Posted February 08, 2013
I was raised Catholic for most of my early childhood. My mom was a late-in-life convert. Very devout. Very militant. I had to go to CCD on Saturday mornings. I was questioning it from about the third grade onward when I stopped believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, but my mom kept dragging me to church and CCD despite many, many long, annoying protests.
Huzzey5: I did the same thing to my family, who aren't just big time Christians, but Catholics - much worse. I was 17 at the time, and I was forced to keep going to church 'till the day I turned 18. I tried to be as respectful as possible, and it sucked big time. the thing is though in the end, it was worth it. I'm out of the house but we all still get along well, even if our views differ. I still bear a little resentment that they couldn't accept my choice, but no one is perfect.
I didn't get the guts to approach the priest about it until I was about to make confirmation, which I didn't really want to do because I didn't believe in the religion at all. He wound up telling off my mom for being so militant that she probably wound up turning me off to religion even more than withdrawing me from CCD and letting me skip church once in a while would have done. I kind of felt ripped off, since CCD ends after confirmation. If I'd reported it sooner, I'd have probably been able to knock off a few more of those years I wasted trying to flunk out on purpose. @_@
After that, in my experience I've found Catholics are only worse when you're on the inside. From an outside perspective, they don't tend to go out of their way to recruit people. I've gone to a number of Catholic church staff for various reference assignments. There was never any pressure to join or attend Mass even directly interacting with the people running it. This was consistent through at least six different churches, which was actually pretty nice.
Actually, the people who've given me problems have nearly all been Baptists and Megachurch attendees instead. I actually made the mistake of going to one once. The girl who invited me would not stop telling me I needed to go back until I gave her a very, very stern lecture. There were also a TON of solicitors. These places were like churches run by very pushy marketers. @_@