I used to laugh, but now I understand.
Shake the hand of a brand-new fool.
-- The Drifters
I used to be known (at least to the handful of people who read my site) as "Atheist Gal". In 2003, I changed my mind and became Theist Gal.
Frankly, I didn't think anyone had noticed, or cared - till one fine morning I discovered that a blogger styling himself "The Raving Atheist" had written the following:
This week’s Godidiot, Christine Lehman of A Theist Gal, was selected not for something she wrote but for what she is — an atheist who converted to Catholicism. Or, technically, a Catholic who converted to atheism who re-converted to Catholicism. Her site used to be called “Atheist Gal,” but she added the space between that “A” and the “theist” after Jesus snatched her back about a year ago.
Wow! I didn't know whether to be flattered or hurt. To be honest, I felt both! Hurt, because - come on, calling someone an idiot? Kind of mean. But flattered? Absolutely - because someone was actually paying attention to my little 5-hits-or-less-per-day website!
Anyway, if you read through the comments section, you'll see that I went to great pains to sound very amused, friendly and world-weary about the whole thing. But you know, there's just so many times you can say, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" without losing all respect for yourself.
So finally, I gave up, wished Raving well, and went on my merry way.
So imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, I was surfing the Net and wound up reading this, at Elizabeth Esther's lovely blog:
In December of 2008, the popular atheist blogger formerly known as "Raving Atheist" announced his stunning conversion to Christianity. He changed his blogging name to "Raving Theist" and dedicated his site "to Jesus Christ, now and forever."
I couldn't believe it! This had to be some sort of joke! Surely this couldn't be the same "Raving Atheist" who'd once written:
As far as I am concerned, people who wear their faith on their sleeve might as well be wearing dunce caps, “kick me” signs, or propeller beanies. They are shallow, self-centered, self-righteous and ignorant twits who should concentrate on educating themselves rather than imposing their half-baked, half-assed theology on everyone else.
So I checked the link in Elizabeth's article and found that - yes indeedy!! - on December 22, 2008, Raving had posted this astonishing statement:
Three years ago, I promoted and appeared in the atheist documentary “The God Who Wasn’t There,” dedicated to the proposition that Jesus never existed.
TODAY I DEDICATE THIS SITE AND MY LIFE TO THE WORSHIP AND SERVICE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
Um ... wow! Okay. I think. I was, shall we say, cautiously optimistic. I to believe it. But Raving did have a history of - shall we say - extreme sarcasm - as in this post from June 13, 2003, in which he pretended to apologize to me:
Christine Lehman is not a Godidiot. I will not longer permit that dishonor to stain her reputation. Upon his return, I shall direct my webmaster to delete forever that cruel and unfortunate post.
For I have looked into the mirror. Shouldn’t we all?
Yeah sure. And again, read the comments - I kinda realized it was a joke, but it took a while. Cause he was GOOD.
So before I started the "yay-an-atheist-is-a-Christian" victory dance (which all Christians must learn - it's in the Bible, as you know), I decided to email Raving for the straight dope. And in Part 2 of this story, I'll tell you what I found out!