I was raised Catholic and went through the sacraments to confirmation.  I believed deeply until I was 17 and started to question.  I now consider myself an agnostic though I still believe in spirituality.  I just don't subscribe to any religion or anything that says it knows what happens when we die.  They don't.
ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
27 Responses Aug 1, 2007

you dot beg for forgiveness. you ask for it. just as u would any one in your life that you wronged.

I think Jesuits are different, they are much more open to social justice and tend to suited to the type of Catholic that reads The Tablet... I also think that it helps to be West European because our societies are more tolarent that America seems to be..British Bishops don't want to excommunicate people for who they vote for example..<br />
The American Left that are The Democrats are nearer to European Conservatives...I think that is reflected with European Catholics who are far apart for right wing American Catholics...<br />
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I say that when I have an American Parish Priest who is a lovely, kind, intellectual man...who is passionate about Social Justice and is a true Jesuit.

Thank you for sharing Emmy. You've made me realize that here I stereotype all of Catholicism. I do believe that there are congregations out there like yours that are more tolerant and less judgemental. I just haven't been able to find them! I wish you the best and am glad to hear about such a church.

I am a Catholic too... A fairly Liberal one, I don't fit into to the Christian Forums which seem to be full of hell and brimstone tradionalist, right wing republicans that think Obama is the anti-Christ..I come from the UK with is culturally very different to the US....I wasn't brainwashed into it, in fact my father is an athiest and my mother vaguely CofE... It has been my own path, maybe because I found the right place, which is fairly liberal and never, ever from our Priests to the words "mortal sin" come from their mouths... My parish is a busy Jesuit one and my ParishPriest is someone that I trust with all of this, that I am going through....I love Jesuit Priests....

I'm not worried about you jamming anything down my throat....I simply believe that children should not be forced to believe anything. I get ill when I am at work and the kids in the class are forced to stand up and put their hands to their hearts in our "pledge of allegiance". I never put my hand on my heart. Call me a bad influence but I'm not a conformist and certainly would not pledge any allegiance to the USA at this point. I think that people should be allowed to think for themselves, draw conclusions from the world based on their own experiences. I don't believe in TELLING people what to believe. I do believe in talking to others about personal experience and hoping that your own experiences might help this other person along the way.

Actually, I wasn't talking to you at all. You've been very accepting of everyone that has different views than yours. I do feel like I'm being attacked sometimes. I'm not a right wing Republican. All I hear anymore is how wrong people are who believe in God. I feel that that's exactly what is wrong with the world today. Especially,<br />
America.I don't personally understand where everything came from if there's no God. How does the human body work like it does if there's no God. Just for the record, the Catholic schools have been the best around in Boston,New York,Philly, and Baltimore for over 100 years.I'm sorry if you feel like I'm trying to jam something down your throat. I'm stating my opinion. That's all.And my experience's also.

Ok, well I do work in a diversified school district, often working in the schools that are less than 10% caucasian. Your comments here went from sensible to crazy really quickly. Why do you feel you are being attacked? These are my beliefs and I have every right to them. <br />
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I really liked what you said about having faith and that "miracles" that have occured in your life. I am amazed in my own life that I have made it as far as I am without dying or killing someone else when I was using...or at least going to prison. I have my own faith and I am agnostic b/c I don't believe any religion has the answer, they all say they have the answer and they are all different so they can't be all right....they're all wrong is the truth. Not that they are all bad, the core beliefs of most religions are beautiful and I do believe there is much to learn from religion. <br />
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What I was talking about with indoctination has nothing to do with faith. Faith is personal and comes through forming ones own beliefs and then seeing the world play out in a way that reinforces ones own beliefs. If you believe something, and life works out well for you, then keep on believing it and more power to you. But please don't FORCE me to believe it....please don't institutionalize me in your third rate educational system for 13 years of my childhood AND make me spend every Sunday being forced to go worship some god...a lot of secular people I know now are that way b/c they had religion shoved down their throats...I would never do that to anyone that I love. <br />
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I stand by what I said before...I would never raise a child in todays "modern" (read:barbaric as all hell) world where they will be conditioned and indoctinated, not just with religion, but with national fanaticism, glorification of violence, a society of judgement and superficiality, an increasingly controlling government, and of course some of the worst public schools in the world.

Children are "indoctrinated"every day of their lives. If it's not from what you as parent's teach them very early on,all bets are off. In the first 3 years children take in everything that goes on around them. If they live in a big, loud, loving family-they will most probably be that way when they get a littlw older. If someone has a violent temper in that household,this is going to play into how that child acts. In school,out of school, in life.If the child isn't raised those first years with structure, boundaries,and love-the foundation is not strong. Everyone is human. We all make mistakes.We need to try to make the least amount with the way we raise our children. I've been single for 19 years. It's been the struggle of my life. There were times when I told God "I can't do this anymore".There wasn't one time,not one,that I didn't get a phone call or a visit-out of the blue-that either helped me physically,or emotionaly get through that rough time. Sometimes ,hours later,I'd have someone right in front of me who's situation was 100 x's worse than mine. I always got an answer. Not always the answer I wanted,but always the answer I needed.People look at me and can't understand how I've raised such outstanding,funny,compassionate,and smart people. By taking an hour a night to read a story, and to kneel down and say prayers.We prayed for everyone we loved and everyone that we didn't really like. Forgiveness is a gift from God.To forgive clears your soul. Lightens your life. My daughter says a prayer everytime she steps on the field. She plays a sport for a huge University,where she's gotten over $100,000 to play.She's not perfect. She's a regular college student. Most weeks she goes to Mass on Sunday evening. She's a very good person. She loves the differences in people, and wants to make a difference in the world.As a parent you can't ask for anything more.I believe that without the small miracles that God put into our lives during the most dire times, I would not have made it through with my kids intact. I decided early on,not to put any guy in thier lives. They'd been through enough before I left.I wasn't having any stranger telling me how to raise my kids.i see kids every day that are inspired by the latest rap star. They look up to the "bloods and the crypts". Females are all hoes-a dime a dozen. This is 6th graders that I'm talking about. Their god is "grand theft auto" and weed. You talk about indoctrination? Work in a diversified school district for a year and then come back and tell me how horrible it is to "Expose kids to God and the Church". Give me a break!

