Skip to main content

 I started catholic school in 1955, age 10, 5th grade.  I moved from the public school by my own request to my parents.  Our church had opened three years earlier but my parents, unlike many in our family,  did not automatically move my sister and I to a new school. According to my aunts, "Father was not happy with your dad..."   But we were doing well; so he left well enough alone.  But by the fourth grade, most of the "ethnic" kids had left my public school.  The Polish kids to their parish school, the Irish kids to their parish school, and the Italian kids to their parish school.  I was an Italian American by heritage. I only spoke English but I had olive skin, really dark hair, and bedroom eyes.  I did not look like the pretty little blond girls with curls that dominated my class.  We had African American students in the school but back then classes were segregated by "ability" and very few ethnic kids of any kind made it to the high classes.  Doris who was African American and I were it.  At recess Doris had lots of friends and I did not.  So I asked to be moved to where the kids from my neighborhood and my cousins all went to school.  But I was scared, really really scared of the nuns.....
More over the fold....

     I had heard the stories but I guess the loneliness and sense of not belonging were scarier for me than the strictness of nuns.  And I was a good student.  So I went and luckily my first nun, Mother Regina, (Cabrini nuns were all called "mother" as they were basically missionaries) was wonderful.  She was an excellent teacher and she liked that I was such a good student.  It was her first year of teaching and the diocese tested students from first grade on and teachers were evaluated on the tests.  I was one of those people who always tests well. I suspected she liked that as well.

   I had not gone to "catechism" classes and my parents were not that into the catholic church at all so I was not much into being catholic until then.  My only experience up until 5th grade was learning about communion, learning how to go to confession and trying to figure out at seven years old what sins I had committed and how many and being sure to remember them all.    I did however, once at my catholic school, like many young impressionable girls, get into it because of my teachers.  I went to mass all the time.  I prayed the rosary. I brought in $0.10 weekly to save pagan babies. I fretted over babies going to limbo, my parents missing mass, and all the poor people who were not lucky enough to be catholic.  I wondered how I would feel if I went to heaven and my parents did not.  I cried a lot alone in my room fearing the loss of my parents' souls.  

   By the 8th grade, I was thinking of becoming a nun.  I did novenas.  I questioned and read and tried to learn.  I saw movies like "The Children of Fatima" and was afraid of miracles, not because of seeing some long ago dead person but because I feared I would not be brave enough or strong enough to stand up to all the horrid things that might happen.  Once my 8th grade teacher, a nun I liked and respected very much, told us that one out of four of us would lose our faith and leave the church.  I remember (all of us) looking around and counting and trying to guess who it would be.  I remember saying a prayer that it would not be me.  Then I laughed at myself, secure in the knowledge I could never leave.  I was still thinking of joining the convent with a goal of going into commie countries to bravely bring catholicism and save souls.

  In 9th grade,  I went to a much more strict school with much tougher nuns and priests.  Early on I started losing interest in becoming a nun.  A big part of that was hormonal.  As puberty hit, I discovered boys.   Oh I had had boys as friends all my life but it was different now.  It felt different.   Sex was still a whispered mystery to me but I had crushes and I felt "stuff" and learned (on my own) how to take care of my own needs (which of course brought yet another fear of hell with which to deal). But still sex between a boy and a girl was a mystery.   Other than it being about "procreating for God" I knew nothing.   And so my education began and the more I learned, the more I questioned.

   We had "retreats" every holy week.  Boys and girls were separated.  But the priests spoke to all of us.   I remember that first retreat.  Father X told us at that first retreat in 9th grade, "Girls have double the sin, double the consequences for any any sexual misbehaving."   Immediately, I was taken aback.  I was only 14 and yet the unfairness of that statement was totally unacceptable to me.   Why would anyone give boys a pass?  They were bigger, stronger, and could physically overwhelm girls.  My dad was a cop and I had heard his whispers when talking about some police work with my mom.  As well I could read.  And I did.  How could it be all the girls' fault??

