Brian Fitzpatrick: Recovered Catholic now happy atheist
By Brian Fitzpatrick
n 1945, the birth lottery dropped me in Brooklyn, N.Y., and there, frocked freaks pounced and shoved Catholicism down my throat. Thirty-five years later, I wretched it up. But, oh, the wasted energy escaping from that malicious myth: branded with original sin and predestined for eternal flames. I had lost life’s game before I suited up.
For many painful years, I stumbled through the minefield of ubiquitous sins. I struggled to distinguish mortal from venial. I suffered from the guilt of being a boy and being attracted to girls. I finally realized that if nature hadn’t designed me that way, humanity would perish.
After eight years of nuns at Our Lady of Incredible Guilt and eight years of Jesuits, I was perfectly prepared for the Spanish Inquisition. Unfortunately, it was the ’60s and protesters were burning bras and draft cards. I never could reconcile Cardinal Francis Spellman’s endorsement of napalming Vietnamese children with “Thou shalt not kill.”
The blatant hypocrisy of “God and country” slapped me in the face. My cloistered walls were cracking. Thank Grog I met some jovial Jews who liberated me. The Jewish atheists had traded Yahweh for Marilyn Monroe. It looked like a good deal to me. I told God to go to hell — I’m going to heaven . . . with Marilyn.
Walking life’s trail for 75 years, I’ve had time to think. If divinity exists, it blooms within the communion of human hearts. The confluence of individuals fostering beneficence is our raison d’ etre. It points to our evolutionary path. We were born to protect creation and leave Mother Earth healthier than we found her.
Our noblesse oblige is to nurture the common good. Herein lies the rub. Organized religion is a parasite. It refuses to pay taxes to support the common good. We citizens pay taxes on property, income and consumption. But not churches; they get a free ride. One wonders why? Perhaps churches perform a function for the state. What could that function be?
Historically, shamans and holy men played the masses for chumps. The shamans invented gods to enhance their powers. Nothing has changed. Christianity invented a guy in the sky who metes out eternal flames if you disobey “his” rules. That’s the yardstick. If people believe the god myth, they will swallow the lies of puppeticians (politicians on oligarch strings).
Religion is a gullibility test. If people are naive enough to swallow the swill emanating from churches, they will also swallow government lies (e.g., the weapons of mass destruction ruse that killed a million Iraqis and had untold other consequences).
Witness the current milieu: Evangelicals rabidly support a blatant sybarite, swindler and schmuck.
Thank Grog I’m a happy atheist.
FFRF Member Brian Fitzpatrick is a retired public high school teacher in Jefferson County, Colo.