Unequally Yoked Again

I don’t plan to discuss this boyfriend here anymore than I did the last one, but the blog title is accurate again.  Two-person bookclubs ahoy!

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  • Slow Learner

    Accurate again? So he’s a non-Catholic this time? Congratulations, I wish you many happy arguments.

  • Jake

    Ha… timing is everything, as they say. Best of luck!

  • deiseach

    Congratulations, and for the love of St. Uncumber, let’s all try to play nice on here for a little while so we don’t scare him off!


    • Edward

      Amen! Deieach. A good man is so hard to find. Where are they hiding? Do they exist? Thanks for mentioning St. Uncumber, aka-Wilgefortis. Loved the song and video. Sad, but also a little bit humorous.

      • A good man is so hard to find. Where are they hiding? Do they exist?
        They were believed to for centuries but, as detailed in the bestselling The Good Delusion, modern thinkers are increasingly arriving at the view that this was nothing more than an optimistic delusion.

        • Christian

          *Likes this comment.*

      • Clarissa

        Don’t look for good men among the atheist meetups. Misfists and loser in my opinion, and not expecially well endowed…that could have something to do with their anger.

    • Mike

      Amen to that :).

  • Fr.Sean

    When I read the title of the post I was happy for you, but then I thought naturally he was the athiest this time and I was nervous, only for a second. Luke Ch.8:4-15 comes to mind. Earlier I went back and read some of your posts two things struck me; 1. your conversion started much earlier than last Palm sunday (2012) so your roots are much deeper than one year and secondly, you really were in my opinion the only author on the athiest patheos blog who seemed to have humility and a genuine desire for the truth. So I hope it works out! I always enjoy reading your posts!

  • Joe

    Good for you Leah!! Here are some things to keep in mind.
    I’m sure he is an awesome guy he seems to have good taste in women. 😉

  • Good luck! You two look cute together.

  • ted whalen

    Not sure about this one, Leah — his technique looks suspect. That 35-degree pinkie spread is great for Elvish epistemancy (as you’re demonstrating here), but I worry that he’ll eventually have trouble with advanced incantations of traditional Western alethiology if he doesn’t adjust his hand positions to something more protoagoran. It seems like you’ve taken on a real fixer-upper.

  • Minah

    A suggestion for your boyfriend, which someone once used on me. It sure wreaked havoc with my pride, but it really saved me from religion, so I can only recommend it. I understand that this comment may be offensive to you, but please know that I went through the same thing, so in essence I am insulting myself along with you. The suggestion goes as follows:

    He should see your “faith” as an illness, you as his patient, and himself as a doctor whose task is to cure you (and who must wear protective gloves to make sure he cannot become infected himself).

    The kind of “bookclub” competition you are planning works if both sides represent honest intellectual proposals. But that is not what religion is. It is not an honest visitor who will knock on the front door before entering, but more like a home invader who will sneak in through hidden backdoors (apologies to Mitchell Porter for the metaphorical language). It is a fallacious, in many cases even fraudulent construct, which is designed to exploit weaknesses in the human intellectual immune system. In the same way it caused your mind to snap and become trapped in your “morality” fallacy.

    “Faith” works very much like a disease. Yes, there are many books that were written to sound intellectual and to provide the appearance of a justification for it. I have read a good share of them. Of course they can all be deconstructed intellectually line by line, but the sheer amount of patently nonsensical religious literature makes that a very time consuming and unproductive endeavor. What your boyfriend needs to keep in mind is that religious “arguments” and religious “philosophies” don’t work by convincing, but rather by tricking the human brain into accepting pathological reasoning as sound. In the way a pathogen tricks the human body into letting it in.

    He could keep deconstructing your delusional beliefs, while you keep reciting 2,000 years of religious nonsense (which is far less tiresome than deconstructing it), until he is so exhausted that he becomes vulnerable to it himself – but that would not do either of you any good. The more productive approach would be to make you hit a wall everytime you recite some absurd Catholic pseudo-argument, to simply block you and force you to do the work of figuring out why it is nonsensical yourself. With practice, you would eventually gain the ability to mount an immune response and overcome your “illness” on your own.

