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Bad Catholic

At the beginning of the school year we signed Michael up for CCD.

Admittedly horrible Catholics, we were actually raised to be good ones. We at least know enough that we should educate our children so that they too can grow up to be horrible Catholics one day.

“But you’re a hypocrite – the Catholic Church goes against women’s rights,” my atheist brother argues with me.

“Oh I know – I will explain later that it’s all wrong – but for now at least they can learn some prayers.”  I reply knowingly.

I have always been a bad Catholic.  I think I was just born this way. 

I don’t get it and I don’t really care enough to absorb the information – so every time someone explains something to me I am freshly shocked by the absurdity of it all.

I don’t know what anyone is talking about.

My husband has to repeatedly explain to me (and the kids  – because they love it) about what happened on Easter. Something about Jesus being wrapped up like a mummy and then he like escapes from a cave like Houdini and then he was God??

I don’t get it.  It hurts my head.

“I think he was just pretending to be dead,” Michael says when my husband tells the story, “I think he was just asleep.”

“Wait – but who is Jesus’ Dad again? Isn’t it God?” I ask.

“Well – yes kind of.”

But why is Joseph in the manger pretending that it’s his baby? Doesn’t he know that he didn’t have sex with Mary?” I mean what is this General Hospital?” I ask every Christmas.

I don’t get it and as I write this blog right now – I don’t know the answer.   I am going to ask Mr. Gaga again in the morning.

But I should know since I was dragged to church every Sunday of my life – even if I slept over someone’s house!! My father would come get me!!!

And …… this is the worst – we had to say “grace” every night before dinner. (Even now!!)  Which literally sounds like this from all the disgruntled mumbling….

“Father, son, holy spirit…Bless uhlor for these errr ..about to …err  share…Amen”




"Wow these people are freaks - it's like one minute everyone is normal - then the next minute they are mumbling some weird version of grace I have never heard of....and PS - Don't they know I'm a Jew?"

 Once I had my license – it was up to me which mass I went to – so I would usually choose the 12 o’clock mass – and then pretend to go but just really go to McDonald’s.

Apparently the whole “thou shalt not tell a lie” thing escaped me.

Sometimes I would just go in for a quick prayer.....

So – I went on to go to a Jesuit University and then I got married in said University chapel.  Also – I would like to note that although I can be snarky and swear a lot and say things like “I hate babies,” I generally am a good person.

So imagine my surprise when I moved to Connecticut after getting married in New York and living there for a while and I couldn’t get my baby christened. 

I was told flat-out “No,” by more than one church.

“But why? We have all of our sacraments!” I pleaded with a nun over the phone.

“You must be registered and attend mass regularly.” she said.

“Well I work weekends – so I watch mass on TV,” I lied.


(to a nun)


“I am a good person!!!!” I yelled to the dial tone in my ear.

I hung up the phone and looked up at my husband who was staring at me with his jaw hanging open in shock.

“Did you just tell a nun that you watched mass on TV?” he yelled.

“Yes.” I said softly.

“We’re fucked.” he replied sinking into a chair.

Eventually – we greased some palms – and got a family friend to get us a hookup.  The deal was we could get the baby christened if we went to mass every Sunday leading up to his birth.

We went once and figured out what time the collection basket came.  At 10:55 each Sunday morning we would roll up – I would run in and drop a check (with our names on it for evidence!!)  in the basket – and then we would go to McDonald’s for breakfast.

( Apparently we are fat disgusting people who always choose the golden arches over the lord – what can I tell you?)

Well I said I was a bad Catholic!!!  Don’t judge me!!!

If this was our church - we would totally go.......

Last week when I went to pick up Michael from CCD – the teacher pulled me aside.

“Just so you know – the first graders are going to be part of Sunday’s mass.  I know you don’t go to mass….(Can you believe this bitch?) but it would be so great if Michael could be there.”

I at least got one thing out of my Catholic upbringing and its a little thing called guilt – so of course I said we would be there with bells on.

When we got there – Michael sat up front with his class and I sat a few rows back with Sam and his Bakugans to keep him entertained.

Now let me say upon returning to church I was shocked by a few things.

First and foremost – the place was packed!  Most of the people didn’t even have a first grader!  They just woke up and came to church for no good reason!?

And a lot of these devout Catholics – had BABIES with them!!!



Some nerdy couple came dressed to the nines – huffing and puffing up the aisle lugging their baby in an infant carrier.  They of course sat directly behind me – and I thought “Oh great – now I am going to have to listen to this baby cry for an hour.”

Oh no.

The baby was not the problem.

Apparently – the second realization I had, was that church is like American Idol for nerds.

