Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jesus Tastes Like Cardboard

It's true; ask any Catholic. 

I thought I should start my new blog with an attention-getter, so yeah. Cardboard.   

I was the daughter of Catholic parents--well, a Catholic mom, anyway--and attended parochial schools through high school. On a weekly basis, I tasted first-hand the dull, dry wafer that millions of people in this world believe to be converted into Jesus's body during the sacrament of the eucharist. Not symbolically converted; actually converted. 

I can still summon up the memory of that taste, but I can't summon up a memory of a time when I genuinely believed it. I said to myself that I believed it, and I said, "Amen," when the priests proffered the little off-white disk with the secret code words. I knew the right answer. But honestly? Nothing. 

I stopped going to mass once I moved into my college dorm room. I dabbled with various denominations when I married an Episcopalian, especially after we had kids. But once I determined to do an honest self-examination, the gig was up: I'm an atheist. 

Or secular humanist, if you'd like reassurance that there is a moral code at work to keep me from murder and mayhem. 

None of my friends or family have come out to me as atheists yet, though some of them probably are. I don't ask everyone I know. It's personal. But sometimes it comes up in conversation.  

The point is, you wouldn't know it from looking at me (unless I'm wearing my "Village Atheist" t-shirt). I have no flashing eyes, no floating hair. There's nothing extraordinary about my life experience. I'm just the heretic next door. 

I don't wish to disavow you of your faith, but if you'd like to know more about one non-believer's beliefs--assuming you can suppress the urge to weave a circle round me thrice and close your eyes with holy dread--read on.


  1. Let me be the first friend to come out to you as an athiest. Fellow Marist grad, two degrees from Notre Dame. Just too much Catholic education to stay Catholic. I think it was Brother John's theology that did me in. Love the blog. And I'm proud to provide the first comment.

  2. I used to call myself an agnostic, until I realized that I was just gutless. An agnostic is just an atheist who's afraid of commitment. Love the blog, Carol.

  3. I was baptized Catholic, dabbled in the Baptist and Episcopal churches through my childhood, went to Catholic high school as a protestant (they really suck the tuition dollars out of protestants), and was married in the Episcopal church. Over the years, the more religion I was exposed to the more I wanted to get the hell out of there. I've looked into Buddhism and even Wicca. (I must admit, one of my main interests in Wicca was that I would have an excuse to go gallivanting naked outside during full moons.)

    I don't know if I can truly say that I don't believe in a higher power of some sort, but I have definitely divorced myself from all forms of organized religion.

  4. I was raised Catholic as well. I stopped believing when I was about 5 years old. You know how when the priest raises the Eucharist a bell rings? Well I always thought that god was ringing the bell. When my brother told me it was an alter boy I stopped believing in god. I figured that if god couldn't be bothered to ring the bell he didn't exist. Not great logic I know, but even though I was an alter boy and kept going to church until I was out from under my mothers rule I never really believed after that.