“I spent my whole life trying to put a battery in backwards before I finally realized that batteries don’t work.” – Every Fundamentalist-Turned-Unbeliever testimonial ever
An apt summary of this tragic story. And sadly, a story you won’t necessarily escape entirely in the Catholic Church, if you happen to get sucked into some of its more controlling Taliban subcultures with their hangups on women in pants and similar weirdnesses.
But the nice thing about the Catholic communion is that, while it has room for even the most sexually-repressed-weird-male-with-control-freak-issues subculture, it feels no obligation to conform the whole Church to that subculture and, in fact, 99.9% of the Church does not belong to that subculture. This means that it is much easier to get out of that bubble if once you grant that you are not the Elect, the Pure, the Only True Believers, etc. ad nauseam. Of course, Reactionary Catholicism can keep its inmates in that prison of pride for quite a while. But the larger Catholic community tends to avoid this kind of Puritan trap since there is something about the Church’s celebation of the average and the normal that works against such extremism.