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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.”

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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.”

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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. Shadow

    Another needy person(Based on 18,000 posts) finds attention that they seek in religion where they are coddled and told how great they are for feeling the love of that God. What a laugh. In related news...an actor selling a sci-fi show had an exorcism performed on them as a child due to their step-parent being a Satan worshiper.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  2. joseph

    The d-vil convened a meeting with his generals. He told them to give their plan for leading mankind down paths that lead to h-ll. One general shouted out, 'create multiple religions that give every appearance of the the truth' but that actually lead them away from the one who is the 'truth'. Another spoke saying 'convince them that life is possible apart from a life-giver'. The d-vil replied 'you have your worked cut out for you – surely mankind is not gullible enough to believe intelligence and design are possible through unintelligence and chaos. The general replied 'I will invade their schools and places of learning so that this concept is constantly reinforced – if you repeat something enough times, eventually they'll believe it'. A third general declared, 'use media to flood their minds with all manner of immorality, violence, and blasphemy – eventually they will lust and crave after these things more and more creating a hatred for all that is Godly and good. The d-vil declared, 'go and do as you have said, and you will have good success'. Statistics show that an average of 280,000 people die every day. The question is 'the moment after death are they experiencing the horrors of h-ll or the wonders of heaven?'

    June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Mary

      Neither. They just stop. Heaven and hell, like everything you made up in your story, are totally invented fantasies, purely fictional, non-existent, and made up by people like you.

      Fake. Phony. Unreal. Bullsh!t.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Priam

      A real God wouldn't let that kind of atrocity happen, would he?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  3. tallulah13

    I find it strange that they call her 'prominent' when she is simply a blogger with a 5000 hit average. It's also strange that she called herself an atheist when she seemed agnostic at best. However, she is certainly free to make her own choice.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  4. Kazuo

    LOL "Prominent". No she isn't. thunderf00t is prominent. ZOMGitsCriss is prominent. This girl is not. I haven't even heard of her until now.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Iphegenia

      The way she writes, you will continue to not hear about her beyond these publicity stunts. Pretentious, tendencious, small ideas wrapped in abstruse jargon.

      Expect her to convert to Islam when her ratings get too low and she needs another boost.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  5. Me

    My guess (and, of course, I can only guess) is that this is more about her moving away from atheism than it is about her running to Catholicism.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  6. *frank*

    The only thing prominent about this chick is her nose...........

    June 22, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  7. briangottesman

    It says in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 13.6-8:
    13:6 If anyone secretly entices you–even if it is your brother, your father's son or your mother's son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend–saying, "Let us go worship other gods," whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, 13:7 any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, 13:8 you must not yield to or heed any such person.
    I’d like to use this passage as an argument against the Holy Trinity. The argument is that the Holy Trinity is technically another God since it does not have the same attributes as the Old Testament God. Taken from http://amateurlyinsightful.blogspot.com/

    June 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  8. becauseICan

    Well why not? She already has the uni-brow and prominent mustache that is commonly found on many Catholic women.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  9. The Bird Is The Word

    Almighty God sits on his throne
    While his children all weep, wail, and moan
    He likes to do slaughter
    Much more than he ought'er
    But why? 'Cause it gives him a bone.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  10. Fred Lobster

    What no one seems to have brought up here (unless I missed it) is that her status as a believer (or not) has not necessarily changed. She has embraced a particular set of moral codes. Yes, she feels a kinship with Catholicism's version of morality, fair enough. But it's a big leap from joining 4H, to believing in Paul Bunyan.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  11. Fred Lobster

    Good for you, young lady. I hope your new-found belief in x, y, or z makes you a better person.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  12. Bob

    "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders..." – Adolf Hitler

    June 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Me

      Bob, do you affirm what Hitler did, or do you find his actions to have been morally reprehensible?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Blast Hardcheese

      Funny that the Catholic church had Hitler's back. People seem to forget that so quickly.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm demonstrating that Christianity does not promote morality

      June 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Me

      I realize that. And I'm asking you whether or not you find Hitler's actions to be morally repugnant or not.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Isn't it obvious that I don't support Hitler's actions if I'm describing them as antagonistic to human ethics?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      What's your point Bob? People claim to be one thing with their mouth and their actions reveal someone completely different all the time. A follower of Christ isn't revealed by what a person says, it's revealed by actions rooted in love for God and fellow man. Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness and Self Control.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Me

      just trying to figure out if you were actually in agreement with Libresco about there being some sort of external and absolute morality. sounds as if you are.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Morality is an abstract concept. I'm merely speaking in your terms. I don't think there's an "external morality," but I DO think that there are actions that are harmful to the advancement of society and quality of life, which unnecessarily increase human suffering.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Mark, I have "Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Gentleness and Self Control." Does that make me a Christian, then? After all, you said Christianity isn't about what you profess your faith to be, but how you act.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Me

      fair enough. although I cannot help but still wonder how you consider right/wrong abstract, yet speak in very concrete terms about advancement, good, etc.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bob "I'm demonstrating that Christianity does not promote morality"

      no, your demonstrating that Hitler was a maniac.
      Are you arguing that because Hitler misinterpreted and misused scripture, that makes him Christian?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      Bob – I believe it is entirely possible to be a Christian – a follower of the teachings of Christ – and not even realize it or recognize it. Christian apologist CS Lewis made this point in the book (text of radio talks actually) Mere Christianity. You did leave out Faithfulness though. However, that's not a deal breaker. My wife acknowledges no God but she certainly lives according to the teachings of Jesus and I believe that yeah, she's a Christian and doesn't know it. I also think there are lots of people who call themselves Christian but don't demonstrate those teachings by their actions therefore they are not, they just fool themselves. What are we talking about here? a label? If a jar containing peanut butter is labeled caviar, what is it really?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Bob

