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Have you changed religion? If so, why and to which other religion or none at all?


TommyO'Brien

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Jan 14, 2009
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Census returns still show a high degree of nominal association with organised religion. But a number of people are shifting between religions or from religions to agnoticism or athiesm. So the question is simple: have you moved, and if so why?

And finally a no doubt futile request: could this thread actually discuss personal changes in attitudes and not descend into the usual name-calling and attacking of people's religious beliefs or lack thereof.

As for me, I was brought up Catholic, from a very religious background. In my teenage years I considered a life in the Church and spent a short time meeting the Salesians in their house in Maynooth.

I have long since lost a religious faith and no longer go to Mass or the sacraments. I lost belief and trust first in the institutional church and then in religion in general. I still enjoy some of the rituals - particularly of the pre-Vatican II variety, like the Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II church music. That may be because my earliest years coincided with the last days of pre-Vatican II liturgies and the hymns I learnt were in Latin. I find them interesting and in a hazy way spiritual but don't feel any religious feelings towards them. Even when religious I found post-Vatican II ceremonial and music stale and dull. Quite a few non-religious people still do like the 'smells and bells' ritual of the Tridentine Mass interesting, as indeed they do the use of the old Book of Common Prayer in the Anglican tradition. It may be just the sense of tradition.

I simply cannot reconcile fundamental presumptions in religion with rationality.

I respect those who still have religious beliefs but find the arrogance of some of them off-putting. But I find the arrogance of the Richard Dawkins sickening - he strikes me as a kind of secular Rev Ian Paisley.

That is where I stand. What are your opinions?
 
M

MrFunkyBoogaloo

Was raised catholic. Abandoned religion at around 12/13. Tried to officially defect a few years ago and cannot. I'm on a list apparently.

I'm an agnostic, bordering on atheist. I reject all religious dogma and/or beliefs.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
50,459
I try to live my life in a way that is consistent with the basic message of Christianity (and other religions, I imagine). However, I do this not out of a deference to a higher power, rather I do this because these are values instilled in me by my parents. Do onto others, etc..

That said, I do enjoy a trip to mass on Christmas Eve (to the annoyance of regulars, I imagine).
 

EvotingMachine0197

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Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
8,629
Census returns still show a high degree of nominal association with organised religion. But a number of people are shifting between religions or from religions to agnoticism or athiesm. So the question is simple: have you moved, and if so why?

And finally a no doubt futile request: could this thread actually discuss personal changes in attitudes and not descend into the usual name-calling and attacking of people's religious beliefs or lack thereof.

As for me, I was brought up Catholic, from a very religious background. In my teenage years I considered a life in the Church and spent a short time meeting the Salesians in their house in Maynooth.

I have long since lost a religious faith and no longer go to Mass or the sacraments. I lost belief and trust first in the institutional church and then in religion in general. I still enjoy some of the rituals - particularly of the pre-Vatican II variety, like the Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II church music. That may be because my earliest years coincided with the last days of pre-Vatican II liturgies and the hymns I learnt were in Latin. I find them interesting and in a hazy way spiritual but don't feel any religious feelings towards them. Even when religious I found post-Vatican II ceremonial and music stale and dull. Quite a few non-religious people still do like the 'smells and bells' ritual of the Tridentine Mass interesting, as indeed they do the use of the old Book of Common Prayer in the Anglican tradition. It may be just the sense of tradition.

I simply cannot reconcile fundamental presumptions in religion with rationality.

I respect those who still have religious beliefs but find the arrogance of some of them off-putting. But I find the arrogance of the Richard Dawkins sickening - he strikes me as a kind of secular Rev Ian Paisley.

That is where I stand. What are your opinions?
There are, and always have been, a continuous stream of threads on P.ie on the questions of theism and atheism. Did you miss them?

Did you really miss the Dawkins thread?

You sound like a new outty to me. Relieved yet majorly pissed off. Typical of your generation.
 
