Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve had a number of conversations with people who are not Catholic or Christian…with atheists, with Satanists, with agnostics…with those who outright hate organized religion and those who are just suspicious of it.
Some of those conversations have been openly hostile, others have been vaguely mocking, and a few have been even curious, but there’s one thing they all have in common. They all have made (faulty) assumptions about why I am a Catholic.
So, I’m here to set the record straight…in my next few blog posts I’m going to share my truth behind the many misunderstandings that have been leveled at me.
“You’re Only Catholic Because You Were Raised That Way”
It’s true I am a cradle Catholic. My mom was raised by a strong Catholic family and I find myself still learning from the lessons she learned at the faithful, loving hands of my grandfather. My dad converted to Catholicism (from “nothingism”) after I was born. They were not perfect parents, but they demonstrated (and continue to demonstrate) for me more than just what it means to be Catholic – they have shown me what it means to be a good person, a happy person.
I teach Confirmation and one of the most common themes that teenagers are taught during the preparation for this sacrament is that it’s the moment when they become an “adult” in the Church. Confirmation, they’re told, is the time when they choose for themselves the faith that they’ve been taught by their parents, godparents, and others. I think – and have told my Confirmation teens – that this is a line of bull. There is no magic moment when you become an adult in the Church – and there certainly is not one moment when you can separate yourself from the teachings of your parents and be Catholic all by yourself. Here’s why:
We can’t separate ourselves from our history.