      @Me, language itself is an abstract concept. No one pictures the exact same thing even when you use a word like "dog." So yes, my interpretation of advancement is somewhat subjective, but I think most people would agree that a society with less violence is generally more advanced.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Bob

      Mark, your argument is flawed. You are saying just because something shares some qualities with something else, that it must be that thing. You can spread honey on bread. It's sticky. It's sweet. Jelly shares all those same qualities. But jelly is not honey. HOWEVER, I will say that I appreciate that at least you're not a judgmental jerk.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      @Bob – why thank you Bob. Again, my point at the beginning was that people say one thing and do another all the time. Hitler was no Christian, he absolutely did not follow the teachings of Jesus. He may have labeled himself a Christian. I could label myself a highly skilled jazz guitarist but it wouldn't make it so no matter how much I wished that were true. In fact, I'm pretty decent 🙂 but not highly skilled. I think you see where I'm going though. Hitlers Munich speech does not reflect badly on Christianity because he did not practice what Jesus and his disciples practiced.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Me

      Bob, he might not be a judgmental jerk, but it sounds as if he's turned you into a Christian 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Bob

      Chad, my point is that being a Catholic did not make Hitler a better person, nor does it make anyone else a better person. If a bad person becomes a Christian, they will likely remain a bad person. If a good person becomes a Christian, they might still be a good person, but not BECAUSE of their religion. However, religion is an excellent weapon for convincing good people to do bad things.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      Bob – Religion makes a great weapon – AGREED!!! Very effective in manipulation of people. However, that is not what Jesus taught at all and if you read the Gospel, the only time he got in the faces of others was when he was dealing with pious religious people who wore God on their sleeve. That is absolutely not what that faith is about. Jesus hung out with the dregs of society and he didn't go around judging others.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Mark, if being a Christian means acting like Jesus, then no one is a Christian, as far as I can tell. How many Christians sell all of their possessions and give the money to the poor? How many Christians follow all of the things Jesus said to do? None.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      Bob may be turning himself into a clandestine Christian with all that Love Joy Peace Patience, Kindness Goodness and Self Control. Perhaps the Faithfulness part will blossom. One never knows. Today is all we have. I wish you all well. Don't look at the behavior of others to decide what you believe. Study study study – all views – and see where it takes you.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      Bob None wouldn't be true but thankfully that isn't the only way to demonstrate one's faith. It can be little stuff. I clean the cat turds out of the litter tray because no one else wants to do it. I don't grumble about it. I feel a little joy doing this because it means my wife won't have to. It's just a very very small example of what living that live is about.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Bob

      That's a nice gesture, Mark, but I think nice gestures existed before Christianity.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Dave2

      @Mark Taylor: Sorry, but you don't need to follow a fanatical apocalyptic faith-healing exorcist to be nice to people.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  13. Roger Møller

    Someone who can convert from atheism to theism was likely never very serious about being an atheist to start with. The idea that someone who rejects religion in favor of science would simply bellyflop over because she suddenly finds the bible believable is not believeable. She was clearly was agnostic, which I think both the religious and irrelegious can agree is a copout.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Colin

      Give her a few months/years and she'll be a Jew or Muslim. Some are fated to waste the only life they have in a vain drifting from sky fairy to sky fairy.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • The Hot Hands of an Oslo Dentist

      Hint: Young woman, Catholic boyfriend.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • hmm

      I agreed with you until you called Agnosticism a cop out.
      You obviously don't understand anything about being an Agnostic.
      It's not that they don't want to 'pick a side", it's that they think it's pointless b/c neither side can prove what they believe!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Mark Taylor

      Not so. You can say what you like, think what you like. My personal experience is otherwise.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Bo

      @Rodger: Like to hear your definition of science, probably doesn't match with the dictionary, at least not an older dictionary.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @hmm

      You said, "It's not that they don't want to 'pick a side", it's that they think it's pointless b/c neither side can prove what they believe!"
      I'm agnostic and I "picked a side".

