How to Create a Future ex-Catholic Kid

A practical guide to raising a fallen away Catholic

Kathy Copeland Padden


Help me they're all crazy Photo by Kathy Copeland Padden

My birth was the catalyst for a gazillionty family arguments. My parents were just one generation removed from Northern Ireland, and their folks carried the religious strife across the Atlantic with them.

My paternal great-grandfather was a British soldier from Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ulster. An Orangeman, if you will (I know. Ew. )

My Grandpa was born on the military base in Aldershot, England when Queen Victoria was paying a visit. The Queen was a big fan of babies and inquired if my Scottish great-grandma Rachel would care to have an audience with Her Majesty, but Great-Grandma Copeland said, “Nah, I’m good,” which is pretty awesome.

My maternal grandmother was also from Enniskillen, but they were staunch Irish Catholic Republicans. There would be none of that Protestant bollocks in their family.

And so the stage was set for their future great-granddaughter’s and granddaughter’s utterly confusing Catholic upbringing.

So, to create a future fallen-away Catholic, you will need:

  • An innocent baby who did nothing to deserve this.
  • Two warring religious factions in the family.
  • Two Catholic grandmothers.
  • Two parents locked in a battle of wills (egos.)
  • Did I mention the innocent baby who did nothing to deserve this? Just making sure. It’s an important point.

Once you reach the age of six or seven, they upholster you in plaid and leave you in the care of the nuns for twelve long, tortuous years.

Ironically, it’ll be the nuns who do the best job of alienating young Catholics from the One True Faith. Listen to bullshit like this for enough years and you’ll be ready to leave offerings for the Old Gods supplanted by Christianity:

Every time you speak out of turn, that’s another nail driven into Jesus on the cross.

Then Jesus must look like a hunk of Swiss cheese because I’ve never shut the fuck up from the day I learned to talk.



Kathy Copeland Padden

is a music fanatic, classic film aficionado, and history buff surfing the End Times wave like a boss. Come along!