Why am I an atheist?
I began my life as a fundamental catholic. Fundamentalism and Catholics go hand in hand as Catholic Church is the original fundamentalist. I was educated from kindergarten through high school in the catholic education system. After high school, I went to nursing school (Texas Christan University) and obtained my bachelor’s degree in nursing. After I graduated nursing school I worked in a psychiatric facility run by the Catholic Church in Fort Worth Texas. After four years I was sent by the diocese of Forth Worth to Notre Dame to become a priest.
Growing up in the catholic faith I had many questions which were never fully explained to me. The first being the mystery of the trinity how could you have three distinct people who were actually one? I at a young age recognized the folly of this absurdity. It is impossible from the stand point of simple arithmetic and common sense and the best answer I have ever gotten concerning this particular patch of quicksand of impossibility is that it was a mystery.
The next problem I had was with the Immaculate Conception. This is a piece of dogma that says that Mary was born without the stain of original sin. This is an attempt by the church to say Mary was perfect (without original sin) so she would be sexy to god and could give birth to the perfection that would be Jesus. My concern of this was practical and pragmatic. In Genesis one of the wages for original sin was that woman would bear children in pain. My question was simple if Mary was born without original sin did she bear Jesus in pain? I never received an adequate answer from any priest or bishop I have ever asked. I have been ridiculed for asking this question. I have been told that I am succumbing to the Satan’s influence. I have been told it is a mystery to us and I have not received any answer to this question that meets the standard of common sense.
The final question that has plagued my mind for many years again has to do with a mystery of faith and the person of Mary. It concerns her perpetual virginity. She, as the Catholic Church maintains was, is now, and forever will be a virgin. You see the Catholic Church maintains that even though she gave birth that her maidenhood (hymen) remained intact and unbroken. Understandably I had trouble with this. If Jesus grew inside of Mary’s uterus and passed through her vaginal tract to the outside then how could her Hymen remain unbroken? This, the perpetual virginity of Mary, kind of goes against physics. The church through various priest have given me different answers from me being led astray by Satan to what a prominent bishop in the United States explained that when the child Jesus came to Mary’s hymen he transported himself to the other side of the Hymen leaving it intact and preserving her virginity. Brings beam me up Scotty to a whole new level.
The last straw that broke my faith was a course I was being taught by a Franciscan monk. He brought forth a writing of Saint Thomas Aquinas where he said it was “desirable to lie in defense of god” and for the next four hours the nineteen other men that were in my class argued back and forth the ethics of lying for god. I sat back and listened. When ask my opinion I said that Aquinas was wrong. That it was in violation of the Commandment about not bearing false witness. Now for me to say Aquinas was wrong was a very improper statement as Aquinas holds the title of Doctor of the Church which means among other things that all of his writings, all of his teachings, and all that he publicly and privately said is without error. I was counseled for this and had to spend many hours in fasting, prayer, and repentance for my “error of my judgment”. As I fasted and prayed I realized the corruption of faith that the Catholic Church was and is along with the lies that are knowingly told by their leadership. I pondered the abuse of faith that the clergy inflicts on its membership and rationalizing it as a defense of god. The only course for me at this point was that of an apostate. I left the seminary (in my fourth year) and the catholic faith shortly thereafter. I become an atheist. It was a natural step for me.