11/12/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy The Truth Seeker ~
For those of you who are too young to remember, back in the fifties there was a book, radio series, and Movie called “I was a Communist for the FBI”. Well, “I Was an Apologist for the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) and it’s just about as weird as the book and movie about being a communist for the FBI.
Baptist Church had some weird rules. I spent 8 years in a Baptist military school and there I learned most of what I know about the military, discipline, orderliness, and religion. Every day of the week we went to a chapel service at mid-day and went to church twice on Sunday and on Wednesday night. I knew that we couldn’t smoke, drink, gamble, have sex,and play cards or dance. Fortunately this was a co-ed school and that was some relief. As some of my friends used to say, if we can’t do any of the above, what’s left to do? As you probably guessed, a lot of rule breaking went on in school. If we got caught, there was hell to pay. We were reported to our parents, we were disciplined at school, we were grounded and not allowed to go to town, and if the offense was bad enough we were unceremoniously kicked out of school. To give you an example, my senior year I played football and after the only game we lost all year, a bunch of guys got together down at the local college and started smoking. Someone ratted on them. The punishment was they were kicked off the football team, and were not allowed to play any more sports for the remainder of the year. Can you imagine that, no more sports forever for some of them? That experience greatly affected the life of one of my close friends because he never got over that. He would have easily made all state at his position but never did. He still has bitter memories of that to this day. He did get some satisfaction later on as he contributed many financial gifts to the college he graduated from and donated a sports building named after he and his wife. He also financed a large statue of the name sake of the college. He didn’t donate a dime to our high school.
So like most of my classmates, I left school without really questioning what I learned about religion. The next several years I went to college and didn’t go to church at all. I didn’t really want to go. Thankfully my parents were not church goers. They weren’t agnostic or atheist, they just didn’t go to church. In my junior year at college I got married and that probably was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. It’s amazing how little you know about a person before you get married. I thought I knew, but really didn’t.
My first wife was a Roman Catholic but like most of the other things I did about religion I didn’t think that would be a problem. In those days, if you were married to a Catholic you had to raise your children as Catholics and sign a pledge that you would. You also had to take lessons about what Catholics belive and what was required of you if you were non-Catholic. After I listened to the Priest’s spiel I said to myself this is really a strange religion. Shortly after, I made the second biggest mistake of my life and converted to Roman Catholicism.
After marriage, I went to work for a year to build up cash reserves for going back to school full time. I took night classes but could not take a full load. After a year of working I saved enough money to go back to school full time and I graduated the next year. I liked one of my professors in my discipline and he encouraged me to go to graduate school with a full scholarship,which I did. That meant another four years of scrimping and saving and just barely getting by. I finally graduated with MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering and at that time engineers were a hot commodity and so I had many choices for a job and career.
The job that I chose took us to South Carolina (go gamecocks) and we lived in a small town (Camden) south east of the state capital (Columbia). When we were thinking about moving to South Carolina, my wife was very reluctant to leave her home town in Houston. Camden was half way across the country and a big change for her. So I called the Catholic Church in Camden and asked to speak with the priest there and asked him if he would talk with my wife about what life was like in Camden. He also gave me the name of a parishioner who worked at the company I was to work with and he also talked with my wife. After a lot of talking she finally agreed to move. By that time we already had 3 children and I really needed to make some money because we had very little material things and were just getting by.
After moving to Camden, I slowly became acquainted with the parish priest there in Camden and he was a very interesting and admirable person. He was deeply religious and gave me numerous books to read about the Catholic Church and its theology and doctrine. I really enjoyed the books and learning more about Catholicism. I also had many discussions with the parish priest about the questions I had about those books. So after a period of time I became very interested in the church and at that time it seemed to me it was the right church for me.
I think what I liked about the RCC was that it was very authoritative and it had a rule or doctrine for almost every situation, so you really didn’t have to think a lot about how you should behave. I know now that was the easy way out, but it suited me at the time with my large family and my work situation. I think this is why Catholics are lazy in their religion since they don’t have much to do except go to church and follow the rules all laid out for them. Why bother about thinking for yourself as everything is already spelled out for you. Please take note that after a few years I knew a lot about Catholic doctrine and theology, but I never questioned where all the doctrine and theology came from. I just assumed it must be right because the priest and all the books that I read said it was so.
After a couple of years I really got involved in the church and its activities. I became president of the Catholic men’s club and taught religion in CCD and participated in many discussion groups. I would bring my Sunday school class to our home and we would play football , watch TV and have a good meal together. About this time in Catholic history there was a big divide between the conservative wing of the church and the liberal wing. The conservative wing didn’t want to change any thing and the liberal wing wanted to make substantial changes. I should have studied more about the liberal wing, since what they espoused has pretty much come to fruition now.
So I began to write letters to the newspaper in Columbia trying to stand up for the conservative wing of the church. I was opposed to abortion, opposed to those wanting to change the church, and tried to stand up for the church’s prohibition against birth control (I can’t believe that I did that). I shouldn’t have done that because we kept having babies and my wife would not hear of using birth control. When she was young she went to a Catholic elementary and junior high school. Most of what she learned about Catholicism she learned there and never questioned or learned more. Before leaving Camden I was awarded the Pope Pius X medal for family participation in the church. I don’t say these things to brag, but just to illustrate how deeply you can get caught up in the web of deceit that the church spins.
