home
RSS
June 22nd, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – She went from atheist to Catholic in just over 1,000 words.

Leah Libresco, who’d been a prominent atheist blogger for the religion website Patheos, announced on her blog this week that after years of debating many “smart Christians,” she has decided to become one herself, and that she has begun the process of converting to Catholicism.

Libresco, who had long blogged under the banner “Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend,” said that at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass.

“I had one thing that I was most certain of, which is that morality is something we have a duty to,” Libresco told CNN in an interview this week, a small cross dangling from her neck. “And it is external from us. And when push came to shove, that is the belief I wouldn’t let go of. And that is something I can’t prove.”

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

According to a Patheos post she wrote on Monday, entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” she began to see parts of Christianity and Catholicism that fit her moral system. Though she now identifies as a Catholic, Libresco questions certain aspects of Catholicism, including the church’s positions on homosexuality, contraception and some aspects of religious liberty.

“There was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth,” Libresco wrote about Catholicism in her conversion announcement post, which has been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. “I asked my friend what he suggests we do now, and we prayed the night office of the Liturgy of the Hours together.”

At the end of the post, Libresco announces that she is in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class and is preparing for baptism. She will continue to blog for Patheos, but under the banner, “A geeky convert picks fights in good faith.”

According to Dan Welch, director of marketing for Patheos, Libresco’s post has received around 150,000 page views so far.

“Leah's blog has gotten steadily more popular since she arrived at Patheos, but a typical post on her blog is probably closer to the range of 5,000 page views,” Welch wrote in an email. “Even now, a few days later, her blog is probably getting 20-30 times its normal traffic.”

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.”

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a “one-off thing” and not something that signals any trend in atheism. “The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around,” he said.

But while atheists were puzzled by the conversion, others commended Libresco.

“I know I’ve prayed for her conversion several times, always thinking she would make a great Catholic,” wrote Brandon Vogt, a Catholic blogger. “And with this news, it looks like that will happen. Today heaven is roaring with joy.”

Thomas L. McDonald, a Catholic Patheos blogger, welcomed Libresco to the fold: “Welcome. I know this was hard, and will continue to be so. Don’t worry if the Catholics make it as for difficult for you as the atheists. We only do it to people we love.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Libresco says one of the most common questions she has received is how she'll deal with atheists now.

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” Libresco said. “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church

soundoff (7,475 Responses)
  1. Anton Berlin

    Did she suffer a brain injury ? No other explanation possible.

    July 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  2. hardwood flooring products

    hello!,I like your writing so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Having a look ahead to look you.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  3. Fish Tank Sizes

    Fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing. I'm confident, you have a great readers' base already!|What's Going down i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I'm hoping to contribute & help other customers like its helped me. Good job.

    July 20, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  4. madison

    Wonderful paintings! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the web. Disgrace on the search engines for not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and visit my web site . Thank you =)

    July 20, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  5. paranormal

    I'm not certain where you're getting your information, however great topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  6. work abroad

    Excellent put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing. I'm confident, you have a great readers' base already!|What's Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid different users like its helped me. Great job.

    July 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Justin

      check out this funny song about Mormons..........

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR4En09lKmI&w=640&h=390]

      July 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  7. African mango plus consumer reviews

    You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I to find this topic to be really something that I think I'd never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I'm taking a look forward on your next submit, I will attempt to get the dangle of it!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  8. free films

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have remember your stuff previous to and you're just too wonderful. I really like what you've obtained here, certainly like what you are stating and the way by which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can't wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous website.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  9. what kind of dog is boo

    We're a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful information to paintings on. You have performed an impressive task and our entire group will likely be grateful to you.

    July 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Irusa

    She was never an atheist to begin with. The name of her blog was "“Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend”. Her boyfriend is a Catholic and that's why she converted to the Catholic church, that's all. I think she never understood what a true atheist really means and she was just confused. You can't convert from a a godless person to a person that strongly believes in God.

    I was a Catholic when I was younger, but as I was growing into adulthood I began to question many aspects of life and I came to the conclusion that Christianity goes together with all the other religions of the past. Religions that were only created to explain the mysteries of the world due to the ignorance of the people in the past and not having the technology to explain all of nature's wonders. It's sad to see that today people still believe in a mythical being in the sky.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • I once was lost, but now I'm found

      "You can't convert from a a godless person to a person that strongly believes in God."

      Huh?????????????

      July 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Steve

      You peeps are too much.

      When somebody converts from a believer in God to a nonbeliever, your typical reaction is, "He/she finally got smart." or, "He/she must have finally done some serious research." etc...

      But, when somebody converts from a non-believer to a believer, your typical reaction is, "He/she never really did their research to begin with." or "He/she is just trying to appease so-and-so..."

      Sad.

      July 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Steve

      I don't agree with much of what Irusa said. However, based on the information wihin the article, she converted because she never really thought about morality. In the article, it essentially boils down to "she feels morality is external" and then picked the religion that best fit with what she already had, although I doubt that she agrees with everything in catholicism. I've also read some of her blog posts, and they were very poorly written, and gave the air of a ditsy high schooler who thought she was being smart.
      Based on what I've read from her and in the article, I think it's very plausible that she converted due to lack of introspection, research, and for her boyfriend as well.

      July 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Polergiest

      She can't? Why not? Do "True Atheist" get brain implants or something?

      July 18, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  11. contacter annonce maroc

    Excellent blog here! Additionally your site so much up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink to your host? I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  12. emi testing lab

    Excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don't realize this. You should proceed your writing. I am confident, you've a great readers' base already!|What's Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & assist other users like its helped me. Great job.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  13. location immobilier

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google even as searching for a related topic, your website got here up, it appears to be like good. I have added to favourites|added to bookmarks.

    July 16, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  14. Twitter

    Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. After all I'll be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

    July 16, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  15. escorte

    Great web site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

    July 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  16. We took over this company...

    Thank you for every other great article. Where else may just anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such info.

    July 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  17. pacoder

    Yes because humans are only capable of being moral with an invisible man looking over their shoulder and the threat of punishment.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  18. Tooooo funny

    this woman is a nut..

    July 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  19. xpatriciax

    Excellent items from you, man. I've take into account your stuff previous to and you're just too fantastic. I really like what you have received here, certainly like what you are saying and the best way in which you are saying it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to learn far more from you. That is actually a terrific site.

    July 14, 2012 at 5:32 am |
  20. Michael Kors Handbags

    I'm really inspired with your writing skills and also with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to peer a great blog like this one today..

    July 14, 2012 at 5:23 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.