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In church, I used to believe that after the donations were made, the priest would go outside and hold the plate up, then a light would shine from the sky and beam it up from heaven. Then God would use the money to pay the angels for their services. I was afraid that if we didn't donate enough money, all the angels would go on strike and the Earth would spiral into chaos. I was an odd kid.
My Mom is a Protestant and my Dad's a Catholic; when I was little me and my sister always used to go to church with my Dad and I never understood why my Mom never came. So when I was about 5 my friend stayed over on Saturday night and came to church with me, my sister and my Dad and asked why my Mom didn't come so I announced infront of the whole congregation proudly "Because she's a PROSTETUTE!", evidently we never went to that church again.
I used to believe that there were only 3 religions. Being Jewish, Christian, and Evil. since my dad didn't like going to church with us, i thought he was jewish cuz i knew he wasn't evil.
At my church, about halfway through the mass, everyone will shake hands and say "peace be with you." If you say it real fast, it comes out garbled. For some reason, for years I had this bizarre thought that people were asking what the other person had for breakfast, and the other person almost always responded with Rice Krispies. It was beyond me what cereal had to do with God, but my family still teases me about that to this day.
When my sister and I were about 8 and 10 years old we overheard some adults talking about Martin Luther nailing his thesis to the door. My sister decided to show off at Sunday school and told the teacher about Martin Luther nailing his feces to the Castle Church door. The teacher about wet her pants laughing as did a few of the older kids. We were bewildered until only a short time later when the real meaning of the word was explained.
I remember being told that priests had a direct line to God. In my head I imagined this to be some sort of microphone which was attached to them .
I often wanted to talk to God so after mass i'd go and stand behind the priest and try to talk to God. I didn't want the priest to hear so i'd go and stand close behind him and whisper very quietly in the hope that the 'God microphone' would pick up my transmission.
I used to believe that priests had a sense of humor. When mass ended on that fateful Sunday morning and the congregation filed into line to be blessed by the priest, I put my hypothesis to the test. As I approached Father Nick, I pulled out my plastic toy gun and repeatedly fired it at him, yelling "stick um up!" and "BANG! BANG!" over and over. My first inclination that my assertion was completely false occurred when Father Nick screamed at my mother to get "that devil out of my church!". In case I had any doubts that this was a mistake, my mom spanked them out of me outside of the church entrance as the congregation filed past us. In hindsight, the lesson learned was priests may not enjoy pranks but God sure does.
I thought they used to make the wafers for communion during the mass and that the oven was at the alter in the front of the church. When the priest would kneel down (which happens often right before the handing out of communion), I thought he was checking the oven to see if the wafers were done. I guess I grew up around too many cooks.
I used to believe a lot of things about church. One thing I used to think was that God literally LIVED in my church, but was invisible when anyone walked in for mass. When no one was in the church, he would eat communion at the altar, read the hymnals, take baths in the baptismal font, and basically live in the church like one would live in a house.
I also used this belief to think that the reason that so many bad things happened in the world because God would sleep on the pews, which are so uncomfortable that anyone who sleeps on them would be cranky in the morning!
I had a belief about priests as well-- they had their own homes, which were like mini-churches. I believed for a long time that every Sunday after mass, the priest would take all the leftover communion home and eat it himself. Not only that, but he would also have to say "The Body of Christ... amen" before eating each wafer and "The Blood of Christ... amen" before taking each sip of wine! I thought that was in order to make it last all week and it was the only thing priests ever ate.
As a child I was terrified of vomiting...especially in public. The only place, besides home, I felt safe was in church, because I knew God would never allow me to vomit in church!
One day as we were leaving church after mass, we saw that someone had vomited on the steps. From then on, I became afraid of going to mass also.
My dad once told me that when the bells rang in church it meant that Jesus noticed some child misbehaving and was getting angry at them. Whenever the bells rang and I was bored or being bad I was convinced that Jesus had noticed that I was not paying attention and was mad at me. So I would immediately sit up and attempt to be on my best behavior. When the bells rang and I knew that I was not misbehaving I always looked around and attempted to find the other child that Jesus was repremanding.
To this day bells still kinda put me on edge.
As a Catholic, I heard a lot about this "virgin" Mary. Not knowing what the word virgin actually meant, I assumed it referred to sainthood. When I was around 7-8, I went around telling everyone that I really wished I was a virgin, but that it was too hard and I wasn't disciplined enough.
I never understood why they looked so shocked.
My mom always told me that everyone was Catholic; the big Protestant church next to ours was where the wealthy Catholics worshipped, etc. I overheard her tell my dad one day that a neighbor was dating a Jew. I was estatic! I thought this girl had discovered this lone iconoclast in some foreign land (most likely a shephard) who was the Bartleby of organized religion. I lingered around the girl's house for weeks, waiting for the guy in a robe and sandals to show up, but the only boy that came to see her was this regular hippy kid. I resented him, because I thought he was trying to get between her and the Jewish guy I longed to meet.
When I was little, my best friend Lizzy had a teenage sister and (sister and her friends) would always say "dude", it being the late 90s and all. But I thought they were saying "Jew!" so one day I met a Jewish girl in the neighborhood. Every time I saw her I would say "Jew!" and after a while she would say, "Christian!" So most of our conversations started like this:
Meg: I got the new Barbie.
My mother told me an Exorcist was a man who "Drives away demons". Then I asked my dad what an Exorcist was. He said "A man who says prayers, uses special objects, and things like that to get demons out of peoples body". Combining these two bits of info together, I thought they would exorcise the demon, toss him in his car trunk, and drive him to heck.
When I was a kid, I just assumed we were Mormons and went to a Mormon church service. The once or twice a year when relatives got together, the 'old folks' would talk about this or that relative being a Mormon or belonging to the Mormon side of the family. Wasn't I confused when one day I overheard Mom talking on the phone, telling whoever it was that we attended the Presbyterian church. And wasn't she surprised when at dinner I said with a puzzled look, "Mom, I thought we were Mormons?" A light of understanding clicked on when, after 9 adults and 1 big brother finally quit laughing, Mom said, "Honey, that's a family name - Moorman."
When I was little I thought that Catholic reffered to people who followed the Catholic faith, and Roman Catholic was a Catholic who dressed in historical clothing, such as armor, helmet, etc. I thought they drove chariots, like how an Amish person drives a buggy.
When I was a little kid I took the whole make everyone go to church thing quite seriously, and I kept trying to get a millionaire friend of my dad to go. He would always say that the roof would fall in if he walked into a church. I was convinced that he believed this to be true and that he thought his being fat would somehow compromise the integrity of the building. So I told him that there were many fat people who go to our church and It hasn't fallen in yet. My dad was totally embarrassed by my saying this but his friend practically gave himself a heart attack from laughing so hard. I learned much later that he was probably talking about not fitting in because he was a totally pervy party animal.
Since we receive bread at Mass, I thought he was called "Jesus Crust" Seemed pretty obvious!