My devoutly Catholic friend Rebecca, who's married to the non-practicing Baptist, has certainly given her betrothed some hoops through which to jump. Her husband, who is in no way prepared to duel with the devil at this point, does have the opportunity to attend one redemptive Sunday service at the Baptist church of his choosing and he'll be fully charged and ready to roll. You see, the Baptists are a forgiving group. You can do pretty much what you'd like and then, BAM, like magic you're forgiven and you can ease on down the road. But, the Catholics are a tougher bunch. Catholic parents are clever in that they infuse a certain level of guilt within their kids from the womb and, before Michael Patrick can utter his first coo, he's already face to face with a priest, sprinkling him with holy water to avail him of his yet to be committed sins. Then there's the classes. From what I understand, Catholic kids have to go to alot of special classes and, to add more fuel to the hellfire, the classes are on Saturdays! So, instead of watching Sylvester the Cat plot on Tweety, the Catholic kids have to go to school and remember stuff that they learned. But, that's not all. The Catholic kids have to tell a priest about all the terrible things they've done, even the horrible thoughts they've had like mentally cursing in church, so the priest can then serve up some soul-cleansing punishments to make their hearts as good as new.
I've learned alot about Catholocism through Rebecca and via my incessant viewing of horror films such as "The Exorcist" and "The Amityville Horror." Let's just say that I know who to call should a demon decide to inhabit my body or home. Which brings me to another point which I personally feel is a blatant show of "one-upmanship" on the part of the Catholics. Apparently, Catholic trumps Baptist when it comes to the eternal possession of the soul of a kid born into a mixed marriage--mixed meaning one Catholic parent and one anything else but Catholic parent. For some reason, the Catholics have some sort of heavenly advantage relative to the race for the soul of the kid. My nephew Nico has a non-practicing Catholic father and a Southern Baptist mother who happens to be my younger sis Carrie. I guess there's a "once a Catholic always a Catholic" rule that provides an invisible ring of grace that can never be broken and puts the Catholic kids in the front seat on the train to eternal life. I suppose it's like the law of physics that states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Once you're in, you're in.