Confirmation is, more or less, exactly what it says. You're confirming your belief, and vowing to defend the faith.
You can leave whenever you please, and nobody will stop you. The entire idea of the close-minded Catholic Cult Mafia Illuminati is... absurd.
To get back on to the topic at hand.
I was actually confirmed at the age of fourteen, while going through a pretty rough patch in my life. Before anyone asks, no, I didn't "Come to JAYSUS" and be blinded by the wonderful light. Quite the opposite, I pretty much... just stopped caring about a lot of things.
Being raised by lenient Catholic parents (the ones that teach their children to live an upstanding life, rather than trying to bring back the Bible-thumping Great Awakening), I was fairly comfortable with my faith, but, being fourteen, I still had several questions.
And, "surprisingly enough", I reached satisfactory answers by reason. I had a decent, competent religion teacher (something that most people seem to be deprived of, because apparently schools hire mostly strawmen nowadays...), a sub captain from WW2, who explained and argued, rather than simply saying "X is correct, all else is wrong."
When I was confirmed, I was no seminary student. I was no Biblical scholar, or walking catechism.
However, when I was confirmed, I felt strong enough in my ideals that, yes, I actually would stand up for them.
Two years later, I still believe that people should be treated with love, killing is wrong, and giving to others is good.
I do believe that there are a lot of lunatics that have distorted the message of Christianity, and I hope that they wake up and learn the truth of what they claim to teach. I acknowledge that horrible, horrible things have been done in the name of the Church, but I also note the good that is done as well.
I do not believe, nor do I demand, that a religious organization should be absolutely perfect to be correct, as I acknowledge that human weakness is part of reality.
I think that the black-and-white "Either God gives me X or He's wrong" way of thinking is patently false, and I think that the outright rejection of religion at the drop of a hat shows that the person was never truly religious, and I would appreciate it if we could cease the strawman burning.
I believe in basic goodness, in kindness and compassion. Though I know there are several people who could name Little Mrs. O'Leary down at the Church who advocates the murder of homosexuals, I could also name three of the greatest men I have ever met, who radiate such a quiet serenity about them that it's almost impossible to think that there's really nothing more to them than flesh and bone.
Of course, I can already see the inevitable accusations of brainwash and lunacy, but all I can is that I have a fairly open mind, so I ask that you all have the same. Understanding is not achieved through snipes, potshots, and anger. Understanding is achieved through civil discussion and dialog.
I am a Catholic, I was a Catholic, and I will be a Catholic.
EDIT: For the lulz, here's an article from Cracked that is sure to provoke... discussion.