  As each year of my high school went by, the fear of hell, the fear of being struck by lightning, the fear of the commies coming to force me to renounce Jesus, lessened.  As that fear decreased, the anger at the blatant sexism increased.   The top three academic students in my class were girls.  I was tied with my friend B for #1 and our friend V was # 1.  We were the only three girls in all the advanced science and math classes.  Our math teacher gave us weekly tests and our seats in class were assigned by grade.   Much of the year we were in the first three seats.  Yet when we graduated two boys were picked to do the valedictorian and salutatorian speeches because we were told, "Boys are better public speakers than girls...."   In my senior year, only two of us scored high enough on the PSAT to be semifinalists (myself and one boy).   Yet when we graduated neither I or any other girl was given any scholarship monies.  Guys who graduated  as high as 15th in the class got scholarships.  Only V, our #1 student, who happened to be female, got a scholarship and she only did because her father was killed in WWII and the veterans awarded her one.  Our school, the Knights of Columbus, and the co-ed catholic colleges ignored us.  The girls colleges then were small and elitist and expensive.  Few from poor families went to them.

  College came.  I read for American Lit, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards.  It literally gave me nightmares.  And that was the real break for me.  It was not overnight but little by little, I wondered why I would want to be a part of a church that saw me as an inferior being.  I wondered what was appealing about a god that according to his representatives on earth (priests, bishops, the pope) did not consider me good enough to represent him, touch his stuff (communion) or have an opinion.  I began to read more, from the Gnostic gospels to the Bible itself but I did so with a more open mind.  The more I read, the more I questioned.  Then I got into discussions with other women.  Why are women blamed for their own rape?  Why are women told by priests to stay with an abusive husband?  Why did the church say Mary Magdalen was a whore?  Why, when it was the women who were brave enough to stay with Jesus when he was executed did the church honor and empower the men who cowardly fled his side?  

To this day, I have no regrets.  I find my spiritual needs met through Zen.  I am an agnostic.  I love science and math and learning about the universe.  Whatever started it all amazes me.  I am in awe of the wonder of the universe.  And if my patent leather shoes did reflect up, so f*cking what.  I am woman, I am good and so are all my parts and I refuse to be denigrated by a bunch of dirty old men who so fear their own sexuality they have tried to make women all feel bad about themselves.

To those of you still finding solace in any organized religion, I am OK with that.  Your choice.   For me, I prefer a community of love and not of fear; a community of open mindedness and tolerance.  I know, or have heard, that some religious communities are that way.  I am glad for those that need that and want that.  

But I truly think it is time that women and the men that support women and love them empty the pews of the churches insisting on keeping women as chattel.   Seriously, the paternalistic authoritarian churches, like the catholic church, is not going to change as long as people keep allowing them to be the masters.  As Martin Luther King Jr said: We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Originally posted to Jjc2006 on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, Personal Storytellers, and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Great diary - thanks for your story! nt (18+ / 0-)

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Wed May 23, 2012 at 11:47:25 AM PDT

  •  I am mad that you girls (15+ / 0-)

    were denied your rightful scholarships and recognition. I questioned the church young. At about 10 years old I pretty much had no use for them. The rules were crazy and seemingly arbitrary. I felt no spiritual center radiating from the catholic church. I began to feel people were just going through the motions, it really was a dead religion to me.

    Making the break was the true beginning of my spiritual quest. The world is a wondrous and beautiful place, but you won't be able to know this when the lowest common denominator is constantly being cycled and talked about. All they think about is sin. There is beauty and mystery and love out there. I think they know this and have decided that they will keep it a secret from everybody.

    Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

    by Babsnc on Wed May 23, 2012 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the reply (6+ / 0-)

      I totally agree with this:

      Making the break was the true beginning of my spiritual quest
      That is so true and so poignant for me too.   I made the break closer to adulthood than you but it was for the same reason.   What I don't get are the people still afraid of taking their own spiritual not contaminated by the authoritarian, sexist, hateful dictators of religions.
  •  Catholic school (14+ / 0-)

    Before I attended my year and a half of Catholic school I was vaguely religious. I prayed every so often and somewhat enjoyed going to church with my grandmothers. After all, Sunday School tended to be full of playing and candy, and as I got a bit older the church sponsored overnight lock-ins at various places were hotbeds of pre-teen sexual tension and experimentation.

