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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. IslandAtheist

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOamsF5r3TE&w=640&h=390]

    June 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • cm

      Hitchen's what a mook.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Hitchens, not Hitchen's. No apostrophe.
      Why is he a mook, in your opinion?

      June 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  2. phoodphite

    I think the subject of the article will eventually regret her choice.

    Most Christians I know, including the Catholics, Mormons and others I know and have in my family, are not extremist, and practice and use their faith in ways beneficial to society in general. This is especially true when it comes to money and time given unconditionally to people who are less fortunate.

    But I find there are many Christians, from all denominations, who are extremist and a great danger to society. They either don't recognize or choose not to recognize the obvious – that Jesus' teachings often counter the judgements later laid down in all those letters attributable to Paul and others. So what you should notice is that when it is necessary for one of these extremist Christians to judge someone or put them down in some way, they will move away from (and actually contradict) Jesus' words and lessons, and start quoting Paul's words as the trump card. This over-glorification of a man that Jesus often said missed his point is cause of countless wars and all kinds of suffering going all the way back to the earliest Christian churches. So if you browse through these posts, notice where people reference gospels attributable to Paul in making their point or judgement. You'll see a lot of it, because that is the starting point in Christianity for judging or disenfranchising a person or a group.

    June 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Nii

      PHOODPHITE
      I noticed quite early that Paul's letters were theologically complex n religious people will often misquote them. I have seen a verse in a passage concerning giving to the poor in Ephesians used to insult me that I'm an apostate! They arent to be read by verses but by passages!

      June 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • TheCapitalist

      phoodphite...

      You are lying, whether you know it or not. I suspect you've been indoctrinated towards this line of excuse by non-Christians who do not know the Bible. There is nothing in Paul's letters that contradicts anything in the gospels or the Bible generally. I'd be happy to address any specific examples that you might try to cite.

      The Apostle Peter even gave Paul his "seal of approval", so to speak...

      2 Peter 3:15-16... "... even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

      June 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"But I find there are many Christians, from all denominations, who are extremist and a great danger to society."

      Can not you say the same about all groups. We could say the same from Military service to Greenpeace extremist.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • phoodphite

      The Capitalist..

      I don't care whether it's Peter, Paul or Mary, the contradictions are there; I have read it all; Jesus told them frequently they missed his point; it is obvious that Paul's interpretation of what he thought he remembered of Jesus' lessons were often terribly skewed to meet some immediate political advantage – just as we see words being used and twisted today. Next time try again – use Jesus' words to show an approval for Paul's writings – you won't find any. I do occasionally find some value in Paul's writings, but today they are used by too many as literal rules for life – and judging people – exactly what Jesus was NOT about.

      June 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Mark from Middle River...

      OK that was too much of a generalization. What I meant was that it has been obvious to me that there are too many extremists amongst most of the Christian denominations that I have come across. Catholics, Mormons, Southern Baptists, evangelical Christians would be at the top of the list for me in that regard. Anyone that thinks the Bible as a whole is the word of God.

      June 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • TheCapitalist

      phoodphite...

      "... the contradictions are there..."
      SO NAME ONE!! YOU CAN'T! BE SPECIFIC! You're just making broad assertions that are lies.

      "... Paul's interpretation of what he thought he remembered of Jesus' lessons..."
      Paul never met Jesus in the flesh! Anyone with a casual knowledge of the Bible knows this. The fact that you don't, shows that you are just making stuff up... or regurgitating made up stuff that you've heard from others... but either way... they're lies.

      You cannot even reference ONE example of where Paul contradicted Jesus.

      "... judging people – exactly what Jesus was NOT about."
      WRONG... to you, "judging people" means telling them that their behavior is wrong or immoral, but Jesus did this all the time. "Go, and sin no more", He would say... "Your sins are forgiven". But to you... that's "judgmental". Who is He to say that "I"m sinning"?

      "The world hates Me, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."
      "You generation of vipers! How can you escape the damnation of hell?"

      Sounds pretty "judgmental" according to your extra-sensitive definition of the word.

      June 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • phoodphite

      TheCapitalist...

