Although there are far more atheists than professed Catholics in this country, I felt more alone intellectually when I was believer because only a small percentage really thought like I did beyond their basic belief in the divinity of Jesus. I thought that miracles and logical arguments proved the authority of the Catholic Church and I accepted absolutely everything that the church taught for that reason. The majority of self-identified Catholics, however, even those who attend mass regularly, don't truly recognize that authority (if they dissent from even one teaching) and are essentially Protestants in that they consider themselves the ultimate arbiter between true and false, right and wrong, good and bad. I felt especially alone because all these people who supposedly shared my religion really didn't; at most, they shared some superficial beliefs, but they lacked the core principle that I considered so important to my identity. As an atheist, this is not the case. I fully accept the primacy of the individual conscience, and my reasons for disbelieving generally align with those of others: lack of evidence and the meaninglessness of religious language. The general populace might look at me with suspicion when I say I'm an atheist, but at least I know that I'm not alone in my thinking.