Things that almost make me atheist

I was raised as a catholic man, but around my childhood and teen ages I was sent to non-religious schools, let’s say “clearly atheistic”.

Even if I was, and I’m not a “fanatic” at all,I was always mocked and bullyed by the other students because my religion and my good grades (for example I was humilliated once for a virgin’s medal my mother give me).

History, literature and philosophy classes used to attack catholic church, and even teached us about how it was all made up, Jesus marriage, horus-jesus ********, and new age stuff like that, al teached as it was a fact. Ah, of course galileo’s trial and those stuff didn´t help.

With the time, my faith was always at the limit, to the point I became agnostic for a lapse. Somehow I regained some faith and keep loyal to the catholic morality. Religion and integrity costed me a lot of self steem and social relationships. Of course it was not the only cause, but the main one.

But there are certain things of catholic church teachings that I cannot agree, no way. And those are:

*Animals supposed absence of “soul”.
*The idea that all sins can be “forgiven”, not matter how serious it was.
*Always to show the other cheek (I’m tired of that, I mean, there are limits)

That’s it, I needed to say that stuff. I’m not a native english speaker, so forgive my mistakes, and I’m truly sorry if this post does not belong here.

Thanks for reading

For your third reason. Yes there are limits to turning the other cheek.
Such examples are self defense. (This shouldn’t be road block to being Catholic)

I too have had my share of being made fun of for wearing a Virgin Mary medal.

In order to address your first point, animals have souls. For that matter, so do trees and flowers and scorpions. A soul is simply the life force in a living object. Humans have an eternal spirit which distinguishes us from animals and plants. I recommend you read this article: ewtn.com/expert/answers/pets_in_heaven.htm

Jesus Christ tells us, you’ll be persecuted in His name. Being a Christian, especially a Catholic, isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be. Imagine how He felt, especially in the week that we’re in now.

You were mocked for a lot of good things…good grades, your faith. You could have tried to fit in…gotten worse grades, believed in no values/morality of any kind. You may, or may not, have succeeded in being accepted. At least with the grades, you realize that was probably envy. Did you really want to be more like those who bullied you?

The bullies probably didn’t like that you had a moral code that they lacked, were angry and resentful of you, since you would have to disagree with how they carried themselves.

With the medal, it might have been envy. Once, I had a friend of mine steal my confirmation medal, as kids. Had I realized she liked it so much, I would have let her borrow it from time to time had she just asked. So, you don’t know what people’s motivations are.

I had a Protestant friend of mine once tell me that, as a kid, she envied us Catholics, because we had all the cool things. I thought, “Like what?” She said we had these beautiful rosaries. The Catholic faith is so rich with art…everything from beautiful medals to stained glass, statues, paintings. A lot of other faiths don’t have religious artwork, per se.

With “turning the other cheek”, I think it means to forgive. Christ spoke a lot in his parables using a form of exaggeration. He also said that if your eye causes you to sin to pluck it out. Well, though it would literally be true that it would be better to poke it out, I think he was using this kind of speech to drive home his point.

I don’t think he wanted people to start cutting off their hands or poking out their eyes, since that would be sinful to deliberately harm our own bodies. I think it’s, “hyperbole”?

Now, this means we are to forgive, but if someone has to go to prison, it doesn’t imply they should go free and come home with you, say.

I think “Turn the other cheek” is one very misunderstood statement. You don’t necessarily have to become a doormat to live out your faith.

¡Bienvenidos!

I heard that the turning the other cheek, because it’s linked to the carrying something for a mile and asking if they want you to carry it further, has to do with relations with authority. So turning the other cheek is like non-violent civil disobedience. That is the explanation which has made the most sense to me, altho it may be because I think a lot about the subject of authority.

As to any sin being forgivable, yes. Consider that Christ Himself when being crucified asked His Father to forgive those who put Him to death!

If a person is sorry to go to confession sincerely, then their sins will be absolved. At the end our lives, God will judge the states of our souls with His perfect knowledge, His perfect justice, and His perfect mercy.

It doesn’t mean that every sin *will *be forgiven. God will not forgive the sins which are not at all repented. All it means is that, if Christ can forgive, or leave in God’s Hands, those who were killing Him, then surely any other sin *can *be forgiven.