      "Paul never met Jesus in the flesh! Anyone with a casual knowledge of the Bible knows this. " Oh my you are brilliant! I never said he did nor did I insinuate that. I said you won't find Jesus' stamp of approval of Paul's words to emphasize that Paul was merely a human being, not a god as extremists would have you think he was. If Jesus' writing hand reached down out of heaven and signed off on Paul's letters – well that would be something else, but that didn't happen. Paul's validation only comes from other human beings around him and after him. And you start rattling off words from Peter – precisely making my point. To me, it's doubly ridiculous to pay any serious attention to most of the New Testament because not only was it written by men, but the ones that were with Jesus were constantly being told they misunderstood him. I leave to you to show where something Jesus said would concretely support any of Paul's edicts.

      June 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. cm

    SNAP, good for her. There is more to existence it is great to hear she finally 'got' it.

    June 24, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • AGuest9

      LOL, no, there isn't. We are here because we didn't get wiped out, yet. We are predators, just like nearly every other organism.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      It's time for you to get it. First, I highly recommend finishing third grade. Then I suggest getting together with some good and decent atheists who can show you how to not be judgmental while you learn to really care for people, especially those less fortunate than yourself.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • cm

      Peteyroo there is a God, period. You have no idea who I am or what I do for others. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Judgement is natural – condemning is a different story.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ cm – there is a god period? Oh, is that how the Red Sea was created? And isn't god usually identified as male? But, if say there is a god period it must be true because you said it, which should be sufficient for anyone.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Nii

      Second as I've posted a long one and its not working – The Law forbids gay se.x not having gay feelings.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nii

      MoMoya/ Moby Shtick
      lolol

      June 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  4. 1word

    God is awesome!
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8BgLSC24E&w=640&h=390]

    June 24, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjhFlI6-ZBI&w=640&h=390]

      June 24, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  5. Seyedibar

    i know a guy who was hit by a bus and forever more thought he was Batman. Human beings have fragile minds.

    June 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  6. Name*vinnie

    Morbidity... Mortality... Finiteness.... Abysmal ignorance.... "Death at that the worm of the core of man's pretensions towards human happiness." throw in climate change, ocean acidificaton and Mitt Romney and who can blame her? Good luck in your seach for psychological security... And dont forget that Job was more moral then God.

    June 24, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • AGuest9

      Mortality seems to be the thing that grabs the faithful. They can't deal with the prospect of not being here anymore, so they invented a heaven and a hell and an immortal god. Then, they got really fancy with sin, then sub-divided sin into mortal and venial. Then, they made up limbo for babies because a god that is cruel enough to send infants to hell for the sin of not being baptized isn't worthy of his creations' love. All these rules and corollaries were added as the faithful became literate and more intelligent and questioned the paradoxes and contradictions.

      June 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  7. Moby Schtick

    Wow, Mo. I would have flown over the moon if I had seen that frog fly.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  8. Mo

    Wow Smurfetter I would have had to walk out of that lecture for fear of rupturing a blood vessel

    June 24, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  9. great landscape photographers

    I have learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you place to create the sort of magnificent informative site.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  10. Mo

    As someone who believes in God whole heartedly and feels he is the way through alot of the darkness on this earth but also the way to celebrate our greatest joys.I am happy she has found the love of God.But I to find the choice of religion somewhat suspiscious.As others have pointed out the dicotomy makes one wonder if the fact that her boyfriend is a Catholic has alot to do with her choice.Alot of women and men for that matter find conform to what their partners religion is because it is just easier and more comfortable at home for them.Now I am not saying this is what happened in this case.but it is somehting ti ponder.For me loving God and your neighbor as much as yourself are the most important part of believeing in a Supreme Being and all the rest of the Dogma just gets in the way and even is the cause of alot of the strife and wars in this world.So I hope she is happy but UP God for me ...but no thatnks on the religion!!

    June 24, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Nii

      MO
      Thanks! We need more spiritual people filling pews hope u spread the word. Xtian religiosity must go down. Xtian spirituality all the way. I love u as myself!

      June 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Nii

      DB
      I need to tell u something real simple! Can u allow this to be ur most dominant thought? "I love my neighbor as myself". It helps u to think so that these problems won't bother u anymore. Yo problem comes from loving yourself too much. Selflessness is the only solution!

