Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fool [for Christ] of the Week/Month/Year/Decade/Millenium (thus far): The Raving (A)Theist! (Part 2)

In Part 1 of my investigation of the conversion of the blogger formerly known as the Raving Atheist, I said that I wasn't sure his conversion was legit.

After all, he'd been known for posts of such breathtakingly excellent sarcasm in the past that even I, the Curvy Catholic (aka (A)Theist Gal, Stoogeswoman, and other witty nom de ploooooms throughout the entire dang World Wide Web) was taken in - such as his disturbingly well-written non-apology to me for nominating me Godidiot of the Week:

"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?

So when, as noted earlier, I discovered that this highly sarcastic person had announced his conversion to Christianity, I wasn't the only one who was skeptical. Check out some of these comments from that post:

"I personally like to think that this blogger is the greatest troll of all time." (Sam)

Maybe you could provide us with some reasons for your conversion. Until you do that many of us atheists will just assume this is a prank. (Gary F.)

Yet another sheep baa-ing another pointless bleating because he couldn't be bothered to read any of the books that would have settled the matter (the Bible being one of them, Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" being another). (Holydust [on Pharyngula])

Now to be fair (and I'm sure R A/T will agree with me), some of the atheists' reactions were more reasonable than others. Not all atheists march in lockstep (anymore than do all Christians). But the general consensus among atheists, agnostics and skeptics was: It's either a hoax, or this guy's gone mental.

I didn't think it was a hoax, but I didn't think he'd gone mental either. People are always converting from one worldview to another, for an infinite number of reasons. Even the blogger Obsessed with Reality, while irritated by TRA's conversion, acknowledged that:

"I say then to anyone comfortable in his intellectually-based atheism: your atheism is a result of your personal worldview, and like all humans, your worldview is malleable, and mostly so when reality throws a hot cauldron full of shit into your life."

But what finally convinced me that it wasn't a hoax was this fantastic interview, conducted by blogger Elizabeth Esther earlier this year. I won't quote too much from it - it's worth a read all on its own! But apparently, it was RT's growing involvement in the pro-life movement that eventually triggered his conversion:

"In time, RT found it impossible to believe that the universe was created out of nothing. There was order, direction and love. Those things all pointed to some larger, unfathomable consciousness. He realized he could not believe that human hearts and minds came into being randomly."

What can I add to Elizabeth's excellent interview? Not a whole lot, I'm afraid. I don't now, and never did, know The Raving (A)Theist personally. We've only recently communicated by email (in which he alerted me to yet ANOTHER of his posts where he referenced me by name - "The Blog Code", an amusing parody of that Ron Howard movie - what was it called again? Splash? No, that's not it. Oh well, it'll come to me.) Anyway, he wrote:

"Christine Lehman, A Theist Gal
She is the militant archangel.
She’s a lethargic, militant hen.
She is that chilling man-eater.
Ghastliest, heathen criminal.
Hell! An atheistic nighmares.
(Another evangelical Catholic.)"

("And there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." - Revelation 8:1)


Raving Theist, formerly known as Raving Atheist, welcome aboard the Barque of St. Peter!

It's a marginally seaworthy vessel with lots of alarming holes here and there. But - the more the merrier! And if we all work together, maybe we can bail out enough water to keep us afloat till we get to that other shore!

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