I’m an atheist but have always believed that the general principles of most religions (do unto others, don’t be bad) are a pretty good starting point. A couple of years ago I went to my niece’s baptism (my sister in law comes from a catholic upbringing, my brother is of the same mind as me) and I was astonished by the way the priest carried on during the whole thing. He basically reminded everyone that society is going to hell, we’d all be going to hell if we didn’t be more catholic, that everyone who only turned up to the church for the baptism would be going to hell, we should all fear God’s judgment because he would surely send us to hell, the kids would go to hell if we didn’t raise them in good catholic fashion. We would go to hell if we didn’t raise the kids to be good catholics, etc, etc. I can remember thinking “why would anyone want to listen to this stuff every week?”. Who wants to be brow-beaten about guilt and sin by an organisation that is basically the hypocritical champion of both? Every other church I have been to for weddings and christenings have always been about sharing love and doing right by others, which all seemed like pretty positive, encouraging stuff. IMO it’s no wonder that numbers of people who identify themselves as Catholic once they leave school and their parent’s house is in sharp decline. I reckon a lot of people now look at the church without the blinkers and think “yeah, nah, I reckon there are better ways than this”.
And without knowing you personally Soulnet, it sounds like you’re heading that way too.