      June 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  11. how do i know if he is married

    You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really one thing which I think I'd never understand. It seems too complex and extremely vast for me. I am having a look forward in your subsequent put up, I'll try to get the grasp of it!

    June 24, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • One one

      ? ? ?

      June 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Smurfette

      too much Smurfberry wine before posting, perhaps?

      I'd agree: ????????

      June 24, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Jim

      This is your brain on booze.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Did you hurt yourself when fell off the barstool this morning? It appears that you struck your head on the spitoon.

      June 24, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  12. One one

    ReLigion is simple really. It mostly boils down to the myths of fervent and hell. Both motivated by fear.

    Without those, there really is not much left.

    There is no need to believe in magic to have morals or the strength to face life's challenges. Millions of non-believers do just fine.

    So, What is the evidence or argument that heaven and hell exist ?

    June 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      I think that the concepts of heaven and hell are an extension of our moments of absolute pleasure or pain; bliss and torment. We simply project the worst possible torment or the best possible bliss onto an "eternal" timeframe because sometimes those moments seem eternal when they happen to us.

      What I find more interesting is that the practicality of either are pretty much the same thing.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • One one

      I agree. Both were obviously constructed to keep people with the program. The carrot and the stick.

      If you believe you get to go to heaven. If you don't, you go to hell.

      Rule number 1,2,& 3 is believe or else. Because no belief = no power, influence, and livelihood for church leaders.

      And who wrote the bible and rule number 1 ? Church leaders.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      But remember, religions are a part of evolution. Heaven and hell and attempting to please a superior are all products of human imagination. The two questions that drive almost all we do are: Why do we/anything exist, and What happens when we die?

      June 24, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Nii

      ONE
      The concept of an after-life of either bliss or torment for humans is not a popular concept in religion. Even Judaeo-Xtianity has had sects which believe that there is no after-life at all or that the after-life isnt for punishment or reward. Religion is to help resolve de human mo.ral dilemma!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      LOL! Nii must not be aware of the percentage of the world's population who are muslim or christian. The most prevalent religions are those who put forth a concept of heaven and hell.

      June 24, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Nii

      MOBY
      The 3 main ethical monotheistic religions are not monolithic concepts. There are within them various doctrines proposed by theologians and espoused by adherents. The concept of Heaven n Hell is not a Universally accepted Concept among Jews, Christians and Moslems who are half the worlds humans!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Nii

      I belong to the Anglican Communion. I attend a high Anglican parish. It is very different from an Evangelical Anglican parish or a Charismatic parish or an Anglo-Catholic one. Christianity, Islam n Judaism r very diverse. Because *hold ur breath* they all think about what they believe n why!

      June 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  13. Chauncy

    No matter what you decide to do in life, there's always going to be those to stand there and tell what you are doing is wrong.

    I thnk the more people that start focusing on what they know instead of what other people think, the better off we'll all be.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  14. dao

    One of my own great passages was the moment I went from full time student, to applying what I had learned. Experience is a great teacher. Leah, you still might find organized religion not to your liking. You do not need one particular faith, with its parables and ritual in order to have a proper ethic set.

    Regardless, do enjoy your journey.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  15. dB

    Jesus came to me in vision and told me in no uncertain terms that all religion is BS. Including all descriptions of himself! He said not to cocern myself with it. He said faith is for people who need it but I do not. Now what am I supposed to believe?

    June 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Nii

      I believe most of the time an Atheist doesnt know a lot about the practicalities of the xtian faith. If I have a dream about Christ I'll compare the elements to what I know from the Bible b4 I talk about it or use it. This will make your dream bogus.
      Stop eating omellettes and milkshake at bedtime.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Smurfette

      Ah, the "practicalities' of the Christian faith. Like loving your neighbor – unless they're gay. Like preaching about the sanct-ity of marriage, while boning anyone and anything that moves. Like abusing your young children with horror stories of eternal fire so that they will unquestioningly accept your fairy tales. Like wearing your hypocrite hat 24/7.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • dB

      Nii? Are you replying to my post? How unkind of you to belittle my experience. Are you a Christian? My vision of Christ was not a dream. It occurred in church during prayer. I saw him. He spoke to me. I saw the sandals on his feet and felt hi spresence clearly. He was sad for you all.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      PRACTICALITIES LIKE
      1. being a Xtian with gay feelings n therefore being abstinent.
      2. Loving gay people, adulterers n fornicators as urself since u r also a sinner.
      3. Realising that love has different types. Charitable love being a Xtian duty.
      4. Realising that Xtianity works!