    I know from experience that this is impossible for you to understand at this point, but his Atheism is healthy while your delusional beliefs about morality being a sentient, superhuman life form are not. I obviously don’t know your boyfriend, and he may have his issues. But I hope he understands that in this one respect he is fine, while you are the one who has problems and needs help. Someone understood this about me a few years ago and took decisive steps to help me. And while it almost caused me to break up with him back then, I am very grateful for it now (and happily married to him). So, in time, will you.

    • Bob

      You should have broken up with he, he sounds abusive and controlling.

    • Minah, some of us are trying to mute our dear Leah (and Mike and Randy, seems Irenist is dead set on Thomism or Buddhism) into a nice, respectable, Episcopalian: Loves God and the Church, but not actually dangerous.

      This is not helping. 😉

      • Mike

        LOL. No it isn’t but it is amusing! I like you Minah, welcome aboard. :).

    • leahlibresco

      I had to dissuade the boy in question from replying “Pistols. At Dawn” in my defense.

      • Alexander Anderson

        And we have compelling evidence that you have a keeper on your hands. Defend her honor, good sir!

      • Good golly. Instead of dissuading him, you should have immediately accepted his proposal of marriage. If he objected that he hadn’t, in fact, proposed marriage, you should have let him know you were willing to overlook the oversight just this once.

    • g

      Minah: Ewwwwwwwww.

      (I’m an atheist. I think being an atheist again would be an improvement for Leah. But I think that for Leah’s boyfriend to do what you describe would be obnoxious and counterproductive, and I think your saying it here is even more obnoxious and counterproductive. Again I say, ewwwwwwwwww.)

    • deiseach

      So he moulded you into a nice, complacent wifey? If the reverse were true (he argued you into views compatible with his own that were Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Pastafarian), then by your own analogy you would have been “infected” with his “pathology”.

      I’m with Bob on this; whether or not you stayed or became religious, you should have dumped the bozo.

    • Mitchell Porter

      Leah’s boyfriend (I looked him up) is an American conservative activist. Whatever his private metaphysical opinions, he is not likely to play the role you suggest, unless she converts to Islam or he converts to Objectivism.

      • Val

        These days, “conservative activist” is to broad a category to have any real meaning. Care to narrow that down a bit?

      • Ah. He could even be Catholic. Verrah interesting.

    • Theodore Seeber

      You can flip that metaphor around 180 degrees and it still works, is the problem.

    • Clarissa

      Sounds like you submitted to his abuse. Good luck though!

    • Qmwne

      Heh. “Religions are all wrong, therefore none of their arguments could ever be valid!” That’s how proper reasoning works, eh?

  • Did not see that one coming.

    Way early, but advice from a bitter old guy – there are way more important things than religion in a relationship. Many, many Christian women who I would have been happier with than my Agnostic spouse.

  • Bob

    Congratulations, Leah! Hope it works out for you both. What a cute picture!

  • Fr.Sean

    Do you love your husband? Can you prove it? if you can’t prove it should we assume that your love doesn’t exist?

    • g

      I think Minah’s comment was obnoxious and stupid, but this reply seems like it has nothing to do with what it’s replying to (Minah didn’t say “we know God isn’t real because we can’t prove he is”, nor does that argument or anything like it seem to be implied), it’s a desperately weak response anyway (generally when one person loves another there’s plenty of evidence and a clear preponderance of evidence for over evidence against), and even if it were a great response it seems kinda pointless to make such a reply to someone who’s been arguing that religious believers should simply be “blocked” and left to figure out their own mistakes.

  • Fr.Sean

    G, very often people will do things that look like love for other reasons. because their trying to keep the peace, or because they’re trying to stay together for kids, or money, or an inherentence or because they want sex. to my knowledge there’s no way to prove that love exist, the only way we know it does is that we’ve felt it ourselves. nevertheless, if we needed emperical data as we apparently do with God we’d have to conclude it does not exist.
    if there was no God Minah’s response was have some validity to it. if there is a God, faith then has meaning, and thus her husband was the one who spread the illness. Since i naturally believe in God, and i want Minah’s good for her own sake, i wanted to get her to think.
    by the way, this particular post is supposed to be a little more lighthearted, about Leah’s new boyfriend, let’s just wish them well!

