I’m a new highschool grad, who just got his diploma from a top 50 catholic highschool. I’m not here to tell u all I hate Catholicism because I don’t. I have great respect for it, and I do think it’s the most directly linked Christian denomination to Jesus. Why I am here is because I received a good education and feal it is only fair that I tell a few Catholics where their schools theo programs tend to go wrong and push people away from christianity rather than to it. (also I do enjoy a good debate, even if this isn’t the main purpose of the thread)
So, I received a preschool through 12th grade catholic education. My family dosnt regularly attend church but I did at school and even was an alter boy. Now I had alwase been the philosophical type so I tended to swing back and forth between Catholicism and agnostic even as early as 5th grade. It wasn’t untill highschool however that it became pronounced.
When I went to highschool I changed from a small, personal enviroment (30 or so in my 8th grade class) to a larger one (90 kids and dedicated theo teachers). It was here where I got my first taste of what REALY pushes high schoolers out he door, perceived or sometimes actual favoriteism. Those kids who take well to theo class “the holy rollers” seemed to occupy most of he teachers time. This, as well as some language used by the teachers, packets, videos, ect. Also came off as a bit demeaning to certain groups, weather intended to or not. With no attention in class and a fealing that certain people got better treatment led to many kids drifting or even plain running away from christianity. And I eventually became a hardened agnostic.
I had alwase been a bit more exposed to the world than most other teenagers in my area, my father had traveled alot, I had gone to europe, and had a Turkish Muslim as an exchange student who I later visited in Istambul, so I came to the conclusion that most people were only their religion because they were raised it. This seamed to be confirmed when I watched others drift away from Catholicism. It was this openness to other cultures that probably allowed me to break out of my very catholic enviroment. I saw everyone just going through the motions, catholicism to me seamed more like a tradition than a religion.
Now in my senior year I took a class on world religions. I loved it, the teacher was also at he same time my normal theo teacher teaching us apologetics so it worked out rather well. Despite my belief that the whole truth was beyond mans comprehension I tried to find a religion that rang with me. I had high hopes for Islam and Budhism but neither rang with me. It was only when I did a project on Norse-Germanic paganism that I began to feal a connection. Another student presented on Wicca and before the week was out I was devouring every scrap of pagan info I could get. I even looked on christian sights against it just for more info on its practices. The attitude the teacher heals taken twords the Wicca presentation, although lighthearted, was still a bit over the top to me (he did several acts involving holy water which were a bit over the top). When the teacher began linking dream catchers and folk items to demonic possession I officially lost all respect for Christians warnings about Wicca and possession, it just seamed over the top.
I have sense felt a connection with Wicca like I never did with Christianity. Even alone I feal more a part of something than I ever did in a church. All though I felt brief glimpses of the ultimate reality as a catholic it didnt aproach what I felt the first few times I delved into Wicca. Before any bible quotes about witchcraft come out, sense starting Wicca I have not cast any spell, and because I have become so enthrawled in he philosophy I don’t know if I ever will. I do meditate, direct energy, and dable in astral projection. I feal so much more satisfied than I did watching everyone go through the motions of mass, hear lectures on how our school was a thriving faith community, and listen to chastity speekers who were so bad they probably made MORE peopl want to have sex.
So, what is the message I am trying to get across here? Three things, first; there is a tendency to focus more on the theologically sound students and make others feal excluded. Secondly, alot of teachers and administrators have a “afraid of a mouse” mentality about things forgen to them (seriousely, dream catchers cause possession?). And lastly, things tend to get coated over and overlooked. Every time my principal said we came together to celibrate mass it was a flat out lie, less than half the people actively participated at all, and he tone was anything by celibratory. Just tell things like they are.
So, that’s what I’ve got for ya. I can go more depth if anyone would like and I can dispell any of those nasty rumors about Wicca aswell. Again I have great respect for Catholicism, it REALY is the path to spiritual fofilment for many people. Heil og sæl!