To them – church is a place where in the name of Jesus you can just belt out tunes like it’s nobody’s business even when you have a horrible voice.

I mean try to imagine the most off-key, ear-piercing voice singing “Hallelujah” really loud right into your ear….

Then Sam stopped playing with his Bakugans, turned and looked up at me and said  “I really don’t want to listen to this!” really loud so I could hear him over the American Idol audition.

I doubled over and was crying with laughter.   I was right back to my junior high self – laughing inappropriately in church.

When Michael came back to sit with us at the end of mass -I was still wiping tears from my eyes from laughing.

Trying to be supportive I said “Did you like going up to the altar?”

“Nooo.”  he said with disgust.


“Because that guy (*the priest) just touched my head and didn’t even give me a bite of God.”

“You can have a “bite of God” after your First Communion – after we all go to Confession.” I replied matter-of-factly.

Oh shit.

Let’s just say this might be a bumpy road to heaven for the Gaga family.



34 responses »

  1. this is HILARIOUS. thank you.

  2. My families church years ended early too, mainly because im hearing impaired and we had a indian priest who barley spoke english (wtf?!) And my mother grew tired of me screaming WHAT?! In the back pew and also due to the fact that my father would say “oh thanks!!” Whenever someone said peace be with you, and then cursed furiosuly in the parking lot if someone cut him off in the parking lot…hey its nOt for everyone.

  3. Thank you for this, I just got up, barely have had a drink of my coffee and checked my email. I laughed so much reading this.

  4. That was hysterical!! I would think there are many people who share your views. We had a church that wouldn’t baptize our kids as well (a church I often attended, it was bc one of the godparents I chose was raised Catholic, but didn’t go to church anymore) and yet, as did you, we found one that would. You are absolutely correct….if the Catholic Church teaches you one thing, it is guilt. Good luck!

  5. You have to find a church where they accept online donations, so they don’t know you don’t go. Like me!

  6. Hilarious!
    I am a bad catholic myself so I can totally relate. If you get any answers, please update us all.

  7. When your 8th grade son begs you to be confirmed and then you enroll him in the most conservative CCD program on earth by telling the powers that be– “no, keep that extra 25 in the enrollment fee” and “if you ever need a substitute let me know”. Only to have two very devote, but very well meaning neighbors say, “Um, is it true that your kids are enrolled at St…?” Oh and about my 8th grade son? He is attending class…the 7th grade confirmation class.
    Too funnY!

  8. Hysterical….being a “Cafeteria Catholic” myself, I can totally relate. All I remember about church was playing with my mother’s hands for 45 minutes and trying to flatten her enormous no avail, I might add.

  9. I can’t believe you got called out by the CCD teacher for not going to Mass!

  10. Hilarious!! I think that is close to your best blog yet!!

  11. You are so going to hell… am I. I still lie to my mom every Easter and Christmas about which mass I went to. “A bite of God” might be one of the funniest of your kids’ quotes, good stuff.

  12. I found your post through my friend’s “The Other Side of the Road.” Yep, I agree, you are a good person and very funny–this is coming from a CCD teacher! My eldest is 6. I was Anglican and converted when I got married–my friend said, “Oh good, you are finally moving from JV to Varsity.” Oh no. I keep telling myself this way I’ll know the inside playbook and tell my kid what he can throw out if he wants to. Your relationship with God is your own is what I’ve chosen to tell him. Seems like a pretty good policy to me. Thanks for making me grin.

  13. Thank you thank you…A total of 12 years of Catholic school and church everyday and I still don’t get it. I am a bad catholic. I am married to an Atheist and we have no clue how we are going to raise our child with religion. I have baptized her because I know my mom would have wanted it that way….Everything else is going to be on as you go basis. I would rather her decide when she is old enough to understand….THIS does not make me a bad person. I believe in spirituality and I feel that I do not need to go in a man made place in order to pray or praise. I can sit on a rock that God made in order to do my thing.

  14. Let’s just say I am ROFL and LMAO. This is why I’m not a fan of organized religion. Oh my did I write that out loud?

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  17. You are right. We are twin messes! I too was raised Catholic.. Even attended Catholic school. And I don’t know shit about the bible.. who’s who? who did what? who came first? And I too lied to a nun. Several times. Of COURSE we plan on raising our babies catholic! Yes..we go to church.. Just not this one.

    Funnily enough, now we actually DO go to church. Semi-regularly. But we ditched the Vatican for Catholic-lite… Episcopal… Just like Catholic… but less rules. And they like gays. And have women on the alter. I’m down with it! You MUST come to the Million Milf March! We can light a candle together at the Cathedral in the French Quarter 🙂

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