Skip to comments.Author of atheist blog announces she will become Catholic
Posted on 06/20/2012 5:39:30 AM PDT by Petrosius
Denver, Colo., Jun 20, 2012 / 04:17 am (CNA/EWTN News.- Blogger Leah Libresco, known for writing about ethics and religion from her perspective as an atheist, announced June 18 that she now believes in God and intends to enter the Catholic Church.
“For several years, a lot of my friends have been telling me I had an inconsistent and unsustainable philosophy,” the Washington, D.C.-based author of the “Unequally Yoked” blog wrote in a post announcing her intention to convert.
The 22-year-old Yale graduate says she came to believe “that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth.”
“When I was talking to a post-modernist friend afterwards,” Libresco said to CNA on June 19, “I told him, 'I guess you were right. (The concept of) “Truth” was a gateway drug.'”
“He replied, not very much in jest: 'Told you so.'”
In recent years, the writer and researcher had – despite her atheism – developed an interest in Christian accounts of morality, developed by authors like C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Her blog, “Unequally Yoked,” chronicled her engagement with Christian theological claims.
Raised in a non-religious household, Libresco explained in a biographical statement that she “met smart Christians for the first time” during college. She was “was ready to cross-examine them” from her perspective as an atheist, but found there were “some big gaps in my defense of my own positions.”
“I realized I didn’t have a clear enough idea of what Christianity entailed to be able to imagine a world where it was true. I felt embarrassed and told my friends to take their best shot at convincing me.”
Through her blog, the atheist thinker looked to test her arguments against belief, seeking out “people to ask me tough questions and force me to burn off the dross in my philosophy.”
The odyssey was personal as well as philosophical, involving a romantic relationship with “one of these smart Christians.”
“I talked with deacons, priests, and Dominicans and attended RCIA classes – until I got kicked out,” she wrote in the biographical statement, composed before her conversion.
“Neither my boyfriend or I looked likely to switch teams in the near future, and, after two years of dating, we were at the point where a relationship that was incompatible with marriage seemed foolish, so, regretfully, we had to split up.”
But she continued “seriously exploring Christian claims,” in light of her own belief in philosophical concepts including objective morality. Her blog featured a “test” in which atheists and Christians swapped roles, composing answers to questions from the perspective of the opposing worldview.
Libresco's atheism finally ended after a recent Yale alumni debate, where a friend “prodded me on where I thought moral law came from in my metaphysics.”
“I talked about morality as though it were some kind of Platonic form, remote from the plane that humans existed on. He wanted to know where the connection was.”
Pressed to define the connection between humanity and the moral order, Libresco came up short: “I don’t know. I’ve got nothing.” Then she remarked: “I guess Morality just loves me or something.”
In Monday's blog entry, the “Unequally Yoked” author said her writings, hosted by the Patheos website, would move from the service's “atheist channel” to its “Catholic channel.”
Libresco said she had been using the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, as well as the ancient “Breastplate of Saint Patrick,” for most of her “prayer attempts.” Despite lingering “confusion” about some Catholic teachings, Libresco has begun RCIA classes at a Washington, D.C. parish.
The former atheist summed up her feelings about her announcement with a quotation from Tom Stoppard's play “Arcadia”: “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”
Somethings missing from this woman’s testimony. Anyway I hope she’s sincere.
That an atheist would find herself embracing the Church headed by Pope B16 is proof that Fellay is right. /sarc
...I guess you were right. (The concept of) Truth was a gateway drug...
This is the key. Christ's opposition has been asking "what is Truth?" for two thousand years, and in doing so have ceased to believe that anything is true. Because of it, they have nothing to offer their followers but lies and emptiness. We can pray that more of them tire of it and seek the Truth.
Sooooooooooo much is missing from EVERY alleged atheist’s testimony. That’s the point - atheism is incompatible with human personhood.
Very interesting. In 20 odd years of being a part of the “skeptic” community I believe this is the first time I’ve heard of an informed atheist (as opposed to your garden variety disbeliever-by-default) converting to Christianity.
Oh well, she’s young and has proven she’s amenable to reason. We’ve got plenty of time to get her back ;)
The new atheists are going to hit her hard. They don’t tolerate dissent very well.
I hate to sound cynical, but she didn’t mention Christ.
not gonna happen....she belongs to Christ now.....reason and thoughtfullness, and logic led her home.....which is a huge part of the christian faith to begin with......
That was my thought as well. As much as they deny it, atheists practice a rigid orthodoxy of their own, and have a tendency to come down hard on apostates who leave their fold.
You have no idea what she mentioned, beyond what the author and editor of the piece conveyed.
Even Saul became Paul.
Finally a positive news story
Praise the Lord!
The skeptic community cannot win over informed reason. They (sic) do not have the tools.
The skeptic community must be pretty self-limiting. I have heard personally from and read the accounts of plenty of people, literary and otherwise, who went through exactly that conversion.
It's getting late and We, the Lost, need to be called home.
Yes he did. However, when Saul became Paul, it was accompanied by such statements:
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20
"...as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:20, 21
There is no doubting the power of conversion. The question being asked HERE is: Is this woman converting to a Savior...or a System that has "God" in it...
If she is converting to a SAVIOR...the halleluiah! If she is seeking a system because she now believes in God...but is not ready to devote her life to a Savior...then she STILL doesn't get it and will still spend eternity separated from God in a place called Hell.
“That was my thought as well. As much as they deny it, atheists practice a rigid orthodoxy of their own, and have a tendency to come down hard on apostates who leave their fold.”