      June 24, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Smurfette

      Nii: at what point did you "choose" to be straight? Assuming you are – I have no idea. Did you sit in your room, flipping a coin: heads, I'll give head; tails, I'll go for tail? Is that how you decided? People are born gay – they don't choose it. Intolerance. Hatred. That is what you're preaching. and the "love the sinner, hate the sin" is sanctimonious crap. One of the more vile aspects of fundie Christianity. Remember: Fundies – putting the "mental" in "fundamentalist"

      June 24, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Nii

      DB
      I'm sorry u feel yo dream/vision has to occur in church for it to be legitimate. Hardly! A religious person thinks this n most anti-theist Atheists r. Spiritual people know that any spirit, including ur own can give u a message. The Holy Spirit CONFIRMS Scripture. He does not CONFLICT with it.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Smurfette

      @ Nii – Which "Holy Spirit"? Whiskey? Rum? Vodka?

      June 24, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      Why wud I hate gay men when I don't hate ad.ul.te.re.rs or pe.do.ph.il.es!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Nii

      DB
      If u start to love ur neighbor as urself u'll notice His Presence! And English-wise I did not use spirits. I said Holy Spirit not holy spirits

      June 24, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Smurfette

      Nii – you are being intellectually dishonest, and you know it. Your god will not be pleased that you are not using your brain. it is a logical fallacy to attempt to equate naturally occurring se-xual orientation (being g-ay), with behavior (adultery) which is s-exual activity by someone who is married (a civilly defined relationship) with someone who has s-ex with children.

      And you DO hate g-ay people, don't you? Doesn't your god command you to admit that you do hate g-ay people?

      June 24, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      the only thing Nii is good for is ignoring

      June 24, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      I told u that u r a religious person. Spiritual people do not see gay men as born faulty. They are like me. We all do wrong n r with moral failings! AND GOD DOES NOT ASK ME TO HATE ANYONE! Atheists only understand Xtian religiosity not Xtian spirituality!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      I wonder why u want me to be a Fundamentalist Literalist Xtian. Thats who u can debate since most of u American Atheists come from such backgrounds or r opposed to them. I'm not 1. Quite hard to understand but I'm not intellectually dishonest. I dont like them much either. I see u as same!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Nii

      ONE
      I like ur persistence but religions are to help solve the human moral dilemma. This is very much in this life. The concept of Heaven and Hell are not part of a lot of religions. In fact some Jews even believed when u die u r dead and God existed for this life alone. The after-life prevailed!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • dB

      The point is, I was wide awake. There he was. He reached out to me to tell me I don't need him even if you do. Should I assume the Jesus I saw was an illusion? Is that your response?

      June 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Nii

      DB
      Just try to make " I love my neighbor as myself" your predominant thought. Your mind will soon be at peace in reality! Your problem is u r being insular. If the vision comes whilst u r loving ur neighbor then well cheerz! to the doctor!

      June 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ Nii – your prior comments certainly led me to believe that you believe that being g-ay, or acting in accordance with that se-xual orientation, somehow involves moral choice – a belief held by – in my experience – a large percentage of christian fundamentalists. Please correct me: what is your viewpoint/belief/perspective with regard to someone who is g-ay, and who has what would be referred to as g_ay s-ex

      June 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ Nii – specifically when you posted: "1. being a Xtian with gay feelings n therefore being abstinent." as one of the practicalities of being Christian. Why should someone who is g-ay have to be abstinent? The logical implication is that g-ay s-exual activity is morally wrong. Did your god make g-ay people just so that they would be miserable and not have the physical intimacy allowed to heteros? Rather cruel. Is this one of your beliefs?

