I recently watched the film “Angels & Demons,” another Ron Howard creation based on one of Dan Brown’s controversial novels. For me, it brought back memories of my own strict Roman Catholic childhood. I realized that there is so much history left out of the Catechism teachings that are forced upon children as soon as they can read and memorize bible verses. Or maybe they do teach some of it, I have just blocked it from my memory (or the Nuns beat it out of me).

For me, Catechism was difficult–I was always getting in trouble. There were certain rules that you must abide by and I didn’t follow any of them. Rule number one: Don’t question anything in the Bible or Catechism teachings. Rule number two: Never call the Nuns “Sister Mary Holy Water.” Those are the only two rules that I remember–the only two that were beaten into my head, literally.

Personally, I am still waiting for my questions to be answered. I’m sure you are wondering what questions–well, I will tell you.

OK, so in the beginning, God created heaven and the earth. So when exactly did he create hell? And why would he if it was such a bad place? And what about the other planets and galaxies? When did he create them? Where did God live before he created Heaven? Was he living in the Sun when he created the earth? Is that why Sunday is the first day of the week?

The Nun, Sister Mary Holy Water (they are all Sister Mary something), just looked at me and shook her head–never giving me an answer.

Then God went on to create all the other stuff and then rested on the seventh day. Then he decided to get back to work and create man from dust (which is why they have dirty minds). He created the garden of Eden and put man down in the garden. He warned the man that he could eat freely from the garden but not from the tree of knowledge. Then when Adam was sleeping, God took one of his ribs and created a woman, Eve. Now in Eve’s defense, God never told Eve directly that she couldn’t eat from the tree of knowledge. She was dealing with secondhand knowledge. So the Serpent played on her naivete and she ate from the tree then she offered some to Adam–he could have said No. Apparently he forgot what God told him DIRECTLY. When you eat from the tree of knowledge, your eyes open and you can now see that you are naked–a fun tree. (Or a metaphor for the Catholic religion not wanting their patrons to have their eyes opened–just living with blind faith instead of knowledge & truth?) So God was pissed that they didn’t listen to him–and maybe he secretly wanted Eve to stay naked. So he cursed Eve with menstruation (THE CURSE), painful childbirth and she will be a servant to her husband. Adam’s only punishment was he must now eat from the tree of knowledge everyday. Big Whoop! And the serpent–the one who conned Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge–now he should get a horrible punishment. So God curses him and says he must spend the rest of his days “upon thy belly.” What?!! He cursed the snake to stay a snake? Seriously? Didn’t the snake always slither around on his belly? Or did he look like Trogdor? (Homestar Runner–look it up).

Sister Mary Holy Water just looked at me and shook her head.

OK, well now let’s take a step back. In science classes, they tell us that we are related to Monkeys, Chimps and Gorillas. Now since Eve came from Adam’s rib, then what part of Adam does the monkey come from?

Sister Mary Holy Water just looked at me and shook her head.

Now let’s step away from the Bible and jump into the Catechism protocols. When you are in the 2ND grade, you make your First Communion. You learn how to drink wine and eat stale bread. Girls dress up like brides and Boys dress like grooms then they are paired up (boy & girl) to walk down the aisle together during a special mass–more like mass wedding ceremonies.

Then after your Communion, you return to Catechism and start learning how to make confessions. What do you have to confess about when you are in the 3rd grade? I would make up my confessions so the following week I would really have something to confess about. I said many rosaries when I was in the 3rd grade. Eventually the priest caught on–which led to more rosaries and my grandmother hitting me with a fly swatter.

Sister Mary Holy Water just shook her head at my behavior.

Then in 1988, my grandmother passed away and the Nuns at St. Anne’s gave out a sigh of relief. With my grandmother’s passing, their obligation to keep me in Catechism was simply dust in the wind. They kindly asked my mother to find an alternative church for my Catechism studies.

Since my mother had been shunned by the Catholic church for having a hysterectomy, she didn’t force me to continue my studies so I never did make my confirmation. And since I didn’t have to go to Catechism, I had my evenings free for other activities. My friend Krystal, who lived a few houses down the street, attended the Baptist school on Ryan Road. She went to something called Awana Club. Sounded like fun so I joined too. I was now a Baptist.

Stay tuned to find out what happened when I attempted to make the transition from Catechism to Baptist Awana Member.