She sounds like an old school atheist who believed in morality and basic human decency, just without G-d. The new atheists have no use for such things and they will go down cursing and screaming.
Google St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Christ is in every line.
Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire, check out her story or faith. Very interesting journey she had.
She later renounced.
Seems Christianity wasn’t gay-friendly enough for her.
The atheists are already going nuts and attacking her. She was well liked in the atheist blogosphere prior.
Doesnt RCIA always begin in the fall,culminating with the Easter Vigil?
She finally discovered she was too intelligent to be an atheist.
"The 22-year-old Yale graduate says she came to believe that the Moral Law wasnt just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth.
Once you have arrived at the conviction that the Truth is a person, you are well on your way. That comes from the imprint of the Creator on her heart. Plenty of people have come to Christ with less understanding.
Interesting. I didn’t know that so I did a bit of research myself and it appears that the organized church is what she left. Here is and exert from her direct quote: “I remain committed to Christ”. That is the bottom line for a believer.
She had some odd ideas, based on the one book of hers I read, regarding the ability for some souls to reincarnate.
This is true, but remember, if we are to come to Christ we must first believe He exists. For someone coming from a "there is no God" perspective she has already made the hardest leap of faith. She now believes "there is a God"
So the next question she will inevitably ask (if she has not asked it already) is "What does God want from me (or me to do)?"
She'll get there.
The church has plenty of pretenders in it today... its one thing to be welcoming, its another to be naive. Of course maybe there's more to this story but I don't think the Catholic New Agency would edit out a testimony in Christ's name.
Awesome....hope she gets good guidance on the journey.
When she is accepted into the Church she must make a profession of faith based on the Nicene Creed which has the following words:
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,That is good enough for me and should be good enough for you.
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
Approval from you or I is unnecessary.
But there are a couple of unrepentant lesbians living around the corner from me who are ordained Lutheran ministers, I imagined they also took the Nicene Creed. Should that be 'good enough' for me as well?
I'm a fallen Catholic and the worst hypocritical Christian who's only hope is that we have a forgiving God. But the snarky little comments reveal more about those making the comments than the girl who converted.
If they were referring to me perhaps you can describe what about me you took away from my comments?
Approval from you or I is unnecessary; followed directly by an example of which there is clear disapproval. Fascinating.
Somethings missing from this womans testimony. Anyway I hope shes sincere.
I second both points.
You must have missed A.N. Wilson and Dr. Antony Flew (google that). My own favorite of several intellectual nonbelieverswho made it all the way through the door into the Household of Faith is my friend at the University of Leeds (UK) who was an atheist philosopher and ethicist for many decades, entering the Catholic Church after long, long reflection and great joy in his late 60's. If you want to communicate with him, let me know and I will get his permission.
I'm sure your comment was directed to me.
I sense that by adapting a wait & see attitude regarding this blogger's statements I've unintentionally offended some posters. I'll know better next time.
She must not have read Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Dis is true
Read about C. S. Lewis, who was brought from atheism to Christianity by his friend Tolkien. (Although Tolkien may have been miffed by Lewis joining the Church of England instead of becoming Catholic.)
CS Lewis (and Anne Rice, as someone else mentioned) are not what I would consider “informed” skeptics.
I was raised in an evangelical home and have read most of Lewis’ work (everything but his academic literary criticism, I think) and he makes some very basic errors with regards to his reasons for rejecting other religions (he completely misconstrued Buddhism, for one) when he went through his period of trying to decide what was true.
What I mean by “informed skeptic” is someone capable of things like arguing both sides of the Kalam, explaining metaphysical vs. methodological naturalism, and so forth.
I’m surprised no one has brought up would-be apologist Josh McDowell.. another self-proclaimed “former atheist” whose hokey pseudo-intellectualism was something I ran into in the years before I ended up rejecting any form of Christianity that would be recognisable as such to a conservative/evangelical type.
The Antony Flew affair is one with which I’m sadly familiar.
Rumours surfaced as to his “conversion” in 2001 - 2004. Rumours which he personally refuted.
Case closed? Not quite..
He stated in 04/05 that he thought abiogenesis, the Kalam, and schroeders improbability arguments had turned him to deism.. a statement which he again retracted later that year, saying he had been “mistaught” by Schroeder, an eminent physicist, and worryingly claimed he could not even recall writing the letter in which he wrote “the kalam cosmological argument is a sound argument.”
He then wrote an article called “my conversion” in Think which is so confused and unclear it makes no real claim for the existence of God at all.
Flew was then paraded around by Christian apologists (Strobel, Habermas, Phillip Johnson etc) who, despite growing evidence that he wasn’t of entirely sound mind, cited his repeatedly contradictory statements on things like abiogenesis and the kalam as some sort of victory.,
He died in 2010 of (surprise!) dementia.
The Flew affair says far more about the craven nature of publicity hungry Christian “apologists” than it does about Flew himself. Unfortunately he never managed to explain in a coherent way what he believed and why and contradicted his own assertions about abiogenesis in the new preface to his book “God and Philosophy.”
A.N. Wilson I’ve never heard of. I appreciate the offer and I’ll respond after doing a bit more research. Thanks!
I wonder if Anne Rice was ever truly in Christ. In retrospect her conversion seems more like an emotional exercise, a celebrity faith "experiment" or a vain attempt to recapture something she lost in her childhood. The "Christ" she knows may very well be a figment of her imagination.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I pray that she is for real.
“I'm a fallen Catholic...”
Perhaps you meant fallen-away Catholic, but on the chance that you didn't, you may be certain that every Catholic is a “fallen Catholic.”
That's why we're Catholic.
“The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.”
- Oscar Wilde