I've been cataloguing the main reasons why I left the Church. In case you're keeping up, so far I've gone through the introduction, the devil's trick, my aversion to kneeling, my hatred of the Mass, and in my previous entry, I revealed that one of the reasons that I left the Catholic Church was becauase of the witness of other Catholics. But Catholics weren't the only ones giving poor witness in those days. So were other Christians.
What a different world this is to the world in which I was raised. When I was young, only one household in the neighborhood had a television. That same household had a telephone. The rest of us didn't have them, so we didn't miss them. We spent most of our waking hours, outdoors. Playing baseball, basketball, football, soccer, even spinning tops and casting marbles. Or we just explored and played using our imagination. Does anyone remember imagining being a dinosaur? Or a panther? Or a soldier? And as for me, I also spent a lot of time, reading books. One of my favorite subjects was dogs. And one of my favorite authors was Jack London. In one of his books, Jack London said something that had a profound effect upon me. He said that each man makes his own god.
This rang so true to me.
This article would more accurately be described as, "Why I became an atheist". You see, I could have left the Catholic Church and gone to another Christian denomination, the way others have done. But I spent a lot of time outdoors and I saw Protestants. There were Baptists, here. Jehovahs, there. Presbyterians, over there. And they were always stopping people who were minding their own business and asking them if they were saved. And then, trying to force their religion upon them if they didn't like the answer. There weren't very many in my mostly Catholic neighborhood, but those few were making a nuisance of themselves. Whenever I saw one, I would cross the street to avoid him.
As I said in the previous article, Protestants like to claim that Catholics don't give very good example of Christianity. But guess what, to an atheist, neither do Protestants. Yeah, they do a lot of talking. Loud talking. But they don't walk the walk. That is why, outside of Protestant circles, Protestantism, is known as Catholic lite.
I still remember the day when my Protestant friend derided me for being drunk at a billiards bar. He assumed that I was Catholic. But I was atheist. Funny thing, he was also drunk at the very same billiards bar. So, I turned it around on him. I said, "Don't give me that, you're sitting here drunk as me, and I've seen you in your suit walking into church on Sunday." And that is the first time I heard this rejoinder, "Christ died for my sins!" Giving me to understand that he could sin at will because Christ had died for all his sins. That sounded ludicrous to me. After all, I'd been to Catechism. So, I said, "That's not what that means!" Then I remembered that I was an atheist and dropped the matter. What's the sense in fighting over something in which I didn't believe anyway, right?
In my life, I've met lots of Protestants who believe like that. Although many "confessional" Protestants deny that those type of Protestants exist at all, I get the impression they are the majority.
Aside from the bad example of most Protestants that I've ever met. It is the reason why that saying of Jack London's rang so true to me. I had the impression that every Protestant had picked up a bible and by virtue of their belief in Sola Scriptura, had made of himself, his own god. Believing, not what was passed down by Jesus Christ, but only that which they wanted to believe. This is something which Jesus Christ sought to prevent when He said:
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.