My parents had me baptized when I was born, and had me attend Catholic schools from grades 1-12. My family attended church sporadically; we did the usual christmas and easter masses, and also went whenever my parents began to feel guilty about not going. Never once did I find church remotely interesting, and perhaps more importantly, remotely uplifting. I received communion, I was confirmed, yet still, I felt nothing that I was supposed to. I felt happy that I was making my family proud, but that was about it.
Starting university was a big relief. No more religion classes, and my parents started to become less insistent that I come to mass with them. I can almost remember the exact moment when I came to the realization that I just didn't believe in God. All those years of nominal belief were, I think, more of a desire for an afterlife than anything else... and even then, I had never really bought into the idea of heaven.
Sometimes I like to think that I have no problem with the Catholic church specifically. Then I realize that no, I really do have problems with catholicism. Attitudes towards homosexuality, birth control, and women, to name a few. I have problems with some aspects of the catholic school system; there was NO mention of birth control in the equivalent of sex ed ("family life") at all. Birth control was taught in biology class during the last year of high school -- and at my school, biology was an optional class, only taken by the "smart" students. I guess that I'm most unhappy with the unrealistic (and in my opinion, unhealthy) attitude towards human sexuality that I was bombarded with while in grade school. It wasn't helpful to me in the least.
Ugh, and the bishop where I live is very very vocal, intolerant and often (in my opinion) quite offensive. I'm a huge fan of keeping religion out of government, and it scares me that people like him are intent on forcing their belief system on everyone.
Anyway, I hope that wasn't too rant-y or random ^^ Erm, since this really was intended to be an introduction, here are some other random tidbits about me: I'm 20 years old, currently attending university and (hopefully) only one year away from obtaining a degree in ecology. I'm a big fan of observing religious debates, but have very little experience in terms of, um... actually contributing ^^ But I'm doing my best to change that :)
Thanks for reading and I look forward to getting to know you all!