After about four years, my father who lived in Houston had a heart attack and I wanted to move back closer to him so we could help if needed. I was able to get a transfer to Beaumont, TX just about 70 miles away from Houston. We moved to Beaumont and I again became involved in the church there. Again I taught religion classes and joined the men’s club. I also started discussion groups where parishioners would get together to talk about various Catholic topics. I began to listen to a talk radio program in Houston where the topics ranged across the board. Again there was a lot of discussion on this talk show about abortion and I would always call in and give my two cents about Catholic Doctrine. This was a pretty liberal talk show and there were always a lot of arguments about abortion. The Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion was that at conception the soul was infused to the fetus. It was also the church’s teaching that the fetus was human at conception and that abortion was essentially the murder of a human. I know that most of you on this board don’t believe this position becasue if there is no soul there is no human, but I was a good little Catholic and followed the party line. I also began to send in letters to the Houston newspapers and got involved in a lot of hot discussions trying to defend Catholic positions. People would write letters to me about various topics and we carried on long discussions via mail (no e-mail at this time). About this time there were a lot of discussions about over population and I got involved in those discussions too. Although I don't believe in a soul now, I still believe that abortion is wrong for reasons not pertinent to this discussion.
On one of the talk shows I listened to there was a guest speaker who was opposed to abortion because his mother had tried to abort him but was unsuccessful, obviously. This guy knew his stuff even though he was not a RCC and I was very impressed by him. He participated in a lot of presentations at various churches in Houston and was asked to speak at many clubs. I was so impressed by him I called him and asked him if he would speak on a radio talk show in Beaumont. He said that he would and I contacted the host of the radio talk show and asked if she would allow both of us to speak about abortion. She said we could. So everything looked good, and then Mother Nature comes along and spoils everything. We were to talk on a Monday and a hurricane came into the gulf and headed for Port Bolivar on the weekend before the talk. My speaker’s mother and dad had a boat at dock there and he had to go and help his parents secure the boat before the storm. The storm came in on Sunday and high winds continued into Monday. My guest speaker called me and said he would not be able to come because of the storm. I was disappointed and had to tell the talk show host that he wouldn’t be there. She asked if I wanted to come and talk, and I told her I was not qualified to talk about this subject like the guy I had invited. He had a real story to tell because of his near abortion, I didn’t.
So I went back to calling in on radio shows and writing letters to the editor. I kept a huge notebook of all my letters and it was very impressive, although no one saw it but me.
So what do I think about that period in my life now? Mostly I regret my being such a dumb-ass. I also regret being so ignorant about my religion and religion in general. I have to say that I was a good example of a know-nothing Christian who really thought he knew a lot. I think that most of the Christians I know today are like me those many years ago. They may know their religion as it is now, but they don’t really know how their religion got all of its doctrine and theology nor do they know anything about church history. Like me they may know their current doctrine and theology, but they don’t have a clue how it started and they know very little about the early RCC and how it behaved for the first 15 centuries of its existence. I don’t think Protestants really appreciate this, but most of what they took away after the Reformation was still highly influenced by the RCC. As I read church history I see how corrupt the church was and still continues to be (I’m talking about the RCC). I see now how little I really knew about my religion. My only excuse was that I was constantly busy raising my family of 7 children and was lazy and did not really research my religion. That’s a shame because my training taught me to question everything and research it. I just didn’t carry that over to religion because I thought I knew all I needed to know. I can understand what these lurking Christians think about agnostics and atheists because I also thought like they do. Since I was so aggressive in my early years I can imagine coming onto this web site and trying to convince you how you are all wrong. I see now that I would have gotten my ass chewed up, like most of the other intruders who get on this web site, and because I knew so little about my religion and you guys know so much.
I am continually amazed at how Protestant Bible studies work. Groups will get together and read and read, interpret and interpret, and memorize the scriptures but never question how the scriptures got the way they are now and know very little about the history of their own church. I think that is one of the weaknesses of the Protestant churches. They believe in scripture and faith and that’s about it. The RCC has a long tradition and relies heavily on the church magisterium, good works and doesn’t rely so heavily on scripture. It’s an authoritative church and once it speaks every one must fall in line. Since all of this is myths and legends anyway it really doesn’t matter what they believe because they’re all wrong.
So that’s my rant about my life as an apologist. I am more humble now than I was so many years ago. Hopefully those Christian stalkers that intrude on this web site will finally see the light, but I doubt it because I didn’t for a long time either.
I hope sincerely that will be the case, but all I have to do is look across the dinner table at my second wife and see what many Christians think like. There is no way that she would ever give up her religion and there is no discussion about religion in our house. I hate to say this about my wife, but she is closed minded and knows very little about her religion and doesn’t want to know any more about it. I am thankful, though, she has stopped going to the RCC and commenced going to the local Methodist Church.
In a way I was closed minded too so many years ago. But the difference between us is that I never stopped trying to learn new things and I have always searched for the truth. I believe that I know the truth now, but it is so sad that others only want to stay in their comfort zone. My wife says that I’m not the man she married, but that’s not true. I am still the same man, only I have continued to learn and search for the truth and I feel so much freer now and no longer worry about going to Hell.
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