    • g

      Sure, no single piece of evidence will be conclusive, and even with a lot of evidence there will always remain the possibility that you’re wrong. Just as with everything else in the world.

      There’s never watertight proof that one person loves another. That’s fine; one hardly ever needs watertight proof of anything. There’s often pretty good evidence.

      In particular, there’s often plenty of evidence that one person loves another (and a preponderance of evidence-for over evidence-against) of exactly the sort that skeptics say there isn’t for God and should be if he’s real.

      Of course I wish Leah and her new boyfriend well, and I hope whichever of them is right will eventually help whichever of them is wrong to see the truth, and I hope they have a lot of fun along the way. Given Leah’s stated preferences, I think having a polite but rigorous argument about religion is entirely appropriate here :-).

      • Fr.Sean

        g, I would disagree, i think that kind of evidence falls under the same tent. nevertheless, in order to keep this particular post a little more lighthearted and focused on Leah and her new boyfriend, why don’t we move this conversation to the previous post “it’s hard to make up a marriage”. i would like to continue this conversation with you.

        • g

          I’m happy to continue the conversation but not interested in moving it from here (where it’s only marginally relevant, but at least this is where it originated) to another place where it plainly doesn’t belong in the least. Here if you like, or for that matter you can probably find my email address without much difficulty, but I’m not taking it there. Sorry to be intransigent; it just doesn’t seem like a good precedent to create.

          • Fr.Sean

            Okay, i’m not a techy, if you are and can figure out how to get my e-mail address you’re welcome to e-mail me, just let me know in the subject box. befroe we begin discussing this i think it’s fair to make a couple of presupositions. 1. certain aspects in life have more certainity or proof than others, but we don’t simply make decisions based on 100% certainity, we make decisions based on facts, instincts, and perhaps estimates. 2. when discussing things it’s naturaly to change the subject if one feels they are moving to a point where either they feel their position may be untrue or perhaps their position isn’t all that thought out. if you feel i’m changinig the subject when my position appers to be weak please feel free to point that out. 3. whenn it comes to proof of God’s existence i cannot produce definitive emerical proof, i may only produce sedondary proof, so if the basis of the argument is producing definitive proof we may be wasting our time, however as stated above, we don’t make decisions based on 100% certainity.

    • Caravelle

      Actually I’ve been in that exact situation. I hadn’t felt romantic love (still haven’t), and in my early twenties I decided it was probably some kind of massive self-delusion people got into; some vague feeling of “like” was amplified into this big thing in songs and stories, and people bombarded with those songs and stories and social pressures convinced themselves they were feeling that big thing even though it was really just “like”.

      I eventually changed my mind because there is just too much empirical evidence that love exists. All those different people describing feelings and experiences that I’ve never felt, in a way that’s consistent enough they’re talking about a coherent concept, but different enough that they aren’t completely cribbing off each other and it’s improbable they’d all be making it up. All those people who choose to live together and do things for each other and get along with each other for decades. All the physical and behavioural changes people exhibit that don’t happen with just “like”. The recognizable chemical and brain characteristics of people in various kinds of love. The plausible evolutionary reasons it would exist.

      So I’m someone who believes love exists just on the strength of the empirical evidence. (and before you ask, no, people reporting interactions with God isn’t strong evidence for God’s existence in the same way that people reporting feelings of love is evidence for the existence of love. It’s strong evidence for the existence of religious experiences, but nobody denies those exist.)

  • This is confusing. The phrase “unequally yoked” comes from the bible. IT is in there as a prohibition. That is it says do not be unequally yoked. Christians are not supposed to do proudly what the bible says we should not do. Many times they do it and argue what they are doing is slightly different from what the bible prohibits. You don’t do that. You explicitly accept that what you are doing is being “unequally yoked” in the same sense St Paul means it. Then why do it?

