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

    "Prominent" was obviously meant in reference to her olfactory organ.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • hey

      or maybe Dan Merica has a "prominent" hard on for her mannish eyebrows....

      June 23, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • Bet

      Why are you bashing her appearance? It has nothing to do with the article.

      June 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  2. kaelinda

    "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." – Thomas Aquinas

    June 23, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      To people interested in honesty, proof is required.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • Gristle McThornbody

      It would be more accurate to say "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one who is interested in knowing, they will actively seek and explanation."

      People of faith thought that volcanoes were caused by angry gods. People who wanted to know found out about plate tectonics.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • hey

      Gullible people are easily fooled. Indoctrinated / brainwashed people are easily programmed. Children are both.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:47 am |
  3. rogerWilco

    How many thousands of people of all occupations are turning away from religion everyday. Why is this news

    June 23, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • Guest

      Pease tell us. How many?

      June 23, 2012 at 4:07 am |
  4. PaulieJ

    "I've got my own moral compass to steer by. A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
    And all the preaching voices –
    Empty vessels of dreams so loud as they move among the crowd
    Fools and thieves are well disguised In the temple and market place "

    The religious and spiritual switch to atheism and atheists adopt views of an organized religion ... is it really newsworthy? Are we going to start making headlines stories of every blogging democrat or republican that switches to the other party?

    June 23, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  5. Poor confused kid.

    Poor thing. She is far removed in her world of hyperabstractions that she is totally clueless as to the realities of being a passionate bisexual gay activist who just converted to . . . Catholicism? Catholicism will work really well for her is she stays completely in her world of abstract ideas, but when she actually meets them . . . well, her list of values reads like the Pope's enemies list.

    She is like a Jew who just joined the Nazi party – not that the Catholics are Nazis, but that their fundamental positions are totally opposite everything she is.

    She needs more of the real world in her, and unfortunately she is about to get it good and hard.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • Bet

      Actually, Hitler was raised as a catholic.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • nojinx

      Hitler formed his first treaty with the Vatican after invading Poland.

      His soldiers wore belt buckles that said "God on our side" in German.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Father Alex

      And Pope Benedict was in the Hitler Youth and the anti-aircraft corps.

      40% of the various Nazi forces identified themselves as Catholic (and 54% identified themselves as Protestants).

      June 23, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Hitler..like Stalin, Mao, Kim Jung etc. was an atheist.

      Majority of NAZI forces were Believers. But they didn't kill in the name of religion but in the name of their sworn duty. On the other hand, Hitler and few of his officers were true-blue and cold-blooded atheists and used the name of religion to justify their atrocities.

      June 23, 2012 at 7:04 am |
  6. dotrash

    wait , catholic person converted back into being catholic , whats that ?

    June 23, 2012 at 3:21 am |
  7. Mark

    great move girl, my God loves me nuff as a gay man in Christ... would love to share my journey... good news I know that I know that God in the man Jesus Christ loves gay men and women too... God bless u girl, and wishing u plenty favor in Jesus Name.... amen

    June 23, 2012 at 3:21 am |
  8. Bill

    Who edited this trash. It is either riddled with typos and missed words or the people that are quoted there are incapable of complete sentences. Didn't someone read this before it was put on the internet? Anyone that can read would see its a train wreck. It takes away from the content when there are so many mistakes. Just as a for instance, read the final sentence. "Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on." I think it would be more effective for her to switch TO the side that she thinks the facts are on. Wow, hire an intern to read this dribble before you put it on the web.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Dan Merica is well-known for turning out worthless copy here.
      He can't spell, can't write, his articles are trainwrecks, etc.
      Whoever hired him and refuses to fire him or transfer him to a place where his fourth-grade English skills won't be noticed should be fired themselves.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  9. Clue

    and the point of this article is about ??
    once religion is over wars will be over .

    June 23, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • NorCalMojo

      People will always find reasons to fight. 20th century wars weren't about religion, they were about political ideology.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  10. Maj. Set B. Ack

    Atheist's population is doing the limbo. How low can it go?