    However, having done some things that made the public school system not want me for a period of time, my only option was the Catholics.

    The very first day it was made well known that I was some sort of outsider and not wanted. Not only wasn't I Catholic, but I hadn't been going to the same school with the same kids my entire life. I didn't know the rituals, I didn't know the words, and I sure as hell didn't know how to confess. I was vaguely Christian and that helped, but it was a rough couple of months.

    I eventually made some friends and developed a crush on a girl that I would describe in the exact same way you described yourself, only add in willowy with full pouty lips and you're there.

    I survived my first year without too many major incidents except that the not-so-subtle religion and morality classes were really doing a number on my head. How could these people be teaching me what was moral when the core of their thinking seemed to be that women were objects only there for the enjoyment of men, oh but don't you touch them, that's a sin. Also, we're going to venerate the mother while simultaneously subjugating women.

    When my second year rolled around I boarded the Athiest train bound for rationality and didn't take pains to hide this. I was unpopular as ever, but at least I felt true to myself.

    That same year I had a comparative religion course that I thought would be much more academic than the previous religion and morality course.  How wrong I was. The course seemed to be designed to really feed the Catholic dogma while brushing up against the rest of the worlds religions and tell the student how inferior they were to Catholicism.

    The pretty girl with the olive skin and dark hair was in that class with me, and when the topic turned to Athiesim I proudly raised my hand to be counted with that group. The reaction was pretty swift and devastating. The instructor had me put my chair up at the front of the class and spent the rest of the hour having everyone else insult me and question my lack of belief.

    The worst was when the pretty girl with her big dark slightly almond shaped eyes looked at me like you'd look at a skunk carcass. Big tears started to well up and she nearly shouted "HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN LOVE WITHOUT GOD! HOW CAN YOU?!?!"

    That was the last time she ever looked at me too.

    So, Catholic school really did drive me further and further from any sort of desire for organized religion.

    •  Thanks for sharing..... (10+ / 0-)

      Can't ever say I was willowy.  I was athletic and prided myself on being able to play sports as well as or better than most of my male friends and cousins.  Back then I was called a "tomboy".  But I had a girly side, I liked makeup, boys, and of course all the cute singers and actors.  

      I wonder how I would have reacted to a brave boy like you.  I probably would not have cried but would have at that time in my life tried to convince you that believing in God had better odds if there was an afterlife.  

      One of my dearest and closest friends in adulthood is an atheist and has been since childhood.  She is the one of the kindest, most loving, most giving, honest and tolerant human beings I have ever known.   Most of her grandchildren have chosen to be atheist also.   I was amazed that they were so brave considering they lived in a mega conservative, mega church loving part of the country.

      I admire that you had the strength of conviction early on to speak your own truth.   That could not have been easy.  And that olive skinned, dark haired girl was probably too young and naive to see what real bravery was.

      •  thank you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        strangedemocracy, Catte Nappe, kyril

        I never really felt brave, just unfettered because I was on the outside with no chance of ever being in. There is a sort of freedom of expression there that kids seem to be enjoying more and more as geek chic has become the norm.

        I can tell you though, I always resented that priest for what he did. At the very start of the class he came off as very friendly and affable and talked to me like an adult. We'd have real conversations about religion and philosophy and being that he'd been Jesuit trained and had been in a monastery for a number of years there was a lot for us to talk about. However, that day... ugh. I realized that he'd spent the entire year trying to convert me, and when he saw the chance to add peer-pressure to the mix he jumped on it.  

  •  This is my story, with (7+ / 0-)

    variations.  I am the product of 17 years of Catholic education.  I'll say right off that I would not trade that education for anything.  I was taught by really smart women (mostly) from a rather progressive order, and some of the things they told us then (40 years ago) are coming to pass now.  

