This is the view from my porch:

This isn’t an Andrew Sullivan game to guess where I live.  This is the reason I have no power or internet and probably won’t until Monday.  So be extra-specially patient if your comments get stuck in the spam filter.  Also, please understand that even when my power comes back on, I won’t be responding directly to emails and comments that ask things like “Why Catholicism of all religions?”  I know everyone is interested in that question, so I’ll eventually be posting on it here, but I can’t start private dialogues with folks or my head will explode.  Merci!

Also, just so you understand how slow the repairs will be, a dialogue with one of my housemates:

Him: I think Pepco might really be trying to deal with this quickly.  They got a lot of criticism last summer for how slow they were to restore power.

Me: So they learned that no matter how bad they are, all we can do is complain?

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  • Hibernia86

    I think this is an argument for letting the government take over the power companies. I mean, if they are going to be monopolies anyway, they might as well be monopolies controlled by elected officials.

    • deiseach

      There are pros and cons to either state-ownership or private monopoly. State ownership can mean inefficiency and expense, and private ownership can mean inefficiency and expense. I suppose it depends on what flavour of inconvenience one prefers 🙂

      • Or, as the old joke goes, under capitalism man exploits man, while under socialism it’s the other way around :-).

  • See what happens when you change teams mid-game? Thor was already in his windup to nail one of them thar heathen atheists with a good old bolt-of-lightning when you made your announcement. Poor god couldn’t pull back completely and nailed your tree instead.

    • leahlibresco

      Perhaps one of my neighbors was “the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting “All the Gods are bastards.”

  • Pepco is awful.

  • Jonathan M.

    God bless you, Leah. I feel compelled to share that it is refreshing to have a new female Atheist to Catholic voice on the scene. Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary has long worn that crown but regrettably seems to have wandered off into some soulless, self-absorbed, worldly wasteland. I look forward to following your journey home.

    • PJ

      Why do you say that about Jennifer?

      • Because he’s tired of the holier-than-thou, wrote the commenter, (without an ounce of irony.)

  • deiseach

    Hope you have the power back soon – but please don’t tease those of living in latitudes further east with pictures of a sunny day in June.

    We’ve just had the Longest Day (21st) and it’s Midsummer tomorrow (Feast of St. John the Baptist) and – well, it’s summertime in Ireland, so three guesses what the weather has been like? 😉

    • Adrian Ratnapala

      If it make you feel better, I hear that this time around the weather is just as bad in England. But I don’t there any more, and it’s been gorgeus here. And the birds are singing.

    • Oregon Catholic

      Except for the temp it might as well be Nov. or Mar. here and will stay that way for the better part of the week. The big plus is that the garden goes wild with new growth and no work.

  • Hi Leah. Name’s Nathan. I also wrote a blog addressed to you. It’s kinda long, and I realize that your time is limited, but I’d appreciate it if you at least gave it a look-over…


  • Peggy Hagen

    Oh, so that was where the party was last night! We only got a drizzle – but last summer was quite enough, we didn’t get power back for a week.

  • Gerry

    “Me” is the very definition of a monopoly

  • Adrian Ratnapala

    Well I am no actuary, but I have to say that this particular act of God is wonderfully precise. It really does look like an exact and perfectly intelligent design to block traffic with minimal use of devine perogative. End of bad puns.

  • Casey

    I know you are being swamped with questions, but when you get back to posting, if you could address what are some of the major behavioral changes you’ll have to enact as a result of converting to Catholicism it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • deiseach

      If you are to believe some of the interlocutors in the vast and unwieldly comments threads, Leah will immediately have to:

      (i) Never, ever, under any circumstances, for any reason, have fun again.
      (ii) Have a t-shirt, badge, bumper sticker or some such identifying mark that reads “Hello, I am an Evil Member of the Evil Church of Absolute Evil (Responsible for all Evil in the World since A.D. 33). This is for the purposes of marking her out as an object of scorn, derision and obloquy to all right-thinking persons, so that they may not fall prey to her insidious pretence of normalcy and be deceived into thinking she is not a representative of the embodiment of absolute evil (Latin Rite version).
      (iii) Speaking of insidious pretences, she must also acquire a large sack or other container capable of holding a fully-grown adult. This is for the purposes of popping over the head of a selected victim and dragging them away for the regularly-scheduled witch burnings, heretic roasts and barbeques that she must attend as a condition of her new affiliation (why do you think she’s expressed this recent interest in cookery? Practicing her recipes for these get-togethers! And don’t be fooled by that photo of the tree she ‘explained’ as resulting from a storm; her RCIA class actually chopped it down as fuel for the next burning at the stake!)
      (iv) She must also now immediately hate, detest and execrate all persons not members of the Evil Church of Absolute Evil (Latin Rite Version) and tell them at every opportunity that they are going to Hell. Where they will burn in actual, real fire (not metaphysical or even metaphorical fire) for all eternity. Just because.
      (v) She must immediately get married and produce 22 children. We do permit her to produce these children in batches, not all at once, but that is the minimum number permissible.
      (vi) Her appointment for the insertion of the mind-control chip by means of which she will receive instructions, orders and programming from the orbital mind-control satellite run by the Secret Vatican Space Programme (though now I’ve told you about it, it’s not so secret any more, is it?) This means she not only will never have to think for herself ever again, she will be incapable of doing so. Otherwise known as “The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation” at the Easter Vigil.

      I’m sure there are one or two points I neglected to mention, such as taking her share of personal responsibility for the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the “Burning Times”, the AIDS genocide in Africa and the Third World, and the extinction of the dodo, but you can read through the comments for yourself to get those.