Rom 10:9, 13
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

There is forgiveness for those who are truly penitent! No matter what the sin was.
Perhaps you are not very much aware of Purgatory? When we die, although the sin has been forgiven, there is still a penalty for our sins! Just like if I smash your car with a club, and then truly seek your forgiveness. You may forgive me… but does it end there? No! I must fix your car!

2 Sam 12: 13,14
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”

Sometimes our sins are expiated on earth, just as I can pay you the money to fix your car on earth. But that which is not expiated here and now, will be paid in full in the next!

Matt 5:26
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

(For this reason, seek indulgences, to expiate the penalty of your forgiven sins [indulgences do not cause forgiveness of sins, of course, they only release us from some of the time in Purgatory], and pray for the souls in Purgatory that they have relief. Sometimes I just pray, not knowing what to say… and I ask that a soul that no one remembers will be spared at least for a time to have some peace, or refreshment…)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus suffered and died a terrible death- so that we could be forgiven and be one with Him. That is how much He wanted it, and that is how much God is willing to forgive, that is just how much He loves us. If there were sins that couldn’t be forgiven, that would mean souls redeemed at such a huge price would be lost. And just look at the lives of some saints- they once committed very serious sins, but repented, and because of God’s forgiveness and grace… they became saints :slight_smile:

Turning the other cheek is hard. But it doesn’t mean we have to be doormats! It is about loving unconditionally and forgiving as God forgives us.

I love the way Fr. Robert Barron explains turning the other cheek.
(paraphrased) In Jesus’ time, it was considered unclean to use your left hand. When someone struck you with their right hand, turning to them your other cheek was an act of aggressive non-violence, essentially saying, " you will not do that to me again, unless you betray your own cleanliness by using your left hand".

Fr. Barron says that when confronted with violence, you can

  1. fight back, escalating the violence
  2. acquiesce, or walk away, yeilding to their authority
    or 3) stand your ground, and turn the act back onto them, making them realize what they have done. That is aggressive non-violence.

Praying for you, Zincman, to return to your commitment to your faith.

Thanks for answering!

But in my opinion a “soul without inmortality” is kinda pointless, as a human without God. I suspect that animals, at least those near to humans, have similar souls. Of course I cannot prove it, call it another kind of faith, if you want, but I see in them a lot of mutual aspects, in a lesser degree. It can sound childish, but I cannot help that belief. I guess i’m guilty of that sin. And you know something? I’m ok with it, I do not think that make me a bad catholic.

For your third reason. Yes there are limits to turning the other cheek.
Such examples are self defense.

Yes!
But that’s something one has to learn by oneself, I mean, my religious teachings they never entered deep to ‘that’ point, they just said you’l have to do it ‘eternally’. I guess even Jesus lost his patience (if I remember well) that time someone was using the temple as a shop. Sometimes you have to stand by yourself in order to achieve some justice.

Rom 10:9, 13
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

There is forgiveness for those who are truly penitent! No matter what the sin was.
Perhaps you are not very much aware of Purgatory? When we die, although the sin has been forgiven, there is still a penalty for our sins! Just like if I smash your car with a club, and then truly seek your forgiveness. You may forgive me… but does it end there? No! I must fix your car!

2 Sam 12: 13,14
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”

Sometimes our sins are expiated on earth, just as I can pay you the money to fix your car on earth. But that which is not expiated here and now, will be paid in full in the next!

Matt 5:26
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

I get the point, and I guess is part of the faith to believe in that supreme justice, I’m optimistic in that sense. Even so, I’m not quite sure in that ‘fast&easy-deep-repentanse’ that automatically will absolve of all your sins and send you heaven just like that, in the last second. Maybe a temporal time in the purgatory will explain that, but I guess i’ll have to think about it, because is a theme that bothers me deeply.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus suffered and died a terrible death- so that we could be forgiven and be one with Him. That is how much He wanted it, and that is how much God is willing to forgive, that is just how much He loves us. If there were sins that couldn’t be forgiven, that would mean souls redeemed at such a huge price would be lost. And just look at the lives of some saints- they once committed very serious sins, but repented, and because of God’s forgiveness and grace… they became saints

And for those things is that my principles get going, but also it leads to deppresion and a "gray"state, I’m honestly kinda tired of. Resignation, that’s the word; do i have to live in an eternal resignation state?

