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Sat Jan 17, 2015, 06:31 PM


My Journey from Atheist to Catholic: 11 Questions for Leah Libresco

Leah Libresco is a writer and school systems analyst based in Washington, D.C. A former atheist blogger and writer for the Huffington Post, Ms. Libresco stunned her readers in summer 2012 when she announced that she was converting to Catholicism. Raised in an atheist household on Long Island, she had graduated from Yale University in 2011 with a B.A. in political science.

Ms. Libresco now writes about her conversion and newfound Catholic faith in the Unequally Yoked blog at the Patheos Catholic portal. A frequent commentator on Catholic issues, she has appeared on CNN and other national media outlets to discuss her conversion from rationalist atheism to Catholicism. Her writing has also appeared in First Things magazine and the American Conservative. Her first book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, will be published by Ave Maria Press on May 11. On Jan. 14, I interviewed Ms. Libresco by email about her ongoing faith journey.

Sean Salai, S.J. | Jan 14 2015 - 11:13am

What were your first experiences of religion?

I grew up on Long Island, where most of the people I knew were non-religious Jews. So, religion was so far from most of our minds that, when I was in AP European History, and we were learning about the Reformation, one of my classmates raised his hand to ask if Lutherans still existed.

The main exposure I had to religion was through politics (I was the kind of kid who hurried home to watch "Crossfire". When your experience of Christianity is filtered through politics, you wind up only seeing whatever parts of Christianity are most tied to current cultural controversies, and all of theology seems interesting only insofar as it informs policy preferences.

How and why did you become a self-professed atheist?

There wasnít really a time when I wasnít an atheist. My parents are both atheists, so thatís how I was raised. Religion didnít really rise to the level of plausibility for me to think about denying it


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