    I went through all the wanting to be a nun thing.  In fact, I had the papers in my hand when I was a sophomore in college.  Just couldn't do it...

    The nuns were also responsible for getting me into liturgical music.  It's been a mixed blessing over the years, but I'd be living on the street now if they hadn't sucked me in with, "Wouldn't it be an honor to play for God at Mass?"  I've been in and out of the Church several times.  This time it may be for keeps, not because of anything those daft and evil men say or do, but because of the truly wonderful people of faith with whom I work.  

    Our parish is small and we are a real community, a family.  We accept anyone.  I joke that we "pick up strays" because we have had some of the, um, oddest folks wander into our midst.  However weird or challenged they are, they're "ours" the minute they walk through the door.  We have a guy right now who just yells out before Mass while people are praying.  He gets thee really early and sits in the gathering space arguing with himself, sometimes almost violently.  He's ours.

    I know it sounds like I'm trying to sell something, but it's really hard to explain to people who haven't experienced it.  I don't give a dime to the Annual Appeal.  I am quietly subversive about some other initiatives, but mostly we just ignore everything that isn't being enforced by someone standing over us with a bat.  We know how to worship and we know how to take care of people.  We don't need anyone above our priest (a super guy!) giving us orders.  We're family.

    I totally understand why people would flee the Church.  It may yet get to the point where I have to think about it.  I respect others' choices in this regard.  My faith, some other faith, no faith at all?  Just fine with me.  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed May 23, 2012 at 06:03:04 PM PDT

    •  I have many friends who are very like (7+ / 0-) that they need/want, enjoy the connection, the liturgy, the spirituality they experience in their chosen church.  And like you, they are fine with people like I am with them.  It is a mutual respect.

      I know that there are many fine groups, sincere and honest people who do what they do, give, love, protect and ignore the rest.  I commend you (not that anyone needs a commendation from me or anyone).

      I think we all have a role to play in all of this, from the inside, the outside and all  around and about in not letting authoritarian haters and sexists and pharisees making life hard for others.   I have no problem with the bishops not using birth control. I have no problem with any woman not using birth control.  Don't believe in abortion.  Don't have one.  Don't believe in birth control.  Don't use it.  But the thing is, they want to take away choices from those who do not believe as they do.    They are no different than the Taliban whom they regularly condemn.

      •  This is the first time (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYmama, immigradvocate, marykk

        I've talked about my situation here that i haven't been put down for staying in the church, and for that, I thank you.  

        I think back to the days of Vatican II and how eager we all were to get on with the changes.  I cannot believe how we have been dragged backward inch by inch.  John XXIII was a ray of sunshine, but I'll never forgive him for dying before it was completed.  :-)  Had he been able to wrap things up, we might very likely not be in such a stupid mess today.

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:53:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're lucky you have a parish that is not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          overwhelmed by the powers that be in the bishops office.

          •  Oh, they insert themselves now and then. (0+ / 0-)

            We just did Confirmation.  The Director of Religious Education has to submit a five-page liturgy planning sheet to the diocesan liturgist.  That guy is a deacon who used to be a heart surgeon.  Heck, he though he was G_d before he ever became a deacon.  He's not just picky, he's sadistic.

            So, he tells us that Confirmation is on a weekday, therefore we may not sing Glory to G_d.  This is one of the first years that I haven't had a brief chat with the bishop beforehand, so we didn't do a quick rundown.  After the opening hymn, I'm fussing around in the loft getting ready for the psalm and there is this pregnant pause.  I don't see that well, but there was the bishop waiting.  When he saw me scramble, he smiled, then we were off to the races with the Gloria.

            Afterward, I apologized and told him that we weren't allowed to do the Gloria.  "Says who?!?" says he.  I told him about the deacon and I don't think we will have that trouble again.  :-)  

            Our bishop isn't perfect, but he's a pretty cool (and practical) guy to deal with on music.