      Just because either extreme can't be proven doesn't mean that both have equal merit. Merit of the believers' position is directly proportional to the evidence in support of their god. Merit of the atheists' position is proportional to the time without evidence in support of gods. All merit is with the atheists' position. That doesn't make it absolutely true, just highly likely.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Hot Hands: are you saying that Catholicism is more persuasive than atheism?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  14. Colin

    In other news, a prominent NASA astronomer turns to astrology and predicts that Virgos will find love this month, a prominent geologist rejects the theory of plate tectonics in favor of Noah's Ark and a prominent psychologist is found drilling holes in hs patients' heads to release evil spirits.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • pastapharian

      hilarious!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  15. Me

    After reading the response of all the atheists on here, it's no wonder she wanted to switch teams. Real sweet folks.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, and the perceived personality flaws of atheists clearly means that the catholic god is real.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah, Christians are so nice (other than wishing everlasting torture on other human beings who don't take part in their delusion and bullying gay people....Oh and the crusades...and the Armenian Genocide...and...well... the millions of people they've murdered)

      June 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Me

      So, Bob, I assume you somehow find all those things morally wrong?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • GradyT

      Like

      June 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Dave2

      @Me: If you think theism has an advantage over atheism when it comes to morality, you're out of your mind.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Bob

      What kind of question is that? Of course I think murdering millions of people is wrong

      June 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  16. Bob

    If any human being was as narcissistic, cruel, and domineering as this "god" character, he would be considered the most evil tyrant in history. He would be hated as a human, so why do people think his behavior is ok, just because he's more powerful than a human? (this is hypothetical–I don't actually think he exists at all)

    June 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • hmm

      Agreed!!! Why people worship such a being is beyond me!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Bob: Why do you think God is so evil?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Bo. If your nextdoor neighbor said you should devote your entire life to telling him how great he was, and he would torture you to death if you didn't, would you like him? How about if a judge sent you to prison for laws that your grandparents broke? Would you consider that a rational judgment?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      Fast forward 3,400 years and write 10,000 times God loved us so much he gave His only son so that none would perish. Fast forward 3,400 years and note that Jesus said it is done “it is finished”. All those that call upon the Lord will be saved. You need not worry about God making any mistakes. If there is a God you can bet he will save any that wish to have eternal life in unity with Christ.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  17. Corey

    Only human beings are self-important enough to believe in something as absurd as the afterlife.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Colin

    Ahh, one mentally disturbed salmon swimming upstream agains the overwhelming advance of science and knowledge. Who cares.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • fred

      Actually, the more science advances the more man realizes fine-tuning is no coincidence. Get up to speed and take note it is atheists that are now making stuff up. When confronted with Dark Matter atheists had to contrive multiverse ( an unproven speculation that there must be other universes) or it’s time to hedge my bets.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Fred Lobster

      @fred–it's an indication of the quality of your educational system that you cannot differentiate between the Scientific Method and, as you cleverly put it, "making things up".

      June 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • fred

      Fred Lobster
      There is no scientific evidence for multiverse.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Fred Lobster

      You could fill entire libraries with books containing ideas that turned out not to have any supporting evidence. That's not he point. The point of science is to test theories, discarding what isn't supported, and always testing remaining theories further. That's how discovery happens. Without even invoking magic.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @fred, ok, I'll play this the way you do: Prove a multiverse doesn't exist.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  19. GradyT

    I think it's funny to see so many atheists angry about this conversion. I also think each of us has to find his/her own way in this life. We should respect the decisions of others, even if we don't necessarily agree with or understand them.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think that it's funny that you think atheists are mad about this "conversion". Frankly, I'm indifferent. The faith of a blogger that I'd never heard of previously has absolutely no bearing on whether I believe or not. It's her business. I just read the article to see what convinced her, but found nothing of substance on that topic.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • wrydave

      @GradyT – not angry, incredulous (as in not believing, no pun intended). To call a person who blogged on a religious website about their non-belief does not make one a "Prominent Atheist Blogger." If this story was about Jen McCreight, Rebecca Watson, or Greta Christina, then CNN would have a valid headline. But that is very unlikely, because, unlike this young lady, they arrived at their atheism like most of us, after much study and contemplation. The odds of an atheist who has arrived at atheism this way converting back to theism is fairly preposterous.

      On the other hand, a young blogger who has been simply posting as a contrarian viewpoint, but has not really examined why they may or may not be atheist, is much more likely to "convert". After all, look how much attention she has enjoyed.

      "Question everything – but have the sense to know when your questions have been suitably answered, and don't become a denialist."

      June 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  20. Colin

    This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts
    out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."
    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.
    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"

    Mary: She blushes.

    John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."

    Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"

    John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."

    Me: "No relish? No Mustard?"

    Mary: She looks positively stricken.

    John: He's shouting. "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"

    Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"

    Mary: Sticks her fingers in her ears."I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."

    John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."

    Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."

    Mary: She faints.

    John: He catches Mary. "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the guts out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."

    With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Humanist11

      Colin,

      That is hilarious on so many levels! You made my day. Thanks.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • GreenSunflowers

      Wow! That summed it all up in one tidy little story. Nice!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • The Bird Is The Word

      Outstanding! I'll pass it along.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Brilliant.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bet

      TFF.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Over It

      Fabulous, Colin. Thank you!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bravo!!!

      June 23, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • pastapharian

      this is great. thanks for posting.

      June 23, 2012 at 12:09 am |
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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.