Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cutting Off My Nose to Spite My Face: My Bitterness Towards the Catholic Faith

Shortly after posting this afternoon's blog, I was contacted by my very best of besties.  She was concerned -- first, that she may have inadverdently offended me with her bouts of curiosity [to which I replied "not ever, ever, ever"].

Secondly, was to compassionately alert me to the fact that my blogs seem laced with harsh attacks aimed at the Catholic religion [and possibly the Christian faith as a whole].  Just as I opened my mouth to defend my pagan honor and the honor of my witchy brethren everywhere, it hit me...

She is absolutely right. 

Before the shell-shocked gasps and outcries filter through the pagan crowd [Mwah!  Love & Light to each of you], allow me to explain...

I harbor a great Bitterness [notice that I have granted this 'uppercase noun' status] toward the Catholic faith because of my personal backstory-- growing up Roman Catholic and ultimately being betrayed and let down. 

I have very fresh memories of Sisters and Fathers who fed me lies.  These people of holiness, I came to learn later at a most impressionable age, were stealing from the pockets of the very followers to whom they preached of Honesty... of Righteousness.... of Loving Thy Neighbor. 

Even before this, I had so many concerns about the contradictions in the teachings of this religion, and when I finally found the courage to voice them, I was told not to question but to have faith.  It seemed so easy for others [beautiful people, like both of my grandmothers -- they just believed without explanation], so why then did I instead feel resentment begin to take seed?

And why is it that even now -- all these years later, feeling secure, content and proud in the path that I have chosen -- WHY do I still hold on to the Bitterness?  I have to make an effort to purge this from my heart.  If I wish to promote my pagan beliefs as a core that is welcoming to all and judgemental to none, I have to strive to act in exactly such a way.  

It's easy when being judged to turn back and lash out with judgements of your own -- to nit-pick at short comings and display them as some trophy of war.  But in doing so, what have I accomplished?  Does my example of the pagan world seem open-minded and open-hearted after this?  Not in the least.  

Thank you to my best of besties.  You are a breath of fresh air in my life.  And you keep me humble.  I love you beyond any barrier that the differences in beliefs can tend to create.  After this evening's chat with you, the following article found its way to my eyes.  The message was loud and clear.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I was raised Roman Catholic too and was exposed to some seriously messed up individuals. I also find myself wincing when someone says something that is basic to the Catholic faith, but I find outrageous (i.e. if you don't act like a mindless drone you'll burn in hell).

    I wish things were different, but things are what they are. All we can do, is educate ourselves and hope others do the same.

  2. I suppose a simple wince followed by an educational retort is much more honorable than an all-out crusade against an entire faith. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone in my wincing. Thank you Magaly.

  3. Nice blog Michelle,
    I often wonder what a more peaceful world we would have if religion of all faiths was not shoved down the throats of children. Would it not be interesting if the subject of religion was not even brought up until the children were old enough to pick and choose what they believe or disbelieve. Keep up the interesting blogs Michelle I enjoy them.

  4. Thanks. I agree with you. I'm trying to raise my boys to be open-hearted and compassionate to all. It's tough-- when I hear that my sons will go to hell because I didn't have them baptized, that "mama bear" reaction is to lash out. But then, I wouldn't be practicing the tolerance that I preach. I've learned to just reply with "well, I'd rather have them laughing with your sinners than crying with your saints."