            -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

            by luckylizard on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:59:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Eloquently written (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VetGrl, ladybug53, aitchdee, The Geogre

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed May 23, 2012 at 08:14:53 PM PDT

  •  pagan babies! oh man i wanted to BE a pagan bb (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Horrible

    they always sounded like they had the best time runnin around all pagan and stuff.
    i ended up a pagan. well, duh.
    but you know what - none of the pagan babies i ever got to meet ever ever got anything from that church.
    where ya spose that money all went?
    (look in the bishop's pockets...)

  •  great diary (0+ / 0-)

    I enjoyed it - and the comments too!

    God bless our tinfoil hearts

    by aitchdee on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:15:45 PM PDT

  •  The RCC's weird counter modern turn (0+ / 0-)

    I'm an Episcopalian, and so most of what you document passed our women by. Thanks to the continuity with England, the female English writers and male English divines had battered down many of those retrograde tendencies. Thanks to the fundamentalists (not called that then) always picking at the Anglican Church and the circuit riders picking at the EC in the US, it had to give room on issues of authority.

    If we can be agnostic about the churches, as human historical manifestations, then we can see that the RCC of your youth was just flat out weird. It had (and still does) administer globally based on impulses and contexts that are Mediterranean. What's more, its position as infallible means that every challenge must be met pugnaciously.

    The counter-Reformation killed tens of thousands, in gruesome ways. I think the RCC of America (and Ireland) of the early 20th c. was a counter-Modernist movement. Exactly because other Christian churches were allowing female deacons (then priests), because they were abandoning the "sin of Onan" 19th century hygienic model, because they were not going to let Thomist arguments about potential life decide contraception, the RCC dug in its heels 8" deeper and shouted the louder.

    The counter-Modern movement has a death toll, too. It has an even higher toll in lost believers.

    Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

    by The Geogre on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:56:12 AM PDT

  •  jjc2006... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jjc2006, OurMissEwenice

    Great diary.

    I sent you a kosmail inviting you to the Sexism and Patriarchy group.  I hope you'll join!

    Let's all take a moment and be thankful that spiders can't fly.

    by VetGrl on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:42:24 AM PDT

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    I will be happy to join!

  •  You were lucky. My penguins were far more (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jjc2006, myboo, strangedemocracy, madhaus

    abusive. Rapping knuckles with a ruler (only satan uses his left hand), asking trick questions, just to embarrass a kid, punishing without cause, and a constant refrain of demeaning, nasty, attacks.

    They did succeed in two things - one, they turned me into a rabid, aggressive, even attacking agnostic, and two, they got me to read even more.

    When I finished all of the 3d 4th, 5th and 6th grade books, I tried to reach for the 7-8 grade level in the school library. They banned me from the library as punishment. They even accused me of lying that I had read all of the others. So, the head penguin, a mean, nasty piece of work, had me kneel (not on gravel this time) and began to question me at random about the contents of the books. After a long time, during which I proved that I had read them all, she finally relented. But I still could not read those books. Luckily, my parents had a growing library, and they never shut any book to me, not even Lolita when I was 10. IN fact, the nuns' bullshit was a driving force in my quest for ever more books to read. I'd add a number of nasty words but instead, here's a quick sketch of a rabid greenbay fan when they played chicago.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:57:21 AM PDT

    •  My two closest friends (5+ / 0-)

      in hs had come from a different parish school and theirs sounded much more like your elementary experience than mine.   Fortunately because of them I was forewarned about the nuns of our high school, many who were from the same order they had had in elementary. They were quick with hitting and smacking children.

      So in hs I did experience some of that.   I never was hit but like all the girls in my hs  I had to survive within the strict rules of coming to school appropriately dressed (as to not distract the poor boys with my evil body....,thus uniforms 3 inches below the knee and loose; no make up or jewelry ever.   Most of us hiked up our uniforms and tightened our belts and when we had "surprise" inspections it was fascinating to see how good all of us had become in getting our pins loosened from inside the belts tightened to keep our jumper skirts hiked up.

      Another thing they did was put a pencil through our hair.  If they found teased hair, one's head went under the spigot and one walked around with wet flat hair.  