      June 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      If God made men gay why is it that it is highly prevalent in maritime nations, in boarding schools, prisons and monastic communities and virtually non-existent in places where early marriage is encouraged and the above-mentioned insti.tutions are non-existent?

      June 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ Nii – You REALLY don't want to answer the question, do you? I'll pose it again: what is your viewpoint/belief/perspective with regard to someone who is g-ay, and who has what would be referred to as g_ay s-ex.

      And I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but there are g-ay people throughout every country, society – what have you. in many places people do not self-identify, because they would face religious and legal prosecution and persecution if they did. Look at how many people have been killed because they were g-ay

      Why do animals engage in g-ay s-exual activities?

      So, again – does your belief system hold that there is something morally wrong with being g-ay and/or engaging in g-ay s-ex?

      June 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      NOT EVERY ANSWER POSTS HERE!

      June 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nii

      Second, the Law forbids gay se.x not having gay feelings or "being gay" whatever that is!

      June 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Nii

      SMURFETT
      The only truly docu.mented observation of gay s.ex by scientists is an experiment on a highly populated and restricted colony of rats. They exhibited all sorts of negative behavior including gayness. Sounds familiar? The other animal examples r absurd scientifically.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Nii – is it SOOOOOO hard to be honest and say what YOU believe. Try it – "I, Nii, believe the following:. . . . . . "

      And capitalizing the word "law" does not give it any more authority.

      Since you haven't said what you believe, I guess I'll just post my opinion on your "law" – it is hateful, harmful, intolerant, small-minded, ignorant and leads to an enormous amount of suffering and death. Love thy neighbor? Easy to talk the talk – why not walk the walk? And if your belief system doesn't walk the walk, then why are you following it – unless you believe that being g-ay is a choice, and a morally wrong one.

      I asked this before – when do you "choose" your orientation?

      If you scratch deep enough into the surface, you often find bigotry, even amongst those who go to great lengths so say they're not.

      And as for your comment about the only true doc-umented observations – you are wrong – plain and simple.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. lajikal

    She couldn't find a basis for morality outside of Catholicism? What about the millions of perfectly moral atheists in the world? Not to mention all the moral Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Bahai'i, etc?

    This is just weak thinking one one woman's part, given the guise of some important revelation by CNN's awkwardly suggestive reporting style.

    June 24, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Chauncy

      So nice of you to share your opinion.....whatever it's worth.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Ruth Ann Pilney

      Perhaps this article give a mere summation of her basic reason for converting. It would be good to find out whether or not she explored the moral codes you allude to before deciding on Catholicism. I have a hunch she's too intelligent not to have done so.

      June 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  17. Billy Moses

    Reblogged this on Billy Moses.

    June 24, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  18. Carlton

    Young lady you are so confused and lost! You can only know God by the Holy Spirit, simple! Get down on your knees in an act of humility and faith, and ask the only true and living God to reveal and make Himself known to you personally, and He will!

    evanspraise@verizon.net

    June 24, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Smurfette

      @ Carleton: hey, weren't you a doorman back many moons ago? Well, apparently your intellect hasn't grown, judging by your post.

      June 24, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      I know university professors who are doormen for lack of work permits n to turn a quick buck. I think u r not intelligent enuf to be 1.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Chauncy

      Don't you think that's this is something for her to figure out?

      June 24, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Smurfette

      Google "Carleton the Doorman"

      June 24, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  19. Toma Joel

    Thus says The Lord, to the United States and to this wicked generation of modern peoples...

    Hear the word of The Lord your God, The God of Israel, The God of All, for there is no other: You are walking into death... Dead man’s bones lost in a sea of sin, a dark ocean of transgression! You have forgotten Me, days without end, thus must I also forget you in the Day of Harvest. Yet of your evil deeds, even all this wickedness of which you are guilty, I shall remember! Behold, I shall bring it to the forefront, that all who walk in it may receive of My punishment!... Then you shall know, there is a God in Heaven who reigns and judges the earth.

    http://www.TrumpetCallofGodOnline.com

    June 24, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Smurfette

      Thus sayeth Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster:

      "Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"

      Just words, written by people, for people.

