Book Review: Leaving the Quiet Room: My Rise From Religious Slavery to Atheism by Joe Zamecki

I heard it said “Give me a child for the first six years of his education and I’ll mold him so that he’ll be a Catholic the rest of his life.” As Joe Zamecki can attest, it doesn’t always work that way.
So how did Holy Ghost Catholic School ultimately fail in their mission? I suspect it was because they made religious training and devotion an utterly miserable experience for Joe. First there was corporal punishment-painful beatings as early as first grade for trivial offenses. Then there were the long hours of religious classes and boring masses. By seventh grade Joe couldn’t even attend a mass without getting physically sick. There was the fact that the stories and doctrines taught conflicted with what even a small child like Joe perceived as reality, and collectively, made no sense.
Suffice it to say that Joe’s experience at Holy Ghost was overwhelmingly negative. “The truth was that she (Sister Angelina) and most of the other nuns were bitches. That’s “bitch“ in every negative sense of the word. I cannot stress that enough. As an adult, I can judge their actions and attitudes as obsessively controlling and sadistic. If you don’t know what the word “sadism” is, please look it up. Meanwhile I’ll tell you. It’s taking pleasure from the suffering of others. It a prime and fundamental part of being a god-pusher. Especially when that godism is being pushed on kids. Please let that message sink in, if none of the rest of this book does.”
Joe not only forsook his religion and became an atheist, but became an activist who spend much of his time campaigning against religion in all forms and actively promoting atheism.
So, advice for the Catholic church if they don’t want to produce more Joes:
1) Ban corporal punishment in your schools.
2) Screen your teaching nuns more carefully and keep out the mean ones.
3) Ease up a bit on the boring indoctrination. Have religious class only once a week and let the kids attend masses only with their parents on Sundays. Over-saturation is not a good idea.
4) Stop telling the kids stories that even children can see cannot possibly be true, and presenting them as something they absolutely must believe.
5) Produce God

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