    June 23, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Larry Of Saskatchewan

      No, our population is still growing nicely. Did you perhaps mean to say something else, but did not have the vocabulary to express it?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Al

      This article is laughable. A 19 year old prominent atheist? Hilarious. If Sam Harris converts, then you can gloat. This story is a complete joke.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Bet

      Her boyfriend is catholic. That explains a lot.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Maj. Set B. Ack

      It seems to me that your level of intelligence has also been doing (the limbo) dance and on its few notches down to 0.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • Tebby


      She found true love both temporally and spirituall all-in one store. Isn't that amazing?

      June 23, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • tallulah13

      I can only speak for myself, but I became an atheist when I realized that there was no reason for me to believe in god. The opinions of other humans didn't enter the picture. I doubt many people are/were influenced by this relatively obscure blogger. If someone is easily swayed by the opinions of others, they are probably still looking for something to believe.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • Lalala


      When an unknown preacher has turned into atheism, atheists would say like, hey CNN, Pope Benedict has turned into atheism! It must be a frontpage! And when a "prominent atheist blogger" goes the other way around, must be a joke? How TYPICAL.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      There are anywhere from 30 to 60 MILLION atheist / agnostics in the USA right now and our numbers are growing.

      I looked at her last blog entry – she's a clueless idiot who always believed a lot of metaphysical claptrap who started a blog.
      She doesn't represent anybody but herself, fortunately.

      As far as I'm concerned she was just calling herself an atheist without proof that she was one. She claimed the name but never played the game – her own words tell us that – it's why she decided to join her boyfriend's religion – no surprise there.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:26 am |
    • Al


      That is also not news worthy. Preachers turn into atheists all the time. Some still continue to preach because they need to make a living.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      Lalala: Had you ever heard of Leah Libresco before you read this article? I sure hadn't, and I don't see a lot of recognition from any of the other atheists here. The author of this article is trying to create a situation where there really isn't one. A particularly vocal kid in her early 20s changed what she thought she believed. Wow. You probably have a terribly low opinion of the pope if you think this story is in any way comparable to any story of a papal confession of atheism.

      And by the way, I wouldn't at all be surprised if the pope was an atheist. The catholic church seems more in the business of making money then in "saving souls", like most mega-churches.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • Lalala


      The lady had found a reason for her to believe in God, more likely as much as you do when you've found the other way around. Why call her obscure then? How TYPICAL!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      Lalala, she IS obscure. She is not prominent. She is a recently graduated blogger who was getting 5000 hits on a good day, probably from the same audience. (If not, then no one felt the need to return to her site.) The author of this article stretched the truth in the ti.tle.

      However, if you feel that this is a major event in your life, more power to you. Hurray! Lalala is happy that some kid changed her mind! Wooo!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • hey

      CNN is actually calling her "TOP ATHEIST BLOGGER" on the front page no less even though there are top atheist blogs, hers was never one of them.

      I protest this deliberate lie on the part of CNN!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Lalala


      Had you ever heard of Jerry De Witt until CNN made an article about him in hisconversion to atheism? And now to answer your question, (honestly) no, I don't know her. I've never been in patheos but apparently, she is more popular than De Witt since she's ("prominent blogger") in the world wide web.


      Thanks for the honest answer. I just wish that you understand that no one is "laughable", everyone shares equally the same right when it comes to faith or lack thereof.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • Lalala


      Sorry, but I'm not in the position to determine nor to establish whether the person is "obscure" or "prominent". If you might have notice, I put "" on the phrase.

      And one more thing.. you're a complete IDIOT and I don't need any position to say it. Have a nice day.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      Lalala: There are over 100 million blogs on the internet. Having one doesn't make you prominent. What makes you prominent is when people have actually heard of you, and if they think your opinion is important.

      I don't know why you brought up the conversion of Jerry De Witt. He is another obscure person who's change of personal belief has no influence on my life. I'm not sure why you think this is some sort of major event, unless you are the sort of person who follows blindly and allows others to make decisions for you.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • tallulah13

      Lalala: No. I'm not an idiot. Actually, I'm fairly intelligent. However, it's your choice to call people names. It may reflect poorly on your character, but that's your choice as well.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Lalala


      This has NEVER been a major event for me. And I'm completely clueless why you've been saying so. I was only responding to Al's comment and my point on that reply was, for me, nothing is laughable when it comes to either what we believe or what we don't. Both has an even share of the pie when it comes to freely expressing/exercising such right.

