnostic theist, nor an agnostic atheist. I started college in the fall, and by December realized that was an atheist but told myself that I could be an agnostic theist around my family.

I remember visiting my dad and he wanted me to go to mass with him. I went, but I didn’t want to. I believe I mainly did it for him. Over the previous months my parents had separated, my mom just basically left my dad because she just didn’t want to be with him anymore after 24 years of marriage. He was in a rough time and I didn’t want him to think that their separation caused me to turn away from god (which it didn’t). But by the end of my spring semester in 2008 I realized I was an atheist and if it came up I would tell the truth (sort of).

I came home during June for a weekend (I was taking summer classes) and Sunday morning came around, but my Dad didn’t ask me to go, nor did he mention going to church at all during the weekend. I wasn’t guilt tripped into going to church, nor did the subject of my atheism come up. A week or two after that my sister called me. She wanted me to be co-godfather to her son (one of the godparents has to be Catholic). Since I was technically a confirmed Catholic I went ahead and accepted. I also thought the idea of godparents was nothing more than a tradition that had absolutely no utility.

Anyways, afterwards at the get-together at my grandmother’s house my brother and his wife arrived and we were talking and I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but I let them know I was an atheist. Ever since then they have been very supportive of me.

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