My background or how to break the faith of a catholic family...

I was raised in a catholic family. We had attended church every Sunday for as long as I remembered. Both my parents were catholic from birth too.

I was sent to a catholic primary and secondary schools. Being a nerdy kid, I never liked the blokeish (hyper-masculine) behaviour of the students at my high school, preferring to spent my lunchtimes in the library or chess club. The teacher to student violence was appalling and made going there an unpleasant experience.

Still actually going to church was a relief and opposite to school: people listening to a message that on the surface seemed to be about social justice and being a good person. I remember thinking and telling people that I wanted to be a priest. In retrospective, I think I thought that the messenger took the message seriously and that what they said was how they actually behaved. Thus, I got the into my head that priests were the best of all people (how seriously wrong that was) and that because I wanted to be a good person, I should become a priest. By the way, I just found out that my distant cousin, a fellow student at my catholic high school, has become a catholic priest (FSSP too) - so he must have really drunk the Koolaid.

One Sunday, as my family was getting ready to go to church, I told my parents that I was not going. They asked why and I said that I no longer believed in god. They asked why again and I said that no one took the message being taught seriously (mostly they went there for the tea/biccie and gossip after mass). And that I really did no longer believe in god.

They were (at the time) reasonable enough to accept this, and off they and my sisters went to church. They came back later and life went on a normal, until the next Sunday, when my sisters refused to go to church announcing in whinging voices that if WM was not going why did they. Again to my parents' credit they responded that I had well good reason not to go. And that they did not. So off they went again. This continued for a few months before all parties got bored of the arguments and they all stopped going.

But in the mean time, I had been packed off to a catholic boarding school, where I really did not fit in (maybe my parents though that would change my mind and were not so reasonable after all?). Long story short, after a lot of physical and psychological abuse (from teachers and fellow students), I was expelled. After that I finished up high school in the public system and went on to uni (from BA, to Honours to PhD) and then to work without being bothered by the religiously deluded. Until recently, when I noticed that several of my friends are xtians (some non-denominational, some born-again, and some pentecostal).

My parents now only attend church at Xmas, 'cause the hymns are "too pretty" to miss. One of my sisters always comments positively and likes my atheist rants on FB, but keeps the "believer" status so she can get her kids into private school (she was always a practical person).

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