      • Deiseach, shhhhhhhhh! Do you want the overlords of Opus Dei seeing your post???
        Seriously – I am smiling in great amusement over your post. Well done!
        And Leah – God bless you. Remember the Journey of a Thousand Miles has begun, so be ready for a long and intriguing journey.

      • And don’t forget the Jesuit decoder ring!

  • Dez

    I am troubled by one thing in your conversion: the notion that morality cannot be logically derived and demands external imposition. Indeed, that is a child’s view of morality: “I must be told what is bad, and behave well because I fear punishment rather than because I have reasoned that good for its own sake is quite logical. ” I strongly recommend a read of “Anarchy, State and Utopia” if you are unable to logically approach that problem.

    • TomT

      Dez says: June 24, 2012 at 3:22 am
      “I am troubled by one thing in your conversion: the notion that morality cannot be logically derived and demands external imposition. Indeed, that is a child’s view of morality:…”

      You dishonestly and illogically assert that conversion must necessarily rest upon your caricature: “morality cannot be logically derived and demands external imposition”

      Of course, that ignores what the POPE said, that “PURE REASONING CAN LEAD TO THE TRUTH…” (But for PURE REASONING to lead infallibly to the TRUTH, it would have to be INFINITE REASONING ABILITY – or guided by ‘something divine’. All the POPE said was, if you have a PIECE of it, it is POSSIBLE that it can lead you to the TRUTH.)

      To say the “She used ‘A’, and found it useful”, is NOT to imply that “You cannot use ‘B’ and ALSO find it useful.

      I can only GUESS as to your motives. But if AGENDA trumped logic and honesty, then can we have sympathy if SHE SAID *THAT* was part of what turned her off on her previous intellectual positions (and faith)?

      • Dear Tom,

        The ALL CAPS are considerably off-putting and unlikely to help anyone see the reasonableness (or lack thereof) of your point. I think, based on the first few sentences that you and I would mostly agree on many things but quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to read the rest of your post.

        So, if you are a Catholic and trying to make a logical point about morality, please stop using ALL CAPS to emphasize particular words – it doesn’t help make your point. If you’re an atheist agreeing that Leah’s decision is BS, then by all means, please keep making your comments irrelevant and unread.

  • I’m just really glad to see that someone had the foresight to stretch yellow tape around that fallen tree to prevent speeding traffic from running into anything. Yow. That would hurt. (That wouldn’t be a leftover Turing Machine infinite tape would it?)

    As for any suggestion that Ms. Libresco is anything other than a weighty thinker (heavy brains, not heavy hips)… please spend a few hours reading her archives. The general inability to allow the possibility of doubt to exist, along with an overburden of lazy thinking is what pulls most discussions on faith and morality into the muck. Unequally Yoked elevates those who come to the table properly prepared to engage. Thank you, Leah, for this ministry. Watch out for the dirty pump handles. SAK

  • TomT

    If you need help studying for the RCIA finals, would love to help. (Would hate to have you fail, and wink out of existence).

    A guy is hit by a bullet, and is able to prove that there was no other human within a mile. So the “creationist mathematicians” try to prove that he was hit “on purpose”. The “darwinian mathematicians” attempt to prove he was hit by accident.

    What a fine line there is between us – those who live in an unknowable and unfathomable world, who do the best we can sorting things out according to what seems best to us…

    …and, those that pledge alliegence to a God that is ultimately unknowable and unfathomable, except for what other people tell us, what we observe, and what we sort out by doing the best we can and doing what seems best to us…

    So, to some, the REAL PROBLEM is when SOME on ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER, begin to express contempt for, and feel superiority to, some on the other side…

    Then we can applaud the existentialist who comes along and observes, “Mean people suck”.

    How curious that those “confused” by your “conversion”, are totally unable to imagine that you SAW, or EXPERIENCED, or REASONED something.

  • TomT

    Been here before? Didn’t understand? (It DOES say in the bible, we can feed you with milk until you’re ready for the solid stuff…)

    With a new-found ability to understand, fueled by a willingness to accept help in doing so, check out:

  • anon101

    Before you answer the “why catholic ?” question I feel like I should make a rather uneducated guess. I think it is not only because of the obvious reasons but also because if I understand correctly catholic doctrine teaches of salvation partly through deeds in contrast to protestant doctrine. Since you belief in virtue ethics I guess the fact that you are required to actively improve your character resembles catholic doctrine more closely than protestant. Buddhism is out of the game since it has no personal god. But what about the orthodox churches, Mormonism or Islam?

    • Buddhism has no “personal god”? All Buddhisms have personal gods.

  • Joe Lawrence

    I was a bit surprised to see you are in the DC area. Yeah, Pepco sucks, but at least the Catholic community is great if you know where to look.

  • Kurt Hansen

    Hi Leah,
    Ahh…a dissenting Catholic, I see. Welcome to the fold! 🙂 I just saw your interview on CNN. Your reasons for becoming RC are very much the same as mine for remaining RC. I admire your courage and intellectual honesty for being willing to take the leap even while the Church hierarchy is acting a bit Sanhedrin-like. Might I ask which Catholic community you have found? Being in the DC area myself, it may be a community my family and I would like to join.

    • leahlibresco

      I’m doing RCIA at St Peter’s on the Hill.

    • Hidden One

      I’m not sure that she qualifies as dissenting. Questioning, yes, which is quite acceptable, particularly (but certainly not only) because she isn’t technically Catholic yet. She’s in RCIA; she has not been received into the Church.

      Leah, please correct me if you do in fact consider yourself a dissenting Catholic.