Joined
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Was raised typically novus ordo Catholic. In recent years have grown more and more attached to the Tridentine rite (so long as it is Diocesan, none of the SSPX extremism at all), beginning to appreciate the scale of the loss to us liturgically as a result of the post 2VC 'innovations'. Nonetheless still happy to attend Mass in the ordinary form. Will die a practising Catholic.

Happy Gaudete Sunday...
 

EvotingMachine0197

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Feb 17, 2006
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Was raised typically novus ordo Catholic. In recent years have grown more and more attached to the Tridentine rite (so long as it is Diocesan, none of the SSPX extremism at all), beginning to appreciate the scale of the loss to us liturgically as a result of the post 2VC 'innovations'. Nonetheless still happy to attend Mass in the ordinary form. Will die a practising Catholic.
How can you say that when you're only thirty something? That's fcked up Toxic.
 

TommyO'Brien

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Jan 14, 2009
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12,222

TommyO'Brien

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,222
Was raised typically novus ordo Catholic. In recent years have grown more and more attached to the Tridentine rite (so long as it is Diocesan, none of the SSPX extremism at all), beginning to appreciate the scale of the loss to us liturgically as a result of the post 2VC 'innovations'. Nonetheless still happy to attend Mass in the ordinary form. Will die a practising Catholic.

Happy Gaudete Sunday...
What is the attendance at Tridentine rite ceremonies? I am curious. Are they growing?
 

devnull

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Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
1,843
Catholic raised and educated and became atheist just before the scandals broke around the Church.
It wasn't a protest against anything and I'd had only positive experiences in my dealings with churchmen. But, I don't have any belief in the existence of supernatural beings or powers, which is one of the less optional bits of religious faith.
 
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What is the attendance at Tridentine rite ceremonies? I am curious. Are they growing?
Depends on the church. At SS. Peter and Paul's in Cork, for example, it is relatively sparsely attended (though I believe the SSPX church is quite popular). At the Brompton Oratory, where I now go, or at St. James's at Spanish Place (or the Oxford Oratory where I went for most of last year), it is usually very well attended. There are many more young people interested than middle aged or older. The novus ordo (rather than the 1962 form) solemn Latin Mass, by the way, is always packed to the rafters.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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I knew it when I was 7. Nothing has changed me since. There is nothing else on this planet that matters as much to me.
So, something that was implanted in your mind at age 7, shall stay in your mind until death ?

Are you fcking autistic or what?
 

TommyO'Brien

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Jan 14, 2009
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For me, the first chink came in the phrase 'praying to God'. I'd ask myself why are people praying to God? Do they expect him to intervene? It reminded me of stories of mediaeval subjects of monarchs begging their king or queen for an intervention. The Virgin Mary was like some mediaeval French queen mother intervening with her son the King to change his opinion on something.

The idea of people rationally having to beg a deity for something, and that somehow it was humanity's fault if something happened because they had not prayed enough or something struck me as nuts.

That then led me to raise other more fundamental evidence. I am a historian and I know just how much of the early Christian story believed as fact from the Old Testament is pure bunkum and equally how much of the story of the early Church is fiction. I found himself asking how I could take a religion seriously when so much of its primary book was utter historic rubbish.

I found it impossible to reconcile experiences about my sexuality with claims by senior church figures that were patently absurd about sex and sexuality.

Step by step I found fundamental pillars to belief falling down until even basic presumptions were no longer tenable. It was a gradual process until intellectually I could no longer reconcile the basics of religion with the basics of history, the basics of science or the basics of sexuality. I found myself concluding "I just cannot believe any of this anymore."
 
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So, something that was implanted in your mind at age 7, shall stay in your mind until death ?

Are you fcking autistic or what?
It was implanted in my mind younger than that... And none of my friends, nor even my brothers, kept to the same faith - I was alone. I freely chose to. And no, I shall never renounce it. Insult that as you wish, it makes no difference.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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It was implanted in my mind younger than that... And none of my friends, nor even my brothers, kept to the same faith - I was alone. I freely chose to. And no, I shall never renounce it. Insult that as you wish, it makes no difference.
I would never insult it, but it is fcked up.
 

