I recently decided that it was okay to share with people that I’m just not that into church. I was raised Irish Catholic and it’s going to take a few more years of therapy to undo all the bullshit that goes along with that. I haven’t come out to my family because there is no point in it. Everyone will have heart attacks and in addition to asking me why I’m not married and having children (don’t feel like it), if I’ve gone to confession. I think my cousin the priest has figured it out because I challenged him on the role of women in the church. He didn’t have a good answer. He was all, “women have to pray on it.” Shenanigans! Anyway, I’ve been looking for a specifically ex-catholic forum so I can talk to others who can joke about CCD classes and bingo and spaghetti nights at the parish hall. My former protestant atheist friends don’t get it, and I figure it would be good catharsis. Do you know of any such forum or even a website by and for ex-Catholics? I’ve tried Googling it, and all I get are dumb websites about converting atheists and dealing with ex-Catholics.
Thanks in advance,
Our Lady of Couch Sleeping
I can easily understand your sense of isolation from your family, but now I can better appreciate how someone like you might not feel entirely understood by her fellow atheists if they haven’t experienced a specifically Catholic upbringing. All I could advise would be to look for common ground and common experiences with ex-Protestants, but it would be much preferable to find a closer match with people who know exactly what you’ve endured. While atheists from all sorts of backgrounds can be wonderfully empathetic and encouraging, you’re right, seeing the knowing nods of a few who have been there and done that in the RCC would be very helpful, especially in the early part of your healing.
But if you can’t find it on Google, then I have nothing else to offer. I was raised by scientific secular types, so I have no personal experience with Catholicism. Google is exactly where I’d go to look.
So let’s call out to our readers. They came through remarkably when I asked for help from survivors of religiously-based homeschooling. The breadth of knowledge and the depth of caring in the Friendly Atheist readership always impresses me.
HEY EVERYONE! Does anyone know of any kind of online forum, blog, discussion board, Facebook site, website, or whatever that is specifically for ex-Catholics? Or maybe a general atheist discussion site that has a goodly-sized portion of ex-Catholics in their readership?
Also, if she is interested and you are willing, I can forward your email addresses to her so you can correspond privately, as several people did with the column about homeschooling. Send them via the Ask Richard email link below.
This fine Lady needs some comrades who personally know the in-jokes and the in-hurts. Please help. You people are awesome. Thank you.