      I'm sorry if I've called you an idiot, your third comment calls for it and made you look like a complete one (especially the last part).

      June 23, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Lalala

      And I have NEVER said she was prominent but CNN. Care to take a look "" that I used on the phrase.

      I used the word popular but for the purpose of comparison. There is also over a million and even billions of preachers in the whole world, yet, CNN was making it a news for De Witt and you can hear atheist's simultaneous cheers. And I didn't see it as "laughable". That's why I responded to Al's comment.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      So what you're saying is that you're actually not sorry for calling me an idiot. That was sort of a roundabout way to get to your point.

      You made this comment:
      "The lady had found a reason for her to believe in God, more likely as much as you do when you've found the other way around. Why call her obscure then? How TYPICAL!"

      I call her obscure because she is not terribly famous. She is one of millions who write a blog. Your "TYPICAL!" comment was rather off-putting because her obscurity has nothing to do with her belief. She was obscure when she was an atheist blogger; she has derived any prominence she might have from articles like this one. When people make rude as.sumptions like you did, it makes me think that you are responding in an emotional manner because the topic is meaningful to you. I responded with sarcasm, because it seemed to suit your att.itude.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Maj. Set B. Ack

      My reply was supposedly for Larry. But I would rather rephrase/upgrade it to all atheists:

      OBVIOUSLY, atheist's level of intelligence has been doing the (limbo) dance and they are some few nothches away down to 0.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:02 am |
    • Lalala


      Apparently, we have basically the same reason, yours for (your) sarcsm while mine for calling (you) names. We've just perceive theings the way we see it.

      The "TYPICAL" word was really meant for you because it seems that you have the typical atheist's mentality of "not to believe is a right and option, (to do) otherwise, is stupidity and delusion."

      And since our arguments started with the word "obscure". I would like you to know that being "not terribly famous" doesn't necessarily mean that you're obscure.

      AND "obscure" is not the antonym of "prominent". Pls. grab a dictionary, it might help you.

      And since

      June 23, 2012 at 5:52 am |
  11. SlipNutz

    I really don't give a crap about religion. All I know is that there would be a lot less hate and wars if there was none. Christians do go under that list as well.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Rick Dugan

      Atheist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia have killed exponentially more people than have been killed in the name of religion.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • Maj. Set B. Ack

      N1 Rick, "exponetially" is the most exact word to describe it. You've nail it, right on the head!

      June 23, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Rolph Eczema

      Hey dumb-dumb – those regimes killed very very few in the name of atheism. The vast majority of the victims were political. And don't include Nazi Germany in that, because they were not an atheist regime. And don't include the entire body count of WWII like you Christians love to do, because atheism was not the reason for that war.

      Be honest for a change – they were COMMUNIST regimes which perpetrated atrocities due to COMMUNIST ideology. Atheism was just an backwater offshoot.

      Atheism was peaceful before Marx came along, and it is peaceful after it collapsed, and it was peaceful everywhere Communism was not in power.

      You Christians sure lie a lot.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Hitler..like Stali, Mao etc. was an atheist.

      He was just so genius in hitting two or multiple birds in one stone.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:08 am |
  12. Jimmy G.

    I believe she has ulterior motives and would not be very surprised to see her upcoming nuptials to a Catholic man or woman in the near future. Let's see if my prediction comes true!

    And that's all it takes for someone to be so desperate as to join the Catholic church – a demonstrably false, criminal, and sociopathic organization – she has a massive overwhelming crush on somebody and is willing to play the religion game in a bid for marriage, s3x, romance, or whatever is at the bottom of this.

    Or maybe she was such a worthlessly ignorant person as an atheist that it is not much of a stretch for her to be an equally ignorant religious follower.

    She's welcome to come here and spar with us atheists anytime.

    I don't bother with many other comment sections on the internet, so if she wants to explain to me how a complete lack of proof led her in one of the worst possible directions or how her lack of understanding of morals and ethics lead her to choose the most criminal of religious cults to join....., then that would be great and I'm sure we could all enjoy picking apart her arguments for her "conversion" to those of us who know the difference between reason, logic, common sense, and ethics and morals and empathy and sympathy...as I would guess she doesn't give a crap anyway I doubt she'll show up here.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Iphegenia

      Click on her last blog title in the story above and you will regret wanting to read her stuff. Very abstruse and jargonistic and tripping all over every idea she every heard at Yale without actually understanding them.

