It has been rather interesting to see media coverage regarding Leah Libresco’s conversion from atheism to the Catholic faith. What is most interesting that there is any coverage at all, but I have seen a couple of article on prominent media sites along with her interview on CNN. I ddon’t think I have ever seen coverage of this type before. Patheos must have more of the media’s attention than I had guessed, but this is not the first prominent atheist blog that converted to Christianity. The former “The Raving Atheist” site was one or the earliest atheist blogs and it also had quite a large forum for followers of that site. There was some coverage when prominent atheist philosopher Anthony Flew became a theist. Still people who blogged as an atheist and later became Catholic are still rather rare and rarely do we get to see that process as we did with Jennifer Fulwiler. I can’t think of an example of a prominent Catholic blog that became an atheist blog, but can recall one that converted to another church and one that decided to dine from the buffet instead and soon disappeared.
Among Catholic bloggers there are certainly a fair number who became bloggers after their conversion or reconversion to the faith after some period of time in atheism. I also remember one of the early Catholic blogs from an ex-atheist who became a Monk in an Eastern-Catholic Church.
In this article covering the story.
Libresco’s announcement has left some atheists scratching their heads.
“I think atheists were surprised that she went with Catholicism, which seems like a very specific choice,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger at Patheos, told CNN. “I have a hard time believing how someone could jump from I don’t believe in God to a very specific church and a very specific God.”
Well judging by the thousands of comments on Leah’s site his person is not alone with this question. Though really from an atheist’s point of view any belief in God of whatever form is on par with believing in the Easter Bunny.
But really why a “specific church and a very specific God.”? Well in my case I would say it was because truth has specificity. There is something about conversion to the Catholic Church that can draw almost an equal negative reaction from an atheist or a fundamentalist Protestant and sometimes for very similar reasons.
That specificity of truth is what drove me to the Catholic Church. The claims of Eastern mysticism held no such attraction for me and I found the claims of Protestantism varied from congregation to congregation and neighborhood church to neighborhood church. Again it was specificity that kept me looking at and researching the Catholic Church and her claims to authority. My understanding of the Church as being anti-science fell away as I truly looked at her history and I found that I was anti-science in that I had totally discounted “The Queen of the Sciences” theology.
The more I read I was also surprised at the consistency and how deeply the Church hod thought on various subjects. This made me rather embarrassed for some of the things I had previously believed regarding the Church. That from a distance I was coming up with “unanswerable” objections as if nobody had ever answered them in 2,000 years. I found instead that really it is only the Catholic Church that could fully satisfy an ex-atheist.
Hat tip to Thomas L. McDonald for the link to the story.