Yeah I was an indoctrinated child and so I am very much against telling children what to believe. Unfortunately I probably won't have any children so I won't have the chance to let them form their own ideas. I think it's very difficult to raise a child in today's "civilized" world (read:barbaric as hell) without having them indoctrinated, conditioned, etc. I always say that I will only have kids if I move to Costa Rica or somewhere away from television, pop-culture, etc.

Igce...<br />
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To be honest, I find it a little strange that you acknowledge the "brainwashing" of your child, seem to not be Catholic yourself, and are still OK with what's happening to your child. Sure there are other unfavorable influences in the world but you need to give your parenting more credit. Relying on religion to take the reins on your child's morality isn't doing anyone any favors. <br />
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I guess I just have a big problem with families indoctrinating their children. I don't think it gives them an adequate opportunity to form their own world view.

I don't believe in the "darkness". I don't believe in the devil. I'm not too sure about god either LOL. If god is a creator then he created everything, I don't believe in those people who say he created SOME things, but not others. The universe is a fascinating and infinitely large place. I think much larger than any of these worldly things that we like to call "good" and "bad". Nothing in this world makes me believe more in the potential of a god than quantum physics and astronomy, the study of the universe big and small.

Igs, that "brainwashing" is what might save his life one day. Even if he doesn't believe all of what the church teaches,most people don't,he'll have a strong foundation.When I was at my lowest,I somehow knew that until I was dead and had no more chances,there was hope. That hope grew when I asked God through a blanket of tears to please help me. When I asked Him to forgive me I never felt anything. Someone later explained that i was forgiven long ago. It was just me who couldn't/wouldn't forgive me.That was 20 years ago.I struggle with life all the time. I'm human. God loves me and when I can't He lifts me until I can again walk through life. I feel sorry for anyone that doesn't have God to carry them. We have free will. God doesn't cause what's happening.Hate,greed,selfishness-all tools of darkness. And aren't we giving them a lot of use recently? Of course that's just my opinion.

Well most educated people eventually just believe what they want to believe, even if they went to a private christian school.

Wow Kashi thanks, that is beautiful. I wish more christians would think and interpret like you.

as for the begging God for forgiveness idea, here is the Catholic response. You are indeed right, God is unchanging and complete, and has no need of our grovelling. It is not God who receives the benefit, but ourselves: sincere repentance from the evil in our hearts allows us to become more virtuous and good, as it purifies our intentions. Therefore we would say God demands this from us, because out of his love for us he wants us to become as happy as possible--by becoming as good as possible.

Yeah I do believe they are out there, good church communities. But I'm an agnostic now, I wouldn't fit in. I don't drink either so I doubly wouldn't fit in LOL

Thanks, I forgot about this post until your comment. I just copied and pasted it to my email so I won't forget about it again.

Reformedautomaton,<br />
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cheers- lovely last paragraph :D

Faith is good and important but I only have faith in the infinite and the unknown. Billions of people believe differently than you do and they all think they are right too. They all think they have the ticket to heaven, nirvana, etc. And they can't all be right so I just have faith that if I love my fellow man and my actions are reflective of this love, that I will be okay in the afterlife. <br />
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I have problems with begging forgiveness from god. It seems like a waste of time and a just god would think that too. What kind of a strange and selfish god would stand in the heavens awaiting his minions to get on their knees and beg? Wouldn't a loving god be more concerned with how we show love to one another here on earth, how we can change ourselves and take positive action. Begging forgiveness from a god that never shows itself seems to me a certain exercise in futility. And if god is up there I think he's laughing at all these sinners wasting their time begging.

I agree that not all can be right, which is why I'm Catholic. I don't know what will happen when I die but I try my hardest to represent Jesus in all that I do. And I have faith that what is meant to be will be.

I wasn't saying that christians don't have a solid outline for their idea of what happens after death. I'm saying that all religions have that and not all can be right, unless we live in a world of infinite possibilities or one in which what you believe will happen happens.

I think the Bible outlines pretty well what happens after we die and how we should act during our lives here on earth. And Christian religions derive their beliefs from the Bible.<br />
Also, I know people who belong to the same denomination and have different opinions of heaven.

Thanks for the clarification. I’ve heard people say they don’t believe in organized religion and I wondered if that was what you meant.

To me that means that you believe there is a larger meaning to life than what is apparent. It means that you think there may be something else after this life, that this life is not just a birth and a death, rather pointless. A religion gives a particular answer to the question of how to behave in this life and what to expect in the afterlife. I don't believe any religion knows or has the right answer to the meaning of life and death so I subscribe to none of them. I am interested in them and I think all religions contain some fantastic insight, but I won't be a true believer in any of them. I hope this clears it up a little for you. I think basically if you are not an atheist then you are spiritual. All religious people are spiritual but all spiritual people are not necessarily religious.

Others have said they are spiritual vs religious. Could you explain what this means?

Glad there's some others out there like me :-)

I was also raised Catholic , went through all the classes and sacraments and confirmation all that, but some things never made sence to me, Nights of columbus, these guys partied hardy, and on Sunday were recieving comunion to wash their sins away for yet another week???? And when I started asking questions in classes I was dibed the trouble maker and of course never got answers to those questions. Nah, I don't practice any religion, I do how ever believe in God and in that think he knows the heart.