Welcome to Leah

From the Atheist portal to the Catholic portal comes blogger Leah Libresco. The intellectual atheist explains her reasons for stepping into the Tiber here. I look forward to reading some more smart Catholic blogging.

One of the abiding problems in American Christianity is a kind of anti-intellectualism that reigns supreme in some quarters. “Ya’ll don’t wanna trust them innerleckshuls.” Those who run from the intellectual arguments often take refuge in personal religious experience of some kind. This is called fideism–and it’s a heresy. It’s often combined with Quietism– the retreat into a kind of passive religiosity which disengages from action and involvement–trusting passively in Divine Providence–to the exclusion of interaction.

I hope Leah’s presence will bring some fireworks as she enters and explores what the Anchoress calls our “Maddening, and beautiful church.”

Her conversion from Atheism to Catholicism reminds me of the quote often attributed to Evelyn Waugh that there are only two choices: Suicide or Catholicism.

Bl. John Henry Newman made a similarly stark statement–if not quite so radical as Waugh’s:

I came to the conclusion that there was no medium in true philosophy between atheism and Catholicism, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below must embrace either the one or the other.

For those who think things through you have to end up with all or nuthin’.

Here’s a post from the archives reflecting on this choice.

  • Matthew the Wayfarer

    Never understood atheist’s arguments. Never wanted to be one or needed to be one. Just pouty little boys and girls who don’t want to answer to anyone or anything. Good for leah. When she has a blog up for her new journey I’ll check it out.


    How consistent is God in giving his grace to those who truly seek his truth . Wonderful to hear .
    Pax et bonum .
    From Our Lady`s Land of the Southern Cross .

  • Anil Wang

    Matthew, it depends on the type of atheist.

    One type says, evidence suggest that if God exists, he doesn’t make a difference in the world, therefore we have no reason to believe in God. Another type says, no-one agrees what God is and different ages see God differently, therefore its unlikely he exists or at least he isn’t trying to get us to worship him. Other’s say, if believing in God requires me to believe the world was created in 6 days, 6000 years ago, that dinosaurs and man lived together, and believe most people are dammed because they didn’t say that they accept God as their own personal Lord and saviour once in their life, I want nothing of it. Other’s say, I see no reason for believing God exists and I’m too distracted by the modern world to bother finding out. Others say, people don’t even agree on the meaning on the Bible, so how can I take it seriously that it was created by a God that demanded you know scripture? Still others say, that God interferes with pleasure, therefore God doesn’t exist (i.e. Huxley). Still others are stumped by the problem of evil and bad Christians.

    That’s only a small list of reasons. If you’re trying to convert an atheist, its best to get to know them and ask what their main objection is.

    • Al Bergstrazer

      Well said, I’ve found that anti-intellectualism is often a cover for willful ignorance. “You just gotta have faith,” is thought to be the trump card to every query about why one believes what one believes, when it is really a trite cop-out to make serious questions go away. So is falling into Kennedy plan default mode without ever listening to what another person is actually saying. If you don’t have an understanding of why evil and suffering happen in the world, how do you answer the angry athiest who blasphemes a God he/she claims does not exist? Finding out what the objection to God is shows you actually care about what the other person things and feels.

  • zengardener

    She now believes in a moral law giver, therefor Yahweh?

    That is just dumb. Even if she could justify the existence of an objective morality, there is no reason to buy into the Catholic dogma. Has she read about the evil that the God of the bible does?

    Why not Deism?

    It would be the smallest adjustment to accommodate her new assumption.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      There are intelligent answers to your questions, but saying, “That is just dumb” reveals more about you than it does Leah’s (and all the other learned and intelligent Catholics’) choice

  • Tom McGuire

    Leah, Sister Margaret Farley has the best theological reflection on homosexuality that I have ever read. (Been a Catholic all my 72 years of life.) Her book Just Love is worth reading. It gives me much more hope in the direction of Catholic Theology than the response of the Bishops to her. She challenges the common views in the Church and seeks ways to find a ethical framework that meets the demands of reason and faith.