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How many people who are now atheist or agnostic, used to be Catholic?

I was just watching a special on Showtime about a woman who is "Letting Go of God" and she is now Atheist, but grew up Catholic. I grew up Catholic, and have recently realized that Catholicism is a religion and not a relationship with God. I now have a relationship with God as a Christian and despite this lady's argument, I will continue to have this relationship. But I can definately see how Catholicism can lead to cynisism(sp) and it causes many people to be confused and go astray. I am not criticizing any group, I am just curious as to how many people were negatively affected by the Catholic faith. Let's keep the conversation adult and mature, and have respectful comments and even debates. Thanks.


Asked by mumma28 at 11:14 AM on Jun. 12, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (20)
  • I was raised Agnostic and am now Catholic. In my experience many "cradle Catholics" don't seem to have a proper understanding of their faith or the doctrine, dogmas etc. of the Church. Many of the people I know who were raised Catholic just seem to be following the motions they were taught and if you were to ask them why they do what they do, they wouldn't be able to give a proper explanation. That's really unfortunate because the more you know the better you understand and at least for me, the more it just makes sense. I think that trend is one that's changing though with info and mediums like the internet being so readily available for researching now so IMO things are looking up. (BTW, the rule was no meat on Friday, not 'no fish' and it had nothing to do with helping out the fishing industry at the time...and during confession the Priest's job isn't to "put in a good word for you" and certainly not in place of Christ)

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:04 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • i wasn't catholic but dated a catholic in high school. at that point i had been really interested in religion and had spent several years reading the bible and learning about christianity (the only religion i knew about for a while). i remember attending church with his family and asked about the genuflecting. i was told that it was showing reverence because of the statues of jesus, mary, and john the baptist at the front of the church. but i thought the first commandment was not to bow down before false idols, which i understood to be manmade representations of the sacred. then there was the whole friday fish-fry thing. nothing in the bible said no fish - i later learned it was because the irish fishing industry was failing during a time of an irish pope, who made this rule to help... perhaps it is these type of things...

    Answer by figaro8895 at 11:26 AM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I am agnostic, but I didn't grow up catholic. I grew up christian, well southern Baptist to be exact. I also spent my high school years at a Christian boarding school. So I guess you could say I was negatively affected by the Christian faith. After attending church twice a day everyday and 3 times on Sunday from the time I was 13 to 17, I've also read the bible cover to cover 3 times. But after learning so much about it I know that, it is not what I believe. And the way those people are living in the hills of South Eastern Kentucky, can not be the way it is "supposed" to be. There has got to be more to life than farming and church. Really though I think my experiences caused me to question my faith a lot more than I would had I been living a regular day to day life during my teenage years.

    Answer by BlainesMommy09 at 11:28 AM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • was raised Catholic through and through. I have my own personal beliefs now and follow the true faith of the ancient Egyptians

    Answer by WonderWoman1979 at 12:02 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I would have to say that a lot of Agnostics or Atheists were probably CHRISTIAN at some point, not just Catholic. The entirety of Christianity is very off-putting really. However, there are many Agnostics and Atheists who were just raised that way, and see no reason to follow any other path. Please don't just point out ONE Christian denomination to be the only cause of people turning from God. I know the show you watched mentioned Catholicism specifically, but many other denominations are just as guilty of turning people away from God.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 12:24 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • Honestly, I think a great many of the "Catholics" I know are Agnostic... They still go through the motions because it's what is expected by family and friends, but I don't think most of them have a strong faith or belief... To be honest though I don't know to many Atheists off line, I can only think of one. And I have no idea what if any religion he grew up in. My sister is Agnostic, and she grew up a JW... so I dunno...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:25 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • My Dad knows a man who was Atheist that turned Catholic.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:05 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I am Catholic, and will always be , we have history, we do have a relationship with God, and we are unique in the fact that we are not afraid to give Saints and Mary a little credit! I love my religion, and would NEVER stray! But as you said this is an opinion!

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 2:03 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I was raised a Christian, denomination was Presbyterian. I am and have always been an agnostic.

    Something inside me always doubted Christianity. It just seemed to me to be so far fetched and angry and I thought, it couldn't possibly be right. I dabbled in other religions as a teenager: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Paganism, but something always felt wrong about those too and the logic of them just never seemed clear to me. Buddhists are technically atheists (no - god) as are Taoists, but they believe in definite supernatural things. Taoists do believe that people can't possibly understand all, and there are never ending opposites, which I strongly agree with, but some other things they believe leave me feeling like they aren't quite right either and we're all trying to explain the unexplainable.

    I did not come to agnosticism because of religion or logic, it just existed in me my entire life. I think many feel that way..

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:26 PM on Jun. 12, 2010

  • I am agnostic, but I wasn't raised Catholic, I was raised evangelical Christian.


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:31 PM on Jun. 12, 2010