By Benjamin Mann
(EWTN News/CNA): Blogger Leah Libresco, known
for writing about ethics and religion from her perspective as an
atheist, announced June 18 that she now believes in God and
intends to enter the Catholic Church.
“For several years, a lot of my friends have been
telling me I had an inconsistent and unsustainable philosophy,”
the Washington, D.C.-based author of the “Unequally Yoked” blog
wrote in a post announcing her intention to convert.
The 22-year-old Yale graduate says she came to
believe “that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth,
abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was
some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one
religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back
to that living Truth.”
“When I was talking to a post-modernist friend afterwards,”
Libresco said to EWTN News on June 19, “I told him, 'I guess you
were right. (The concept of) “Truth” was a gateway drug.'”
“He replied, not very much in jest: 'Told you
In recent years,
the writer and researcher had – despite her atheism – developed
an interest in Christian accounts of morality, developed by
authors like C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Alasdair MacIntyre.
Her blog, “Unequally Yoked,” chronicled her engagement with
Christian theological claims.
Raised in a non-religious
household, Libresco explained in a biographical statement that
she “met smart Christians for the first time” during college.
She was “was ready to cross-examine them” from her perspective
as an atheist, but found there were “some big gaps in my defense
of my own positions.”
“I realized I didn’t have a clear enough idea of what
Christianity entailed to be able to imagine a world where it was
true. I felt embarrassed and told my friends to take their best
shot at convincing me.”
Through her blog, the atheist thinker looked to
test her arguments against belief, seeking out “people to ask me
tough questions and force me to burn off the dross in my
odyssey was personal as well as philosophical, involving a
romantic relationship with “one of these smart Christians.”
“I talked with deacons, priests, and Dominicans
and attended RCIA classes – until I got kicked out,” she wrote
in the biographical statement, composed before her conversion.
“Neither my boyfriend or I looked likely to
switch teams in the near future, and, after two years of dating,
we were at the point where a relationship that was incompatible
with marriage seemed foolish, so, regretfully, we had to split
But she continued
“seriously exploring Christian claims,” in light of her own
belief in philosophical concepts including objective morality.
Her blog featured a “test” in which atheists and Christians
swapped roles, composing answers to questions from the
perspective of the opposing worldview.
Libresco's atheism finally ended after a recent
Yale alumni debate, where a friend “prodded me on where I
thought moral law came from in my metaphysics.”
“I talked about morality as though it were some
kind of Platonic form, remote from the plane that humans existed
on. He wanted to know where the connection was.”
Pressed to define the connection between humanity
and the moral order, Libresco came up short: “I don’t know. I’ve
got nothing.” Then she remarked: “I guess Morality just loves me
Monday's blog entry, the “Unequally Yoked” author said her
writings, hosted by the Patheos website, would move from the
service's “atheist channel” to its “Catholic channel.”
Libresco said she had been using the Church's
Liturgy of the Hours, as well as the ancient “Breastplate of
Saint Patrick,” for most of her “prayer attempts.” Despite
lingering “confusion” about some Catholic teachings, Libresco
has begun RCIA classes at a Washington, D.C. parish.
The former atheist summed up her feelings about
her announcement with a quotation from Tom Stoppard's play
“Arcadia”: “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost
everything you thought you knew is wrong.”