      Her thinking never toouches the real world, and that is a problem when the subject is morality, which is what you actually do, not some abstract concept you think about.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Thanks, I checked out her "last bs entry" and found I am sort of right and we will see about the upcoming nuptials just wait...

      She is a clueless idiot. A metaphysical fart-head.
      I expect her to start spouting rants about "qualia" and "raw feels" any day now.
      Her idiocy about "absolute" morality is the proof she couldn't logic her way out of a wet paper bag.
      There is no absolute morality. None whatsoever. This is a proven, easily demonstrable fact of reality.

      Upcoming nuptials or romance with a Catholic she's had her eye on for some time.....

      ...I think it's a very good bet and if I were allowed to bet actual money on it, on a site like Intrade, I would.
      I would put actual money on this. She's an idiot.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  13. Bruce Linquist

    Leah, thank you for your courage as it takes courage to stand for what you believe. You did that as an atheist and now as a Catholic. For the atheists you ought to be proud of her. For the Catholics welcome her to your family I believe God doesn't force himself on anyone. He respects his creations choice. He also believes in atheists because he knows they exist because he created them. He believes more in us than we believe in ourselfs.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      I honestly couldn't care less what she believes. She seems very young, and very young people are still learning and forming ideas. Whatever her religion, I'm sure she's thrilled with the attention she's getting. She was never a prominent atheist (despite the headline of the article) but perhaps she'll be a prominent catholic.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  14. Randall

    she's seriously a lousy debater for supporting atheists if she can't understand morality and how it fits into human nature and civilized society. you don't need to be religious to understand the fundamentals of right and wrong. maybe she's just dense to not have understood a simple reality that even the godless know to do no harm. many with spirituality don't even get that one right. goodness is inherent to the mind not faith. i'm sad that she lost "faith" in her own beliefs to run under an umbrella made of imagination.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  15. knightforx

    Big Bang: Um, where did all the stuff in the original mass of matter that "exploded" come from?

    Evolution: Fine, but where did the single cell organism come from?

    You either believe there is a creator, or you believe that everything just created ITSELF, and how likely is THAT? Just look at DNA and you'll realize that everything is programmed almost like we program computers.

    Yes, there are trillions of stars and planets, so the chances of an earth coming together are high. However, there is only one GRAVITY. Take away the concept of evaporation and we're all screwed. Take away the idea of objects being trapped in orbits for eons and we all don't exist. These RULES OF PHYSICS exist all throughout the universe, and without them we don't exist. The only way around this is the absurd "multiverse" postulation where you could have infinite permutations of rules, and that is REALLY grasping at straws.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • Blast Hardcheese


      Who created God, then? If you say he does not need a creator, then you are committing the logical fallacy of special pleading.

      You are making God immune to needing a creator, but not giving the universe the same benefit. If God doesn't need a creator, why does the universe need a creator? Why does God get to be immune to that need?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      So where did god come from again?

      Also, amino acids (the primary building block of life) have been created in a lab by mimicking the conditions believed to exist on primordial earth. You might want to look into the Miller/Urey Experiment.


      June 23, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • nigel

      Excellent. But where did you creator come from?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • knightforx

      If you've ever watched The Matrix, you'll understand the idea of not being able to explain anything outside the closed system in which you are trapped. If we created an artificial simulated world inside a computer, and made sure we programmed it such that the intelligent life we created within was unable to access the "real world", they would not be able to fathom anything but what they saw/heard/smelled in that artificial world.

      Secondly, if you're looking for me to explain EVERYTHING about the universe (and anything that might be outside it) in order to believe in a creator that's just not going to happen. Trust me, believers have the exact same questions you do about "where did the creator come from?" That does not mean we suddenly make the leap to not believing in a creator AT ALL.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      Dude? The Matrix is a work of fiction.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • matt in nw

      The actual starting point may be beyond the human mind to grasp. for most people (appearently) its just easier to believe an omniscient,omnipotent being wished it to happen......and that hes looking down on us, interceding on our behalf–even when doing so would act against others in the faith.

