My family is a hardcore filipino catholic, which means mass on sundays, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, first fridays, fiestas,celebration of any kind, we even go to church at dawn (around 4:00am) starting december 16- 24 called misa de gallo. we practice all sort of catholic rituals such as the pabasa wherein for 3 straight days you read in a chanting manner an entire book about the sufferings of jesus, we usually do this on holy week, my family also have a flores de mayo ( flowers of may) wherein we sing our praises to the holy mother, pray the rosary for the entire month of may, on all saint's day and all souls day we also pray for the repose of the soul of all our dead relatives (i always pray that no one should die in our family anymore because you could just imagine how long the list of people we have to pray for, filipino families are very close). so the first time i told them that i have doubts about the existence of god,they grounded me and told me to reflect to what i just said and they dragged me in from of our altar, forced me to kneel and ask for forgiveness. the next thursday they got me into our church and i had a confession. my mom cried and she kept on saying that she can't believe she had raise a satanista (satanist!) i don't know where she got that idea but it was funny! then she went to my school and talked to my directress about how i became a satanista (satanist) she told her that maybe there is something lacking in the way they teach the students. the reason they chose that school was because they believe that it will help me develop my spiritual life. you see guys, i studied in a catholic school since Kindergarten until high school. my mom can't think of any reason why i became such a rebel. (now im a rebel... a satanist rebel!) my mom is very persistent, though i have already told her that im doubting god, she still forces me to go to church. at first it was okay for me to come along and hear a mass. but if i continue attending mass and forcing myself to listen to the sermon, i am just wasting my time and effort and it'll be pointless. when i told her that i dont want to go to church anymore, my mom began to cry. she hugged me, kissed me all over my face, she told me that i HAVE to attend mass to clear my mind and vanquish the demon out of me (now i became a satanist rebel possessed by a demon!) 7 years had passed and still my mom cant accept my being an atheist. when i tried to explain the reason why i became like this, she just look at me and sigh. the one thing that she told me that struck me the most and got me a little confused is when she told me this:
"kaya ka nagkakaganyan ay dahil sarado ang isip mo sa katotohanan, subukan mong buksan yan at baka maliwanagan ka na nariyan ang diyos, totoo sya at kapag nagpatuloy ka sa paniniwala mo na yan ay masusunog ka sa impyerno." translation---"the reason why you're like that is because you do not have an open mind, try to open your mind and maybe it'll help you believe that there is a god, that he is real and if you continue on your atheistic beliefs, you will burn in hell." talk about major confusion!

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Comment by Mario Rodgers on December 2, 2010 at 7:52pm
Catholics are psycho. Filipino Catholics are SCARY. I think out of all the denominations, Catholics are ironically the farthest deviated from what the spirit of Christianity is often touted to be.

Open mind my foot. I still can't believe half the stupid crap that Catholics believe. I'm so glad I'm no longer one of them. Even my mother won't think twice to say "I hope God does this and that and gives you a bad life and hardship." Not to me but just in general.

But I'm still kinda nervous about taking my hometime at her house, especially for the holidays because she always keeps asking me to say Grace, and I always gotta keep turning her down.
Comment by Philip Laureano on December 3, 2010 at 12:48am
The fun part about being a Filipino Atheist is that you find yourself knowing more biblical scripture than even your religious counterparts. It's always fun to quote the parts of Leviticus that mention slavery whenever they say that the bible is the "Inerrant Word of God".
Comment by Atheist Exile on December 3, 2010 at 1:14am
Filipinos are a funny lot. Despite being 85% Catholic, they're very tolerant, friendly, kind and nonjudgmental, as a whole. They have a deep faith in Jesus and the Church; they know their hymns and are amazingly prayerful. Just about every house has at least one altar (and it's not just sitting there collecting dust).

If you stand outside a church and watch people as they drive by, you'll see many (if not most) of them crossing themselves as they pass by. Contemporary Christian music is very popular here and is enjoyed by young and old alike.

All in all, I don't see a lot of down side to Christian faith, here in the Philippines. I can't say the same for the Muslim communities, however.
Comment by Martha Everett on December 3, 2010 at 6:41am
I can sympathise with the fear of hell, but there are ways round it. I have always had a paralysing fear of the dark, when I became Atheist, every time I had to go in to a dark place I just imagines the atoms making up all the molecules of the space. I recited what I know about ligt & how it travels & reflects in to your eyes. I reminded myself that if there was anything else in the world (like monsters for me or hell for you) that I would be able to think of similar scientific explanations of it. I am now completely cured!
Comment by Jon Heim on December 3, 2010 at 1:04pm
"the reason why you're like that is because you do not have an open mind, try to open your mind and maybe it'll help you believe that there is a god, that he is real and if you continue on your atheistic beliefs, you will burn in hell."

it's already been said but the reason you're mother is such a devout catholic is because she doesn't have an open mind to any other existing possibility. This is a very common response by the way, Ive heard it many times in my life.

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