According to a Vanity Fair – slash – 60 Minutes poll, 15% of Catholics believe the world would be a better place without religion. 1% of Evangelicals and 5% of Protestants, too.
Of course, the same poll showed that 28% of respondents, of all education levels, thought the United States has more than a billion residents. I can’t help but think the problem is entirely of culture and education — as in too much culture, enculturating people into Catholicism even though they don’t believe themselves, and too little education, where people simply cannot recognize the gaps in their knowledge of the world. That’s honestly the only way I could see someone labelling themselves as a “Catholic”, e.g. culturally, while believing that their religion should not exist.
An honest piece of advice to these 15% of Catholic adherents: just quit. Get out. You do not have to continue to adhere to the Catholic ways of life to believe what you believe. You do not have to stay in the Catholic denomination. You could switch to another denomination, one that has less of a problem with priests living resplendent lives while claiming poverty is a virtue, or having to receive your catechism from a man who may very well have been shuffled to his position after having been caught diddling kids in another district.
You can quit. You can quit and live a happy, healthy, full and pious life. Sure, the kiddy-fiddlers and the corpulent greedy bastards who claim to have a direct pipeline to God might “excommunicate” you, might claim that you’re going to Hell. But even if you still believe in Hell, and still believe in a just and righteous God, why would you believe these people who visibly break that God’s commandments over and over again when you break from their ranks?
And if you’re Catholic only because you like the community, but don’t actually believe in any of the Bible, much less believe in a higher power, then welcome to our community. You’re an atheist, and you are welcome to break bread with us.