TommyO'Brien

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Nice post Tommy.

What took you so long.
I don't rush important decisions that have life-changing consequences and walking away from one's religion fundamentally redefines you and your perspectives. I respect others who reach different conclusions. I understand the attraction of certainty and the ability an organised entity has to offer a community of support. I just intellectually could not accept key presumptions in religion. But I still find some of the symbols of religion comforting and emotional - which is why I like church music and feel comfortable in particular with the Tridentine ceremonies that seem to engulf one and engage one's senses. But I cannot connect with the beliefs at the heart of them.

I haven't reached the point of saying with certainty that some form of deity doesn't exist, just that I cannot rationally reconcile its beliefs and presumptions with my rational analysis. So I simply don't define myself as anything. I don't feel the need to label myself.

Discovery of oneself is a slow process and I am still on that process. I have moved from one set of certainties. I have no idea whether I will find another set of certainties or simply spend my life searching.
 

blokesbloke

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Excellent OP and thread so far. I do hope it can be saved from the usual mud-slanging because it's really an interesting subject. I love reading peoples personal experiences of religion and hope we can all express them.

I was baptised into the Church of England, albeit a very "high" church which would often be called "Anglo-Catholic". However I was never taken to church as a child and was never confirmed. I think the vicar/rector/priest there upset my Mother by saying they would baptise me but since Mum didn't attend Church without fail every week, she wasn't a Christian - this put Mum off from going back as she didn't feel welcome there after that and it was our nearest Church.

We did have Christian-themed morning assemblies when I was at school, so virtually all of my religious instruction came from that. It wasn't a Church school so it wasn't affiliated with any particular strand of Christianity. We sang Christian hymns and I know the Lord's Prayer off by heart without even thinking purely because of reciting it so often at school.

I think as a child my sister and I both displayed a certain interest in religion but my parents never encouraged or discouraged it. We were sort of nominally Christian, nominally CofE, but that was it.

I remember when we went to Belgium we went to the local RCC Church a lot and loved lighting candles, and we'd put flowers on graves.

We even held our own services on Sundays briefly! So I suppose we were expressing a certain spiritual need which my parents didn't really pick up on!

Today I am not sure. I feel my values are Christian-based, and I would like to believe there is a God - and my idea of God is very much a Christian one. I am not sure if I should really call myself a Christian because whilst I kind of hope God exists and is a Christian idea of God, I am not certain. I am by no means an expert on religion but of the three major monotheistic ones, Christianity appeals simply because of the emphasis on forgiveness, redemption and turning the other cheek. The other religions simply don't really make that much sense to me - I respect them but have never felt they have anything to offer me.

I pray most nights and hope that there is a God listening to me.

When I was at a very, very low and dark period of my life I would walk down to the local Catholic Church. It was nearest, it was beautiful but mainly it was open! So many Churches now are locked up unless there is a service on but this Church stayed open most of the time.

It was usually empty of nearly empty when I went in. I didn't know any of the Catholic rituals but I would pray and light candles for the memory of the dead there.

I remain grateful that the Church was there for me - I found it a great comfort just to take sanctuary there for a while and be peaceful and nobody ever bothered me or looked at me funny or asked what I was doing there.

Sadly that Church seems to be locked most times I go there now.

I don't think I've ever been to a proper Church service.

I think I would like to be a Christian but I am someone who takes rules quite seriously and needs to feel welcome. As a gay man I don't think I would be wholeheartedly welcome at any of the Christian churches.

I did look into joining the Quakers as they seem to have the most accepting outlook on gay people, but I don't think their style of worship is for me.

I am quite traditional at heart and I'd quite like to go to Church. Apart from being gay, I think I'd fit into a church quite well - but I am gay and I cannot feel like a hypocrite.

So I do have a spirutual need I think I don't quite meet... I am not sure if I will ever resolve that.
 
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