Leaving a religion

There turned out to be two ex-quakers (people formerly involved
in the Society of Friends, but now members of other churches) at
the band rehearsal (and subsequent beer-drinking)
last night, so I reflected yet again that ex-quakers are much
more civilized about their disagreements or dissatisfactions
than ex-catholics are.

I should mention that in some technical sense, I’m also an
ex-quaker, since my parents were members when I was born, but
I’ve never personally been involved. By the time I can remember
going to church, they were Methodists, and shortly after that,
they returned to the Roman Catholic Church. So I’m a Birthright
Quaker, a Baptized Methodist, and a Baptized Catholic.

The only
church I’ve attended regularly as an adult was Saint Peter’s
Episcopal Church
, where I sang in the choir, and contributed
money. When the Rector suggested that I should be confirmed,
I told him that I thought my confirmation as a Roman Catholic was
enough confirmation.

One person at the rehearsal said she’d decided that the Friends
were too serious about their personal responsibility to save the
world. The Unitarian Church she’s currently attending seems to
feel more of a *community* responsibility to save the world,
which she’s more comfortable with. The other person said when asked that he’d left basically
because of disagreements about how to save the world. There was
probably some bitterness and disappointment in both those
attitudes, but nothing like the rage you find with
ex-catholics.

Of all the different kinds of education I’ve had, I probably
find the technical and the political (in marxist reading groups)
the most useful, but the Catholic catechism might come in fairly
close to the humanist liberal arts one. So I describe myself as
a non-practicing Catholic, rather than an ex-catholic, largely
because I don’t want to be associated with the kind of
anti-catholic rage that’s prevalent in quite a number of the
circles I frequent.

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