    • Fr.Sean

      I Might disagree with you, but i do see your point. I think what Paul was referring to, is taking upon oneself the customs and habits of the other as if it was your life. Christians need to make a break from their former life, but they’re not supposed to be entirely separate from others. How could the Gospel spread if we kept to ourselves? Don’t forget, if Leah’s previous boyfriend had not chosen to be “unequally yoked” with her she may still be writing for the other patheos blog. Her conversion wasn’t quick or spontaneous, but was rather thought out so I think her relationship could be a good thing? Remember if we believe we have the truth, than her new boyfriend may learn a great deal from her.

      • This is always the logic of dating someone with the plan of converting them. That is precisely the logic that Paul rejects in this passage. We don’t put our heart and our body on the line when we engage in evangelism. That is for those who share your faith. Yes, a book club for two is a fine idea but the idea that it should be a romantic relationship ordered towards marriage is a bad idea. Evangelism does not always work. People will choose to remain unconverted. Think of the parable of the sower in Mat 13. You need to leave yourself an exit strategy.

    • In addition to Fr. Sean’s point, it has to be pointed out that Leah’s playing on the phrase and not actually violating the prohibition, which in context is certainly not about dating.

      • This is a more common argument. A distinction that Leah does not make. The passage is about marriage. Is dating also about marriage? Should it be? Why else would you date? We don’t believe in recreational sex. The reality is if you date someone there is a real chance that you will develop a strong attachment so that not getting married will be very difficult. You also have a strong occasion for sin with someone who does not share your sexual morality. You might end up pregnant. I am not saying this will for sure happen to Leah. Just that it has happened to people I knew in a similar situation. I don’t think she is immune.

        • (1) The passage in 2 Corinthians is not about marriage but about idolatry and immoral practices; the application to marriage is itself merely a figure of speech that has become popular and not the actual point of the passage itself.

          (2) No, dating should not be ‘about’ marriage; this ends up both trivializing marriage and blowing up dating to pompous proportions. Dating has its temptations and perils, but your argument would apply across the board — if it’s that much of an occasion for sin, it shouldn’t be done ever.

          • #1. I didn’t apply these words to this relationship. Leah did. That is the traditional interpretation of this passage. Catholics are not bible-only Christians. They are not supposed to ditch the traditional interpretation in search of a more agreeable exegesis. Still I was conceding that she could argue this point and chose not to.
            #2. When should you ask yourself marriage questions? It is really easy to end up married and never stop to ask whether this person was a rational choice. I do marriage preparation and I can tell you that people headed for the altar are terrible at rational scrutiny. They are just so in love. It is great, except when it isn’t. So when should a person use their reason to exclude certain people from marital consideration? I would suggest the first date or first few dates is prime time for rationality.

          • (1) It is not a traditional interpretation of the passage. The most common traditional Catholic interpretation (as found, e.g., in Aquinas) takes it to be talking about participation in “works of unbelief” generally, and Aquinas shows no indication of even being aware that anyone might assume that it’s about marriage. The most common magisterial Protestant interpretations (as found, e.g., in Calvin), for that matter, take it the same way. Since it seems to have arisen as a certain kind of Protestant reading, Calvin knows of people who interpret the passage as pertaining to marriage, but he (rightly) flat-out denies that it makes any sense. What has happened is that one particular, apparently late and (even if its roots are older than they look) certainly not very plausible, interpretation became a common figure of speech. That is all. It’s micro-traditional, like white bridal gowns at weddings or bachelor parties, i.e., a custom that has sprung up as historical accident and come to be regarded as important despite the fact that almost nobody did them two hundred years ago; it’s not the kind of tradition that is part of the essence of the thing, and certainly not the kind that has force for interpreting Scripture.

            Since the whole thing is clearly a half-joking figure of speech, there’s no particular reason why she should argue the matter at all.

            (2) Your entire discussion assumes that there is one single thing that is dating; this has not been true for at least twenty years, if not longer. Dating is a very diverse set of activities these days.

