Hi. I'm Catholic. Proud. Here's why:
The American Catholic community is deep and rich in the betterment of its surrounding society as a whole (examples = Loaves and Fishes, food/money for poor, communal congregation and protection against passive aggressive like the OP). I find great satisfaction in donating my time, money, and effort to better the lives of those around me. That's the quintessence that most protestants I meet lack ; self-sacrifice and duty to fellow man and an absence of green.
Indeed, Catholic ministries and reverence are more endowed in communal service and patronage than having a strong faith based on the Bible. My community is not just united by our faith in the Bible, but also our diligence to better everyone else's lives, Catholic or not.
Secondly, the rich community and people that are part of the Catholic church is one of few places where I can find such a united atmosphere. There exists no exclusion (catholic means 'universal') nor elitism that exists. Compare that to Southern Baptists, baptists, methodists, seventh days, assemblies, and everyone else who calls us 'pagans'.
My Catholic church and community provides the nurturing conviction we all seek to fill certain voids in our conscious and spirits. Where others try to fill this gap with drugs, money, vice, sports, hobbies (I use hobbies too), or depression, I have found a personal conviction and courage that helps me prosper from what I believe is my soul in action. This makes me a better person (in a Catholic/Christian light) everyday.
Catholics are not defined by the Pope or Vatican. We are not willing slaves to its mandates. To believe that is ignorance, but there's no problem in not knowing the truth.
Growing up Catholic in the South, I have seen plenty of discrimination, mistreatment, and cold-cheeks. I'm so happy other Christians are willing to branch out to those of a familiar faith.
There is a very familiar Catholic prayer I use to encourage and move myself. It's also a Christian one, but you hear Catholics using it as a core 'self-motto'. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
Sorry to get religious. Hope that illuminates the Catholic psyche a little.