      As for reading, during "retreats" we were only allowed to read books like "Saint Theresa, the Little Flower" etc.  So my friend and I took the covers off our paper backs and switched them.  Junior year I read "Catcher in the Rye" during retreat.  Senior year, I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" a book my dad gave me to read.

      However I spent many a day after school in detention for various things....leaving my locker open, talking, late for class.  As well, I cannot tell you how many times I had to "write" for punishment.  
      Once I had to write "Silence is an individual responsibility" 1000 times because I talked in class.  Another time, when I forgot/did not finish a hw assigment, I had to write "Procrastination is the thief of time".  1000x  
      None of the punishments change my behavior.  I was not a bad kid. I was pretty normal.  Just a hormonal, energetic teen.   Because I was a top academic, I know now the powers that be at the school were easy on me compared to some of my classmates who were not scholars.

      At the end of each year, our humorless, authoritarian principal would say this as he prepared to "expel" students based on grades/discipline:  "The following in (class name) are the unteachables...ha, ha, ha" (think Romney laugh).    And each student in front of everyone had to get up, leave, go clean out their locker and leave.  I guess failing a student was not enough for them...they had to add public humiliation.  

      To this day, I learned more of what to NOT do to kids as a teacher ( I am retired now but taught for 40 years) from some in my hs than anyone could ever teach me in an education class.

  •  Your title caught my eye, so I had to read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    the rest of your post.  it is a well told, but very familiar story.
    Just had to say, as goofy as it sounds, I really was told in the second grade not to wear patent leather shoes.  Very scary looking back.

  •  Wow! Just wow... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, myboo, Catte Nappe, madhaus

    I could've written much of this diary with the exception that I entered catholic school in 1960 (but also at the age of almost 10 and fifth grade)...The only difference is that I went back to public school in 10th grade for many of the same reasons that jjc2006 didn't want to become a nun anymore, and was told at HS grad that since I was a girl, I couldn't go to college (by my mother--my parents had lots of fights about that), so I went to secretarial school and ended up in college at the age of 43 (I finally grew up enough to buck my mother's wishes)...

    I'm agnostic, too, and rage at the hypocracy of the church, wondering why my mother (at age 88) and sister (age 60) attend mass every Sunday (but treat others like sh*t the rest of the week--hail xtianity!)...I just don't get it.

    I didn't turn into a "sheeple", so why have so many of my sisters let old men turn them into second- (and third-) class citizens?  I just don't get it.

  •  Religion is the primary reason that I no longer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    believe in a god.

    Well, that, and my critical thinking skills.

    To be a Republican, you have to believe that our economic problems are caused by the poor having too much money and the rich not having enough.

    by Tommy Jones the Band on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:52:13 PM PDT

  •  Authoritarian religions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wasn't brought up Catholic but Jewish.  For some reason, my parents joined an Orthodox synagogue.  That not only meant women couldn't participate, we couldn't even sit on the main floor of the synagogue.  We were told this was so one wasn't distracted during prayer.  Well, we could sure see the men, but they could only see our heads and shoulders from the balconies, so obviously whether WE were distracted during prayer didn't matter much, did it?

    It seemed apparent to me that if I could read Hebrew better, sing the prayers better, and remember the lessons better than anyone else I should be the one up there leading the Junior Congregation.  HAH.  I was to sit down and "don't be silly."  You can imagine just how much that made me want to stay a part of that community.

    I came back from Jewish camp (one month sleepaway) a confirmed atheist.  I told my dad and he hit the roof and said I was never to say such a thing again.  I told him that was what I felt, I'd say it because it was true, and by the way, I was never setting fit in that archaic synagogue again.  Oh, the fights we had.  The compromise we came up with was instead of going to services I helped with the nursery room (3-5 year olds).  Since I got paid, I agreed.  But I never went to another service.

    Oh, needless to say, I never got a Bat Mitzvah (and that huge pile of loot) because those aren't okay for O synagogues.  

    At least the Hebrew school teachers never rapped us on the knuckles.

    Best. Tagline. Ever. #WithPerfectHashtag

    by madhaus on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:16:31 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site