It’s not a question of fast and easy deep repentance. God knows the hearts of man. Just saying you are sorry doesn’t make it so. And if you are sorry, God has the right to forgive you if he should choose to do so (is he bound by human laws and emotions that cry out for blood? Yet all of us are created from nothingness and sustained only by his good will)

If you are in deep mortal sin, it’s more unlikely that you will actually seek repentance, but it’s not impossible.

Zincman,

This is something I learned in a most difficult answer. We aren’t called upon to have “all” the answers. We’re called upon to have faith, whether we have answers or not. Yes, we have minds that are curious. We wonder about teachings. We have doubts. Yet, we’re to seek faith in the assurance of God’s love for us. I will pray for you.

Thanks. I’m not looking for all the answers, but I guess those doubts are part of the faith question. Thanks for the prayer, I’ll need it.

It’s not a question of fast and easy deep repentance. God knows the hearts of man. Just saying you are sorry doesn’t make it so. And if you are sorry, God has the right to forgive you if he should choose to do so (is he bound by human laws and emotions that cry out for blood? Yet all of us are created from nothingness and sustained only by his good will)

If you are in deep mortal sin, it’s more unlikely that you will actually seek repentance, but it’s not impossible.

Thanks for the answer!, althought it still bothers me.

I too agree with this, what Fr. Barron said impacted me as well-wow! His example of Mother Theresa ( on his Catholicism series) was beautiful! Also- to our OP, trust Christ’s Church and her teachings as they will prove true to the end!
Blessings in Him,
mlz

Woa, I do not know how i skipped this. Is a cool way of seeing it. Yes, I suppose that kind of aggresive non-violence was, what I was trying to picture!

I understand that English isn’t your first language, but none of what you said is atheistic.

I know many atheists are fundamentalist weirdos that can come off just bad as religious fanatics, but an athiest is literally someone that doesn’t believe in a God. You clearly are spiritual and believe in some kind of deity.

You won’t find any self-proclaimed atheists that believe in any human ‘souls’, let alone animal ones.

I returned to the Church over 15 years ago. I have since then studied a lot about the Catholic faith. And I think a tiny analogy to these studies is that it is like learning long division (a problem like this one: 74,528/284). All the steps are explained, one may even be able to do the steps and come out with the right answer, but it doesn’t make any sort of sense until you have done many of them and all of a sudden, bang it comes clear! (I am not good at math; I hope this analogy helps.)

What I’m saying is that some knowledge can be explained but will not make sense right away. There are so many times that I read a book now for the second, third, or fourth time, and I say, Oh, wow, now i understand this! I am always surprised because, hey! I had read the book already! How could I not have understood everything in it the first time?

A lot of the teachings of the Church are like that. I see it as like going up a circular staircase. I’m going around in the same circle, but each time I go around, I am little bit higher.

Hope this helps; I just wanted to say don’t worry about not completely taking something in right now. Just teust that God knows what He is doing–He does know a lot more than we do–and it will not be a problem.

For that reason I used “let’s say clearly atheistic”, I mean maybe those beliefs wheren’t exactly atheistic (I have my doubts is there is out of there a ‘real’ atheist) the sentence was used as an over-simplification, an aproximation to make a point. I wasn’t trying to be academically right.

I returned to the Church over 15 years ago. I have since then studied a lot about the Catholic faith. And I think a tiny analogy to these studies is that it is like learning long division (a problem like this one: 74,528/284). All the steps are explained, one may even be able to do the steps and come out with the right answer, but it doesn’t make any sort of sense until you have done many of them and all of a sudden, bang it comes clear! (I am not good at math; I hope this analogy helps.)

What I’m saying is that some knowledge can be explained but will not make sense right away. There are so many times that I read a book now for the second, third, or fourth time, and I say, Oh, wow, now i understand this! I am always surprised because, hey! I had read the book already! How could I not have understood everything in it the first time?

A lot of the teachings of the Church are like that. I see it as like going up a circular staircase. I’m going around in the same circle, but each time I go around, I am little bit higher.

Hope this helps; I just wanted to say don’t worry about not completely taking something in right now. Just teust that God knows what He is doing–He does know a lot more than we do–and it will not be a problem.

Yes, I’m optimistic in that too, I hope God will make me see that light.

Oh, that’s great :slight_smile: Perseverance and trust in God and not ourselves are very powerful tools!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.