The first part of this thread can be found here.
When we last saw young Bruce, he was becoming enlightened regarding the psuedo-scientific world of UFOs, Big Foot, ESP and ghosts. His mom was happy, for a while anyhow.
She had taught our hero that, as Carl Sagan said (actually attributed toMarcello Truzzi), "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
The only problem was I started questioning religion.
As I said earlier when I was in Catholic grade school, I was an alter boy. Before then I would sit in the pew during mass and recite the mass to myself. I knew it word for word. When I got to stand at the alter for the first time, my excitement turn quickly to confusion. I saw that the entire mass was written out on cards under glass. While serving mass, I would fixate on the priest and watch as he read the mass from the cards, rarely looking up. I noticed other priests did the same thing.
But I digress. I started asking adults the obvious questions a kid would ask.
"If he existed forever, what was God doing before he created everything?"
"If you have to know God to get into heaven, what happens to the people who never had the opportunity to know God? Amazon natives and such."
"Can astronauts see Heaven from the Moon?" The Apollo missions were going strong when I was in grade school.
And I started asking the smart ass, critical thinking questions that got angry stares from the nuns at school and annoyed my mom so much.
"If Thor, Odin and Asgard (I read the Thor comics as a kid) aren't real, how do we know Jesus, God and Heaven are real?"
"How could Noah fit all those animals in such a small boat?"
"What is a soul? How is that different from a ghost?"
The answers I received most often were of course "God works in mysterious ways." "It's not our place to ask those questions." or simply "don't ask such stupid question."
These answers of course never work for inquisitive kids. They just throw fuel on the fire.
In fifth grade my english teacher Sister Madonna broke a yardstick over my back for poor writing (HA, I just misspelled writing!) while at the blackboard. That pretty much sealed my disenchantment with the Catholic Church (for the record, all the other nuns and priests that I've known have been very kind, pleasant people. Sister Mary Ann, my collage film professor is my favorite teacher, ever.)
Between the "lazy" priest serving mass, the non-answers about God and the evil nun, organized religion had no appeal.
But I still believed in God.
To be continued...