            In any case, I think it is a serious error to frame it in terms of there being “marriage questions” that have to be asked at a certain point of time: this is not the way to prepare for marriage, but the way to hurry up and slap a band-aid over the fact that you haven’t done what you should to prepare. Preparation for marriage requires developing a long-term foundation that wasn’t put together slapdash in a hurried questionnaire. There are certainly things such that you should not marry without knowing them; and there are certainly things that need to be done before you go anywhere with it. But this is not a matter of timelines; and suggesting as a general rule that one should be considering marriage on the first date, while it may be helpful for certain kinds of people engaging in certain kinds of dating, is as absurd as as a general rule for considering sex on the third: there is nothing about the timeline that actually has anything to do with what is being contemplated — it’s just an arbitrary number indicating ‘Well, it’s going to be some time, so might as well be now.’ Well, maybe, or maybe not; but even if it’s sometimes a good idea, it could hardly be raised to the level of a normative principle.

          • 1. I agree. There is no huge reason to argue the thing at all. I do still find it strange for a Christian to say, “You know that thing that St Paul says in 2 Corinthians not to do. I am doing it. Isn’t it great?” Maybe I am weird.
            2. There is a saying that you should figure out where a train is going before you get on it. The truth is people don’t think long term when it comes to dating. Pretty soon it has been a year and someone gives them a ring and they don’t have they find it emotionally impossible to say No. When did my wife and I get past the point of no return? Maybe 3 months, maybe less. Not all dating relationships go that way but enough of them do that the rational part of the courtship process never happens.

          • I do still find it strange for a Christian to say, “You know that thing that St Paul says in 2 Corinthians not to do. I am doing it. Isn’t it great?”

            But precisely the point is that she’s not doing that, and never has been — nothing actually contrary to anything St. Paul says; nothing actually contrary, even, to the most common understanding of it; the whole point (as she notes on her About page) is that it was originally a figure of speech to sum up an issue that needed to be worked out and thought through if she and her boyfriend were to date, and it’s still just a half-joking figure of speech. (And as Ted notes below, we actually don’t have any details, and so shouldn’t assume that we know anything more than she actually says in the post.)

            One might as well criticize Chesterton for all his comments about bloody revolution because Christians are not supposed to go around guillotining lawful leaders; that was not the point, though. Or one might on the same grounds criticize King James’s old joke that such-and-such theologian could congratulate himself on having become like the peace of God, surpassing all understanding, by saying that it’s strange for a Christian to talk about the peace of God as if it were a bad thing. But, of course, that’s the whole point of the joke.

            On (2), I agree that this is not uncommon as an end to a dating career. Most dating doesn’t end up like this at all, though; and nobody can know where dating any particular person might end up — you can’t guarantee it will end in marriage, and, indeed, you can guarantee very little about it, because the only way you get reliable information about where it will go is by actually dating. And if the rational part never happens, it’s because there was no (or only incidental) preparation of character and mind suitable for marriage all the way up to it. The rational preparation for marriage, though, can start prior to any actual dating, and has to be ongoing through it (to the extent that it’s possible, because, as you say, it can be hard to do it, although I think you make it sound worse than it is by treating ‘the rational part’ as if it were one thing rather than the very great many different things it is, some of which will be easier when other things are more difficult, and vice versa). This is not something that can easily be squared away by general rules, though; it concerns matters falling entirely within the jurisdiction of prudence. The details would matter; and jumping the gun and assuming that dating heads straight to marriage is probably just as likely a cause of serious error as not thinking through the possibility at all. Dating and marriage are just different things: nothing about marriage requires that it arise from dating; nothing about dating, particularly about dating as practiced today, guarantees that it results in marriage. Their only actual connection is that it just so happens that they are both interactions among the sexes connected in some way or other with romantic and/or sexual interest, so the tendency to one can easily overlap the course of the other, and that historically dating happened to replace a vastly more marriage-centered process (and the change predates, I would imagine, anyone likely to be commenting on this blog), while itself being a much less marriage-oriented process than what it replaced (which has become even more true as dating has diversified into many different kinds of activities).

  • Congratulations Leah! I wish you the best of luck with the new dude. And I’ll be looking forward to seeing the posts that this generates!

