I am a Roman Catholic. I went to Catholic school when I was a young girl and I still go to mass every Sunday. I have attended catechism classes in middle school so I could receive my confirmation. In catechism I was told to be wary of people who were practitioners of other religions; Jehovah's Witness, Atheists, Mormons, etc. This often lead to me having disagreements with other people when I went to public schools. I once had an argument with a close friend who was a Jehovah's Witness. I outright told her that her religion was wrong. We never spoke about religion again, although we remain friends to this day.
When I entered my public high school as a freshman I had only two friends I knew and was close with. They were both Catholic and were in youth group together. I was and still to this day a serious advocate of the Pro-Life cause. In October of freshman year I participated in the "National Day of Silence" at my school to raise awareness. Everyone participating in this event wore red duct tape with the word LIFE across their mouths. I also printed pamphlets explaining the protest. I offered the tape and the pamphlets to my Catholic friends and, to my surprise, they turned me down. One of them even criticized me about how stupid I was making myself look and that I was just going to bring myself trouble. On the "Nation Day of Silence" I spent the day being called names and laughed at by a lot of my peers. The next day I told my youth group about what had happened and they all agreed that I had brought it on myself.
I spent the next few days hiding inside myself as people continued to make fun of me. The protest had put a lot of unwanted attention on me. I was mortified at how cruel the student population was to my simple protest. What hurt even more was the total lack of support I received from my fellow Catholics. I felt like I'd been left out to dry.
Later I was introduced to a group of people through a mutual friend. They were a hodgepodge gathering of interesting kids at one of the outer lunch tables in the cafeteria. Also, none of them were Catholic. The bulk of them were atheist or protestant. I told them what had happened to me and they were all outraged by the treatment I had been getting. I ended up becoming very close to these people. This experience helped open my eyes to the fact that true friends are not some things you can choose by religion. Religion may be what we all believe in but who we are as a person is shown through our actions and how far we are willing to go to protect those we care about.
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