      I ll take the scientific version...much more exciting.. and believable.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • knightforx

      Where did the laws of physics come from? It sure is convenient that planets maintain perfect orbits around heat sources (that last virtually forever). I mean, yes, it's *possible* all this is random, but is it LIKELY? It sure LOOKS like a *designed* system.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • pastapharian

      wow, you wont make a leap to who created your omnipotent sky fairy, but you're happy to leap to him for everything else you don't understand? what a joke. and btw, knightforx, you have a very shallow knowledge of science. i wouldn't try to use it to make your case. you look silly.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • knightforx

      Yes, The Matrix is a work of fiction. However, it gives us an IDEA of how to think about things.

      By the way, I'm a Christian, but when I talk about these types of things I like to ignore all organized religion and just focus on the idea of a "creator" as it makes things much simpler. Even if you think the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. are a bunch of bunk that does not necessarily mean there is not a creator that set this universe in motion.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Bet

      You're using The Matrix to explain the origins of the universe? Seriously?

      June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • HotAirAce

      "Atom" by Krauss explains how the universe likely evolved with no god(s) required. There is at least one video on the web, in addition to the book.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • knightforx

      pastapharian – You're right, I'm not a scientist. I wasn't even very good at science in school. I'm looking at this from a common sense viewpoint. At least I've provided specifics. What have you provided? All you've said is "you look silly", etc. Anyone can say that. If you want to refute my arguments with specifics I'm happy to entertain alternative points of view.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • knightforx

      "Atom" by Krauss – A quick Google search reveals that he's saying the entire universe evolved from a single oxygen atom? Okay, and where did this single oxygen atom come from?

      You guys that keep bringing up The Matrix are completely misinterpreting my point. My only point there is that if you're trapped inside a closed system with arbitrary rules you'll be clueless about anything outside that system. The movie is indeed science fiction, but it's still useful to illustrate the point.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • HotAirAce

      He doesn't say the universe came from a single oxygen atom! He follows the components of an oxygen atom to tell how the universe evolved. If you don't want to read the book, look for a video of his speech about the same subject.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:43 am |
  16. Evangelical

    The next time you look in a mirror and see the ugliness looking back at you, know that the ugliness comes from a dead soul. The only question we must ask ourselves is whether we are ready for the judgment.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Eric

      All of this is taking place in your head. You believe what you do because it's been sold to you as the "truth" and you can't handle life without it. If that's how you want to waste your life – it's your choice. But insisting everyone else either buys this bull of suffers the darkness of purgatory is too much. Faith is a very powerful thing – but it's the faith itself which holds the power – not necessarily what you believe in – especially when it's something zealots have fed to you. Fear based "faith" is no faith at all.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • Larry Of Saskatchewan

      Not true at all, Eric. Ev speaks from long experience of seeing ugly in her mirror.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      When I look in the mirror, I see a human being. Some features may be pleasant, others may not be so lovely, but on the whole, the human construct is amazing and worthy of appreciation. It took us a long time and many adaptations to reach this point of physical sophistication.

      When I look in the mirror, I see millions of years of adaptation and evolution. I don't worry about the judgment of a god for whom there is no proof. Nor do I worry about the judgment of a bitter and angry person who pins all the hopes of their existence on the mythology of that absent god.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Bet

      I'm happy with what I see in the mirror. I see someone who is living her life now, not waiting for life to begin after I die. I have joy and sorrow like any other person in this world.

      Your posts get uglier and uglier by the minute. Apparently your religion, your bible and your god aren't bringing you the happiness you seek, so you wait and wait for death to release you. So you heap judgment on those who don't think just like you.

      Maybe you need to sit in your spa for a while. LOL!

      June 23, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Ralph

      A typical reply to the religion bs. It would seem you have nothing more to offer than being spiteful.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:44 am |
  17. Mark

    Atheists just bug me. There's a intellectual smugness that is just off-putting. That and confusing empiricism for truth. Just as religious zealots give me a weird vibe, so do staunch atheists. All that smug is just bad news. Atheists and Zealots are both 'priests of Truth', so to speak; although they believe diametrically opposed things, they share an absolute, iron-clad, irritating conviction of Unquestionable Rightness that is founded in arrogance and an unreasonable sense of self-satisfaction and false self-superiority. Omphaloskepsis all around.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Blast Hardcheese

      I thought my parents were pretty smug when they denied Santa Claus, even though they didn't have proof he didn't exist. Santa Claus deniers are a bunch of jerks.