      June 24, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • phoodphite

      to the United States... really? lol

      OK – how about.. Go sayeth the Lord to Ohio... go and cut off the bearded unbelievers in your own state.
      No more wacky. But then again, no more than when you hear (as you do too much) that God has blessed the United States in one of those spam emails. He might have blessed it for a brief moment before the first settlers started slaughtering the native people.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  20. Reality

    Recommendations for Leah's reading list:

    Required reading list before making added commentary:

    o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
    2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 T-itus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter

    3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
    – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
    4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
    7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
    8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
    joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
    9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
    10.The Gnostic Jesus
    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
    by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
    11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
    Presented on March 18, 1994
    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
    12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
    13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
    14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

    At the completion of said list, we will be happy to recommend 20 additional references.

    June 24, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Nii

      REALITY
      I'm appalled that u read all this on de Historical Jesus but it didnt teach u a little about de Parable of de GOOD SAMARITAN. This has a simple lesson. Love yo neighbor as yoself regardless of religion. This is what God sees as true worship. It isnt just de biography but influence as well!

      June 24, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Smurfette

      You missed one: god is not GREAT, by Christopher Hitchens

      Should be required reading, for believers and non-believers alike

      June 24, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      If Hitchens is teaching me to be like REALITY and himself n on the other hand S Paul and S James are teaching me to be like Jesus Christ. Who do u frankly think I'll like to be!

      June 24, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Smurfette

      @ Nii – Ummm, REALITY. Because, oh, I don't know – it's reality? He was a man of amazing intellect. If there is a god, then god gave people brains, right? And intellects. Why would your god create something as staggeringly amazing and powerful as the human brain, and then not only fail to reward people who use it, but actively punish them for thinking and questioning. That characteristic of your god is simply a reflection of the fear that the bronze age goat herders had 2000 years ago: they understood that if people were encouraged to use their brains, they would quickly identify the many, many problems with religious doctrine.
      Again – if god made your brain, why wouldn't he want you to use it to its full potential?

      June 24, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      U might think REALITY n Hitchens are smart which I am too. Its the wisdom of S Paul n S James I appreciate. S Paul an Evangelist and S James the Just- first Christian Bishop were both Pharisee Rabbis n educated men equivalent to Theology professors today. It seems u do not know this!

      June 24, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Smurfette

      The brain question, Nii – why would god give people brains then punish them for using them?

      And Rabbis 2000 years ago are equivalent to Theology professors today? Well, i would admit that there are some pretty clueless and gormless Theology professors today. Like the one I had when I took a Catholic Philosophy course – espousing that r-ape is less of a sin than mas-turbation, because at least r-ape can result in a pregnancy.

      June 24, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Nii

      SMURFETTE
      As I said ur studies in Roman Catholic philosophy was not a study in Xtian Spirituality which is what the NT or de Bible is about! People study something related to xtianity n think it is Christian Spirituality. S Paul, S James, S Peter and S John are the professors of Xtian Spirituality!

      June 24, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Reality

      Summarizing for Leah:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.
      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      June 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Reality

      Jesus was not the first nor the last to emphasize the Golden Rule:

      "As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule" (or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s).[2][7] As a concept of "the ethic of reciprocity," it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts.[2][6] It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, "two-way" nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).[2]

      Statements that mirror the Golden Rule appear in Ancient Egypt in the story of The Eloquent Peasant.[8][clarification needed] Rushworth Kidder discusses the early contributions of Confucius (551–479 B.C.) (See a version in Confucianism below). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions".[9] According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely."[10] Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be "found in some form in almost every ethical tradition

      June 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Ruth Ann Pilney

      Why do you consider this list "required" reading? Over many many centuries many Catholics had the faith and they weren't even literate. They learned the faith through hearing the Scriptures read at Mass and through catechesis in preparation for receiving the sacraments. Even a PhD theologian doesn't have to read everything in your list, although some awareness of them would be good.

      June 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Think about the logic (or lack thereof).

      “Catholics believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani (sp?)
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran
      x=the pope
      x= Monsignor Lynn

      more “logic”?

      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      June 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
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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.