Author of atheist blog announces she will become Catholic
By Benjamin Mann
A screenshot of Leah Libresco's last post on the Patheos atheist portal.
A screenshot of Leah Libresco's last post on the Patheos atheist portal.

.- Blogger Leah Libresco, known for writing about ethics and religion from her perspective as an atheist, announced June 18 that she now believes in God and intends to enter the Catholic Church.

“For several years, a lot of my friends have been telling me I had an inconsistent and unsustainable philosophy,” the Washington, D.C.-based author of the “Unequally Yoked” blog wrote in a post announcing her intention to convert.

The 22-year-old Yale graduate says she came to believe “that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth.”

“When I was talking to a post-modernist friend afterwards,” Libresco said to CNA on June 19, “I told him, 'I guess you were right. (The concept of) “Truth” was a gateway drug.'”

“He replied, not very much in jest: 'Told you so.'”

In recent years, the writer and researcher had – despite her atheism – developed an interest in Christian accounts of morality, developed by authors like C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Her blog, “Unequally Yoked,” chronicled her engagement with Christian theological claims.

Raised in a non-religious household, Libresco explained in a biographical statement that she “met smart Christians for the first time” during college. She was “was ready to cross-examine them” from her perspective as an atheist, but found there were “some big gaps in my defense of my own positions.”

“I realized I didn’t have a clear enough idea of what Christianity entailed to be able to imagine a world where it was true. I felt embarrassed and told my friends to take their best shot at convincing me.”

Through her blog, the atheist thinker looked to test her arguments against belief, seeking out “people to ask me tough questions and force me to burn off the dross in my philosophy.”

The odyssey was personal as well as philosophical, involving a romantic relationship with “one of these smart Christians.”

“I talked with deacons, priests, and Dominicans and attended RCIA classes – until I got kicked out,” she wrote in the biographical statement, composed before her conversion.

“Neither my boyfriend or I looked likely to switch teams in the near future, and, after two years of dating, we were at the point where a relationship that was incompatible with marriage seemed foolish, so, regretfully, we had to split up.”

But she continued “seriously exploring Christian claims,” in light of her own belief in philosophical concepts including objective morality. Her blog featured a “test” in which atheists and Christians swapped roles, composing answers to questions from the perspective of the opposing worldview.

Libresco's atheism finally ended after a recent Yale alumni debate, where a friend “prodded me on where I thought moral law came from in my metaphysics.”

“I talked about morality as though it were some kind of Platonic form, remote from the plane that humans existed on. He wanted to know where the connection was.”

Pressed to define the connection between humanity and the moral order, Libresco came up short: “I don’t know. I’ve got nothing.” Then she remarked: “I guess Morality just loves me or something.”

In Monday's blog entry, the “Unequally Yoked” author said her writings, hosted by the Patheos website, would move from the service's “atheist channel” to its “Catholic channel.”

Libresco said she had been using the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, as well as the ancient “Breastplate of Saint Patrick,” for most of her “prayer attempts.” Despite lingering “confusion” about some Catholic teachings, Libresco has begun RCIA classes at a Washington, D.C. parish.

The former atheist summed up her feelings about her announcement with a quotation from Tom Stoppard's play “Arcadia”: “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”

Tags: Catholic News, Conversions, Atheists

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: