Leah Libresco, here, including:
Both my parents don’t believe in God, so I was raised as an atheist. We had a Christmas tree, but my parents were definitely upfront about the fact that they thought religions weren’t true. I was the kid in high school who worked to get us to stop doing a toy drive for Samaritan’s Purse (which uses the toys to evangelize to poor children). And, post-conversion, I still think that’s a wildly inappropriate charity for a public school to partner with.
I grew up on Long Island, where the vast majority of my classmates were secular Jews, so between that and my family, I thought of religion as something that was not only wrong, but wrong enough to be below the level of hypothesis that deserve attention. Most of the time, when I encountered religion, it was in the news, when some religiously-informed policy intruded on the lives of people like me (like evangelicals fighting evolution in public schools).
College was the first place I encountered a Christianity I couldn’t casually dismiss.
She was lucky.
Today, on many campuses, she’d mainly have a chance to go deep in debt in order to socialize with mobs of precious little asshats, media profs who want to sic the cops on journalists, and in general profs who want to resign for thinking education matters.
Anyway, Libresco found that there is a whole non-materialist tradition (including, of course, the Catholic Christian one) that had largely been kept from her. She hadn’t rejected it; she had just hardly ever heard of it.
It’s interesting that her first encounter with evangelicals was in conflicts around evolution in the public schools.
As noted here earlier, such conflicts, however well-meant and solidly grounded in the history of Darwinism and eugenics*, are a waste of time compared to laying a research groundwork for studying information and design in nature.
Fortunately, the task of showing what is wrong with Darwinism (the only evolution most school kids ever learn, with predictable results) is now being shared with a number of research groups.
*The textbook at issue in the Scopes trial, for example, was preaching not only Darwinism but eugenics, a fact often scrubbed from cultural legacy accounts of the subject, which means that people like Libresco would never get the chance to consider the implications. It’s not always clear how much good is done if one can find no way to get past Airhead TV and the Darwin in the schools lobby, to explain what the problems are, and why they matter.
Follow UD News at Twitter!