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Growing up as an Irish catholic, each household was expected to make a meatier donation than usual at Christmas and Easter. These were known as the Christmas Dues and Easter Dues respectively.
I used to think that they were donations for poor Jewish people.
I used to believe until about the age of of 9 or so that the angels were actually singing in church. I was SO disappointed when I turned around one day and saw the choir! To tell the truth, I am still disappointed to this day!
When I was growing up in rural Iowa, there was a set of three large, decorative crosses by the side of the road on the way to town. I thought that they were archaeological remnants of the ancient times during which they used to really crucify people. (In ancient Iowa.)
When I first heard the 23rd Psalm, with its opening line, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want", I was not previously familiar with the word "want" with no specified direct object. Nor did I understand all types and uses of punctuation. So the only way I could figure to interpret that line was as if it had an implied "whom", so that it would mean "The Lord is my shepherd whom I shall not want." I puzzled long and hard over why a Bible verse would have us saying we shall not want the Lord as a shepherd.
I used to think that the Kama Sutra was the hindu religous text.
I never really went to church when I was little. Then, in elementary school I made friends with a girl who's parents were in charge of the music at an episcopal church and I started attending with them. I was probaly about 9 years old. Anyway, they always asked me if I would take communion, and I vehemently told them no. Why? Becaue I really thought they were eating the actual body and blood of Christ--a thought I found a little disgusting because, in my mind, it had to have gotten really old and moldy because I knew Jesus lived a long time ago. This concept was further complicated by the fact that I was sure they were going to run out any day because Jesus wasn't fat.
I used to believe that a morman was a scary person who lived underground(actually called a moleman).
I used to believe that after the offering was taken at church, the priest would put the basket of money on the altar and leave for the night. Then God would reach down with his huge hand and take the money at night when the church was empty.
My mother was raised catholic and went to catholic schools, complete with nuns as teachers. When she moved and got married she stopped going to church regularly and the only time she would take us to church was during the month or two that her parents would come to visit during the christmas season. Because of this I thought that church was only open in the winter.
i used to think that the congregation in church wasn't actually reciting words, i thought that everyone was just mumbling. needless to say, one day i joined in my humming and mumbling gibberish noises.
I used to think that 1000 (or so) years into the future, people would be studying about the kids in my bible class in their bible classes.
Calling the bible "The Book" and "The Word" and "The Good News" had me mixed up for years. We even had one called "The Living Bible". I thought my family was special cause we had the one that was alive! I was really disappointed when I saw this one in a book shop at some point.
When I was first told by my Sunday school teacher that God lived up in the sky, I thought that the stars were his many eyes, and they were watching us to see if we did bad things. Then I realised I could do bad things during the daytime, because God wasn't looking!
All of my family is Baptist. As a child, any time my mother would decide to not do anything again, she would tell me that she was "giving it up for lent". It wasn't until I was 9 and met a Catholic that I realized that she wasn't referring to a trade with dryer fluff.
Up to the age of about 6, when my mum took me to church, after the readings the reader would say 'thanks be to God' and then everyone would day 'thanks be to God'. I thought they were saying 'Thanks Peter God', and that I was a God
I used to believe that mountains were giant camels that God put under the earth.
I believed that I was taken to Church each week as punishment for something I'd done during the week, hence I spent a lot of time trying to be really good and ending up having to go to Church anyway, this took me several months to work out. I cried a lot
I used to believe that Christian Science was a church that looked like an old laboratory and that all the scientists in there looked like Jesus.
I used to believe that the closer it was to Sunday, the worse your sins were.
When I was 8 we learn't about the Immaculate Conception. When I got home I told my parents we had just been taught about the Immaculate Contraption!