      They should treat my beliefs with respect and not scorn.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Mirror Mirror

      Too bad they don't know that Mark is the true Priest of Truth. Yeah, he comes off smug in his attack on smug, but it takes one to know one.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      There's something smugly ironic in pointing out the smug irony of Mark as he ironically points out the smugness of people who have all the facts in the world on their side claiming they have no cause for smugness when we really do have cause for smugness.

      You want to believe lies and hate the smug proof that you are clearly stupid and gullible and WRONG. Too bad, chump.

      You want to be right you've got to have the facts on your side – and you don't and never will as long as you are on the side of liars and lies.

      And what you see as smugness is just in your head most of the time. Simply stating a fact can be viewed as smug only if you are a child who hates being proven wrong over and over without a clue on how to get any facts on your side – which is a side of lies and falseness.
      If anyone was on the side of Satan, it would be all the religious people who follow lies without real reason to do so but their sheer gullibility and cluelessness.
      You make a virtue out of ignorance and it's going to come back and bite you on the ass.
      And why can't we be smug when we are correct anyway?
      Maybe you just don't like being on the losing side, hmm?

      June 23, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • NateFromIndiana

      It's been many years since I let myself get drawn into an actual religious argument. Maybe some people would want to pigeonhole me as atheist or agnostic, but the truth is I just don't care about other peoples' imaginary friends, or lack thereof.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      A great way to avoid being bugged by atheists and believers alike is to avoid places called things like "Belief Blog".

      June 23, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • nigel

      It takes a certain amount of smugness to use "omphaloskepsis" in a sentence, when "navel contemplation" would be more generally understood. I'm an atheist, but I'm not smug about it at all. You can believe in the flying spaghetti monster if it makes you happy.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • pastapharian

      nigel: i am smug in the thoughts that He has touched me with His noodly appendage! R'amen.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • GP

      It amazes me that atheist will say that religion is the cause of hate and violence in the world and then as they post comments that are full of hate and scorn for other humans. They say that religious people are intolerant of other beliefs and that may be so to a point, on the other hand atheists commit the same 'sin' when they attack people who freely choose to believe in something different.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Al


      Most wars are religion fueled.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • hey

      GP, where is the "freely chosen" part in all this? Constantly hounded by religious dogma from her friends and Catholic boyfriend? That's coercion, not freedom of choice.

      And what about children forced to believe? They have no choice either.
      Just more proof that there is no god and no absolute morality fairy in your empty head.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Ralph

      Unquestionable righesnous does not come from imaginary friends in the sky.

      June 23, 2012 at 4:45 am |
  18. Clint

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

    Obviously someone doesn't know the meaning of "facts".

    June 23, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Maj. Set B. Ack

      Just because her definiination of "facts" doesn't conform with yours, then she must be wrong?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Larry Of Saskatchewan

      Better check the definition of fact, because religion has never been able to support any.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • nigel

      This whole thing seems very weird, but estrogen is a very powerful hormone and her boyfriend is catholic. After a bit of procreating I suspect she'll revert to some variation on agnosticism.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • pastapharian

      sback: facts are not subjective. put your bible away and open a science book sometime.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  19. Brent

    While it is more newsworthy when an atheist becomes religious since it is far more rare than a religious person becoming an atheist I find the story misleading in that it implies this was a prominent atheist. I'm not prominent but have been following prominent atheist organizations and spokespeople for over a decade and never heard of her until CNN proclaimed "Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism".

    June 23, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Clint

      I agree.

      June 23, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • pastapharian

      true dat.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:21 am |
  20. Clint

    "at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass."

    Common sense, you don't need religion to find it.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Flamespeak

      What determines common sense?

      June 23, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Johnny Blammo

      While I agree with what you are trying to say, Clint, Flame is actually right. There is no such thing as common sense. It is an illusion, totally undefinable and arbitrary. Common sense in Salem in 1692 was that you killed witches.

      There is also no such thing as a soul, and there is no integrated you (though your mind perceives there is, there are actually multiple parts of the brain that don't always work in concert. That is why you can do something that part of you knows you should not do).

      June 23, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • nigel

      He's hung like a horse.

      June 23, 2012 at 3:23 am |
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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.