    (Though I have to say that the negative comments on here bother me a little, especially the one by Minah. I don’t agree with Leah’s religious views, but I respect her enough as a person and a fellow blogger not to say something that disgusting or degrading. Nonetheless, it also bothers me when I see Fr. Sean seeing this as a conversion opportunity and for similar reasons.)

    • R.C.

      Folks, don’t worry overmuch about Minah’s post. Archie Bunkers come in all forms, and exist on all sides of all debated issues. (Press coverage of nearly every widely-covered story in the last twenty years, seems chock-full of Archie Bunkerism to me.)

      But underneath the details of their particular epistemic closure, Archie Bunkers do tend to have a two things in common:

      (1.) They show an inability to think that another person, who holds different opinions, could possibly have arrived at them for reasons other than either evil/ill will, or some form of benighted sickness/insanity;

      (2.) They believe that demonstrating their firm unwillingness to understand the point-of-view of the person they’re criticizing — demonstrating it through really easily-debunked generalizations — somehow is a mark of strength; or perhaps that displaying it is a way to reassure their readers that they’re the sensible ones. Because they want no association with the views or beliefs they oppose, they act as if their inability to understand the other side except through gross caricatures should constitute a stamp-of-approval on themselves, in the eyes of others…an assurance that they aren’t one of the “benighted ones”;

      (3.) They consider publicly displaying this stamp-of-approval to be more important than (a.) understanding the other view well enough to both have sympathy for the humanity of the other person, (b.) understanding the other view well enough to effectively debate it, and (c.) not being shockingly rude and shockingly off-base when talking about the other person.

      It is vividly on display in Minah’s post here — the talking-past someone is also characteristic — but I’ve seen about the same level of Archie Bunkerism from Christians saying that all atheists are mad at God or have daddy issues.

      It’s no strength to utterly fail to understand the person you’re criticizing, or to fail to be aware that one is being obnoxious. (In fairness Minah does show some awareness that Leah might not be, uh, entirely flattered by this notion she’s asked to pass on to her boyfriend! But a person with a sense of proportion would have seen that the egregiousness of the insult required not a quick quasi-apologetic aside, but not posting the comment.)

      Finally, if anyone asks, yes I’m aware of (and am cultivating) some irony in this post! For if I stopped here, I’d be talking past Minah, and reducing Minah to the same kind of caricature to which she reduced Leah. I’d be telling readers — presumably, just the Christian ones, or maybe just the ones who’re generally sympathetic to Leah — that “I’m one of the good guys” because, hey look! I unperson-ed Minah!

      But that I will not be guilty of the same sin: Minah, Archie Bunker had his good points, and I’m sure you do, also. You acted a bit like a grumpy old know-nothing bigot in this case, but one bad post isn’t necessarily either character or destiny.

      So, I give a formal blessing instead: May you be blessed, by Whomever there is to bless you…and may you trouble our monitors more fruitfully in the future!

      With respect,


      • Anna

        R.C., I miss seeing your writing regularly on the defunct Inside Catholic, so I always do a little happy dance when I run across your clarity and charity on other sites!

  • R.C.

    Homer Nods: When I said “a two things in common” of course I meant “a few things in common.” Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. (But don’tcha wish it were possible to edit comments briefly after posting?)

  • I find your story very inspiring and encouraging. Your critics are very sad, their angry comments appear to be devoid of intellectual content. They betray a lack of historical perspective and a total ignorance of both classic and contemporary philosophy and theology. They are sad and angry people.

  • Emily

    Wonderful! New state, new job, new boyfriend…I hope everything keeps going swimmingly!

    To add an encouraging counterpoint to some of the discouraging comments here, I want to recommend this post about faith and relationships: http://deeperstory.com/unequally-yoked/ Basically, it says that faith isn’t an on/off switch, and our doubt and trust in God can grow and shrink throughout or lives, so “unequal yokes” are actually issues for every marriage.

    • grok

      THanks Emily! great linked post!

    • Faith isn’t an “on/off” switch? Sure. But there is a still a gap between those who have made a choice for Jesus and those who have not. This guy actually admits he wants to destroy her faith. It is a bit different than going with a guy who is not 100% holy.

