Growing Up Enculted – Part 3

The Catholic grade school I attended from third to eighth grade, Trinity Academy, subjected me to what I would not hesitate to call psychological abuse. The headmaster had come to America from England and established the school with his wife from Philadelphia. The two of them they found absolutely nothing disturbing about teaching middle school children that homosexuality is one of the worst sins any human could ever commit. I do not hold such a miscarriage of moral thinking against them, for I do believe they felt obligated to teach us such vulgar fallacies on pain of eternal damnation. I remember coming home from school as a middle school student and, whilst doing my homework, taking a pocket knife and cutting a hole into my globe where England was. The reason was that my headmaster’s wife, who happened to be my literature teacher at the time, told me in front of my entire (12 person) class that I was lazy and immature. This remark was because I had not been able to memorize all four pages of the poem Paul Revere’s Ride. I do believe such measures of condescendence on children are, in fact, necessary in order to achieve their ultimate goal, to form children into the warriors of Jesus Christ.

The way to attain the Catholic “Heaven” is to put God’s sense of morality before his own. The story of Abraham’s test is perhaps the

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and Eve. Beech wood, 1533. Bode-Museum, Berlin (Erworben 1830, Königliche Schlösser, Gemäldegalerie Kat. 567) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

most controversial story in the Old Testament. If you are not already familiar with it, it is the story in which God instructs Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice. Most Christians cleverly remind you that God eventually intervened and stopped to murder of the young boy; therefore, the story clearly demonstrates how good God is. This logic could not be further from the truth. I think this shows that the belief that a god, who you have never seen, but is somehow able to make all your moral decisions better than you could, is extremely dangerous. The most wretched aspect of the Christian God is the punishment inflicted upon those who have sought knowledge or questioned His morals. God introduced Adam and Eve to suffering for eating from the tree of knowledge. Those who questioned the Catholic Church’s teachings during the twelfth century were tortured by Christ’s followers and were done so by the Pope’s authority.

For those who say that this type of human rights violation is no longer present in Catholic teaching, I do not believe you realize what type of morbid childhood is necessary to produce a person capable of disregarding his innate sense of morality. If you were to think of any person throughout all of human history who you believe had no morals, and then look up the details of his or her childhood I can almost guarantee you it was not a very pleasant one. I believe that the more a child’s freedom, knowledge, and self-esteem are oppressed, the more likely the child is to disregard their own morals. The reason people are so terrified of atheism is that they do not know how to make decisions based on their own morality. Christians must become so timid during the course of their childhood that their morality is no longer measured by what they discern to be right and wrong, but by how willing they are to disregard what they believe to be right from wrong.


8 Responses to Growing Up Enculted – Part 3

  1. dcbarroco says:


    Your Catechesis about attaining heaven is flawed, but this is understandable from puerile and unwelcomed inculcation. You don’t earn your way to heaven, as you are part of God’s family blessed with eternal life through baptism. The “dying to the self” follows the example of the Messiah. In fact, it is daring to be God’s fool in the eyes of the world.

    After reading your tract, it is clear that you are anti-Catholic you seem motivated by the goodness that stems from secular morality. What is unclear to me is the basis of that ethical system. How is it formed? Is this individual morality compatible with others? What is the teleology?

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I like to associate morality with the happiness, or lack thereof, that the action would cause on the World. Sam Harris argues that there is a right and wrong decision, just as there is a right and wrong answer to a math problem. Of course, morality would be an extremely difficult math problem to solve.

      • dcbarroco says:

        To do a reductio ad absurdum, what about the happiness of a masochist? Isn’t what about the consequences of immediate gratification? How about peoples’ lives intersecting with competing happiness interests?

        Good luck scaling the moral landscape with scientific skepticism. Science is incapable of answering some questions, it is ethics. Hence my questions on your views of a moral system. To me Actions would affect happiness in the world is a facile philosophy

  2. Don Cooks says:

    I was brought up in a church where everything I did was a sin. After leaving for college I left organised religion and went my own way. Although I regretted the years spent as a sinner I started a new life and put my religious experiences on the back burner.

    It is sometimes unhealthy to dwell on ones past as nothing can be done about it. I’m disturbed about the influence the church has on politics, but some of the sheep are used by the right to distract us from the real problems in life, but don’t let these teachings influence your happiness today. You are still young and can have a good life in the many years you still have ahead of you.

    Don Cooks

    • Ethan Hill says:

      I appreciate your input. I try not to dwell on my past too much, but I get a sort of satisfaction when I write to end the pain that I was subjected to.

      Ethan Hill

  3. TRUE Christian love one another. Period.

  4. I get into arguments with B. about religion. He claims that I am picking and choosing. He also claims that I am misinterpreting. The thing is, I would never teach my Sunday school class what I believe when I read lessons in the Bible. It’s probably because I view it more metaphorically than literally, and I’m not going to try and delve into my thinking with 1st and 2nd graders. (besides, we’re to busy sneaking doughnuts, and going outside to play –I’m naughty)
    That said, I feel that there are great lessons and morals to be learned no matter how you view them….

  5. Mike@UsneakydevilU says:

    It seems you have allowed mere man to steal your joy. You have the fortitude and strength to reject and keep at a distance a being, a power so much greater than man. But mere man is your kryptonite? Man has no power over you, don’t surrender yourself over to man, if you do then man has become your Creator.

    And please know, all the harshness you speak of was done by man, mere man!

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