Having been Catholic my whole life, I've come across many assumptions that others make about my religion, and about me because I practice it. Whether it be from members of other Christians denominations, another religion, or people who don't practice any sort of religion, everyone seems to have an opinion about Catholicism. All this being said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but here's a few things that I think will help you to educate your opinion a bit more.

1. I'm Catholic, but that doesn't mean I'm not Christian

This is something that baffles me immensely. Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity, and we worship one God. We believe in Jesus, and in the fact that He came to suffer and die for us to save us from our sins. Catholics are also the original Christians from which all other denominations of Christianity dispersed. (Protestant religions came to be during the protestant reformation when Martin Luther split from the Catholic Church and started them.)

2. I don't worship Mary or the Saints

Catholics are not polytheistic! We believe that Mary and the Saints are already in Heaven, and we simply ask them to pray for us because they have a more direct communication to God. We ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us just as you can ask someone else to pray for you. We DO NOT WORSHIP Mary and the Saints or consider them gods of any sort, we simply ask them to pray to God for us.

3. I actually read my Bible

It seems to me that many people think that Catholics do not know and/or read their Bibles, but this is not true. Our masses are centered on scripture, and if you look into it, the things that Catholics believe and teach are Biblical. I have made it a habit to read my Bible every day. Catholics are not against the Bible, how could we be against the word of God?

4. I'm not afraid to talk about sex

I'm not a prude just because I'm Catholic. I may be abstaining from sex until I'm married, but that doesn't mean that it makes me uncomfortable. Sex is not shameful, it is a gift from God for married couples to enjoy and to use to populate the earth. I am open to talking to people about sex, even if it isn't something I choose to partake in.

5. Not all of my friends are Christians

I am friends with people from many different religions, and with people who don't believe in God at all. I love people no matter what their religious beliefs are, and I would never discriminate against someone because they're not Christian. As Catholics, we are called to love before anything else.

6. I don't judge other people based on their pasts

I don't care what you've done in the past. Every single person has a past whether they're part of the church or not, and I understand that. It does me no good to judge you, but I am more than willing to help you work your way toward God in your present, and to support you through your struggles. It's not my job to judge you. In the wise words of Miley Cyrus, "Only God can judge us."

7. I actually have a relationship with God

I have heard from multiple people that they don't believe Catholics have a relationship with God. Having a relationship with God is personal, and doesn't come from your denomination of Christianity. There are Catholics who choose not to have a personal relationship with God, but there are also protestants who choose not to have a relationship with God. This is a personal choice that each person has to make and strive towards for themselves.

8. I'm not part of a cult

Catholicism is not a cult. I choose to believe what I do. Not because someone has told me that this is what I'm supposed to believe, but because I have experienced God's work in my life, and I have seen all the wonders He can do.

9. I'm not homophobic, and I don't hate people who are LGBTQ+

The Church teaches that sacramental marriage is between a man and a woman. However, just because I don't believe it's okay for two people of the same sex to get married, I support those individuals and love them regardless of who they love. Jesus loves all of His children no matter what, so why wouldn't I?

10. My Church didn't add or take books out of the Bible

Catholics did not add books to the Bible. During the protestant reformation, Martin Luther took out 7 books of the Bible, because he didn't agree with their teachings. (Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch.)

11. I don't think you're not going to Heaven simply because you're not Catholic

Catholics believe that Catholicism is the most direct route to Heaven, but it is not the only one. We believe that God works in many ways, and that He can bring people to Himself in more ways that just Catholicism. (Also, I haven't died, so I don't really know what goes on with Heaven after we die.)

12. I am still a Feminist even though I'm Catholic

I do not support abortion, but I do support women's rights. I believe in equality for women, and that we were all created in the image and likeness of God. We all deserve to be treated with dignity, and just because unborn children deserve the same rights doesn't mean I'm not a feminist.

13. I don't believe that science is obsolete

I believe in science not in spite of God, but because of Him. There is no way that science could have begun without someone creating it. We are too concisely created, and our universe too balanced for this all to have been by chance.

14. I don't pay to attempt to get into Heaven

In the 16th Century, there was a corrupt group of people who sold indulgences that were said to "get people into Heaven." This was a corrupt process back then, and it is not something that was ever accepted by the church. This definitely is not still a practice today, and it is forbidden in the church.

15. I don't think I'm better than you because you're not Catholic

I believe that people are equal no matter their race, sexuality, religion or social class. I love all people the same, and I respect others even if they differ from me.