      • g

        This guy actually admits he wants to destroy her faith.

        He does? Where?

  • grok

    I posted this on the “It’s hard to make up marriage thread” but it may perhaps be appropriate here as well:
    The hymn from today’s (Sunday 4/14) evening prayer seems apropos (song is downloadable from the site):

    HYMN (Covenant Hymn)
    Wherever you go, I will follow, Wherever you live is my home.
    Though days be of blessing or sorrow,vThough house be of canvas or stone,
    Though Eden be lost to the past, Though mountains before us so vast,
    You won’t be alone, I have promised Wherever you go, I am here.

    Whatever you dream, I am with you, When stars call your name in the night.
    Though shadows and mist cloud the future, Together we bear their light.
    And now together we stand With only a promise in hand.
    But lead where you dream: I will follow. To dream with you is my delight.

    And if you should fall, you will find me, When no other friend can you claim,
    If foes beat you down or betray you, And if others desert you in shame.
    If home and dreams aren’t enough, And if you will run away from my love,
    I’ll raise you from where you have fallen. Faithful to you is my name.

    And when you will die, I will be there To sing you to sleep with a psalm,
    I’ll sooth you with tales of our journey, Your fears and your doubts I will calm.
    We’ll live when this life done Forever in mem’ry as one.
    And we will be buried together, To waken and to greet a new dawn.

    Wherever you go, I will follow. Behold! The horizon shines clear.
    The possible gleams like a city: Together we’ve nothing to fear.
    So speak with words bold and true The message my heart speaks to you.
    You won’t be alone, I have promised. Wherever you go, I am here.

    “Covenant Hymn” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss from her album “The Power of His Love” available from Amazon.com

  • Congratulations, and I wish you both well! I have myself been successfully and happily unequally yoked (I’m Catholic, she’s Buddhist) for fifteen and a half years (married the last thirteen of them), with a daughter who’ll turn ten tomorrow (being raised Catholic, but knows lots of Hindu and Buddhist mythology and stories). We all go to church together, and I say that my wife is a better Catholic than the actual cradle Catholics! Also, since we were both comics fans with different tastes growing up, I always joke that we’re a mixed marriage–I’m DC and she’s Marvel! Anyway, once more, all the best!

    • Joe

      DC booooooooHissssssss

      • deiseach

        I have a confession to make: I’m bitextual.

        Yes, I read both DC and Marvel 😉

      • Here here!

  • Darren

    You did get the color themes to match; old BF = blond = Virtuous, new BF = brunette = Villainous.

    Chris Evans .vs. Gary Oldman


    • leahlibresco

      Jeez oh man is my gentleman caller amused by this comment.

  • Mazel tov!

  • Theodore Seeber

    I’m seeing an awful lot of assumptions in this thread. It occurs to me that equally “unequally yoked” for Leah might just as easily be a Traditionalist SSPX Catholic as an atheist; or a number of other philosophical starting points other than virtue ethics.

    I’m suspicious of the claim “looked him up and he’s a conservative activist”, because other than the picture, we have no identifying information at this point (unless I’ve missed something as I likely have, again).

    My main complaint about New Atheists in general has always been “too much certainty about skepticism, and not enough skepticism”, and this thread shows that Christians are no stranger to that either.

    • Reminds me of how I (Roman Catholic) was once in a relationship with an Anglican Catholic (under the TAC). The “minor” doctrinal differences became some very significant difficulties. The major differences in the creeds, well, the relationship ended and I think they had something to do with it.

      • Theodore Seeber

        When I think back on my “unequally yoked” relationships at that age:
        -7th Day Adventist
        -Catholic single mom apparently leaving the Church because “I don’t want my daughter influenced by a nut who goes to Mass every Sunday”

        Never went out with an atheist, but that’s because I don’t find them attractive.

    • B. R. Lind

      I’m guessing that whoever “looked him up” knows Leah (but not her boyfriend) in person and consequently has access to his name.

  • Sara

    Congratulations, Leah! He’s a very lucky guy.

