I saw this book review and thought I’d share it. It was in the Christian Science Monitor, of all places, but that’s not what struck me. It’s a autobiography of a man who went through what most atheists such as myself have gone through at some point in their lives – a spiritual search for truth – that landed him right on the doorstep of non-belief. He started relatively apathetic, tried to find meaning in religion, went through various churches, and eventually ended up happy, but atheistic. Unfortunately, according to the review, the impetus for his loss of faith was the Catholic pedophilia scandals. It wasn’t disgust with the Catholic hierarchy, however, that drove him away from theism, it was
…the fact that Christians who were in a position to stand for principle and clean things up, regularly chose to turn a blind eye to dishonesty, corruption, and hypocrisy.
They actually refused to believe that the priests were human, albeit abnormal, and heaped scorn on the victims, defending the priests. So he cast his reporter’s eye a little more broadly about.
“If the Gospels were true, shouldn’t I be able to find plenty of data that showed Christians acted differently – superior in morals and ethics – from the rest of society? I wanted to see that people were changed in fundamental ways by their belief in Christ.” The data from many studies, whether on divorce, racism, charity, materialism, etc., showed otherwise.
Anecdotally, we see it all the time. The hypocrisy of those who profess religious belief runs rampant through society. It’s not hard to find examples. The author of the book, William Lobdell, is a reporter, trained to observe society and report what he sees.
Apparently, he didn’t see anything that supported religious belief.
(Click on the book cover above for Mr. Lobdell’s blog.)