  • catholicatheist

    *Unequally yoked*

    What, he doesn’t have elvish ears like yours? That’s a shame but not a dealbreaker.

  • leahlibresco

    It occurs to me that equally “unequally yoked” for Leah might just as easily be a Traditionalist SSPX Catholic as an atheist; or a number of other philosophical starting points other than virtue ethics.

    Ok, the point at which someone guesses SSPX is the point where I jump in to say that my young swain is a Deist. (But dear heavens do I think his metaphysics are wrong!)

    • KG

      Does that mean you’ll address how your view of (meta)physics has changed post-conversion, specifically with regards to miracles?

    • Ah, so that’s the trick. So then I guess solipsism or some kind of monadology.

      • Darren

        I find it rather amusing that Leah would have rather him be thought an Evil Atheist than a _really_ traditional Catholic.

        A Deist with ‘dear heaven’s’ level of objectionable metaphysics? Now this is the sort of gossip I like!

        I think he must Guest post and present his metaphysics for your online readerships approval.

        • Why bring up his religion at all? Just say I have a boyfriend and he is wonderful but I don’t plan on discussing our relationship on this blog.

          • Darren

            Please, I could make any number of quaintly offensive references to Jewish families or Catholic families or Italian families, but families being the point. This is, in some sense, Leah’s family and if you don’t want your family poking their collective big schnoz’es into your ‘oyfriend bay ‘uisiness bay, then you don’t drop a bomb like “I have a boyfriend, and he is an “X”” at the diner table…


          • leahlibresco

            I mention it because there may be references like “I was discussing book X with my gentleman caller who brought up interesting question Y” in the future. I don’t plan to discuss his views on my blog, but I’ll discuss the things they cause me to consider or clarify, same as last time round.

            Also, Team Everyone Who Wants The Boy To Exposit His Metaphysics: better pray hard because it’ll take a miracle before I solicit that guest post. 🙂

          • Why not? It is likely to come up. She has mentioned her DC roommates from time to time. Best to get the basic facts on the table so when you want to say “My boyfriend said X” the whole discussion won’t be sidetracked by the boyfriend news.

            Is this a family? I don’t think so. It is a fun discussion group.

        • Ah, but that’s not particularly strange. Imagine an alternative world where Leah started out Catholic and then turned into the weird kind of atheist she started out at. Then if she had acquired some kind of Unitarian Universalist boyfriend she might well prefer people knowing that over thinking him a Randroid. And SSPX:Catholic::Randroid:atheist.

          But I agree on the nosy part. The boyfriend absolutely should guest post all his secrets.

    • Mike

      (But dear heavens do I think his metaphysics are wrong!)

      This is funny; gave me a good chuckle.

    • Beadgirl

      I think we should all be using the terms “gentleman caller” and “swain” more often!

      Edit: I love how with my very first comment in days I’m told that I’m posting comments too quickly.

      • That happens to me, too. I’ll post something on a Monday morning after having not been online all weekend, and get that “posting too quickly” message.

    • Theodore Seeber

      Deism is not incompatible with virtue ethicism if one assumes that all objective morality can sufficiently be explained by the physical properties set at the big bang.

      But it does puzzle me why a being that exists *outside of time* would be limited to a single input into our universe.

      • Theodore Seeber

        2nd reply- I’d also point out that given an omnipresent definition of God, it is entirely possible that God still loves you in a Deist universe. Enough to set up the basic natural and supernatural conditions right at the very beginning to have the effects in your life that you will one day fondly look back at as miracles.

        Miracles are not absent in a Deist universe. They’re merely harder to explain.

    • Fr.Sean

      In that case you should consider “Catholic and Christian” by Alan Shreck, or perhaps “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly for your book club, both of them would be worth the read. By the way, have you ever read C.S. Lewis’ Screwtaple Letters? they’re really thought provoking and i know you would really enjoy reading them (even through after you said it i had to admit, there is no plot to Prince Caspian!)

      • leahlibresco

        I love Screwtape Letters!

  • Leah: Y’all might enjoy this. Monthly historically themed costume balls — and some based on fiction.