Deconversion stories from The Skeptical Review

Irene Jones

I have just received my second issue of The Skeptical Review. I'm impressed with the fine editing of your publication, the only one I read from cover to cover. The incisive commentaries and intelligent articles are a delight. Keep up the good work.

I've evolved from conservative Catholic to liberal Catholic to agnostic, and it's been an interesting journey. I've recently read The Bible Handbook, published by the American Atheist Press, which places biblical texts side by side so that the contradictions are undeniable to someone with common sense. What an eye opener! The real miracle of Judeo-Christianity is that the bible, with its contradictions and accounts of atrocities attributed to God, gets as much unquestioning respect as it does from some believers.

I would love to share your publication with religious friends and family members, but I don't think they're ready. My experience with Christians tells me that some are so emotionally fragile that for them to question their faith would be to undermine it, to undermine it would be to lose it, and to lose it would be to turn their worlds upside down. Fear of death and damnation aren't the only reasons some close their minds. There are social, economic, and cultural dimensions to religion that would be imperiled if one adopted a skeptical mindset. Facing facts after a lifetime of indoctrination requires integrity and involves the same courage it takes for a child to relinquish a beloved security blanket, but the freedom is worth it. Your publication shows me I'm not alone, and that helps.

I'm enclosing a check to cover the cost of your booklet Prophecies: Imaginary and Unfulfilled, as well as back issues of TSR 1993 and 1994. Thanks for giving me a forum to express my views.

EDITOR'S NOTE: "The freedom is worth it." I know that this is true from my own personal experience of finding the courage to reject religious nonsense and face reality, and I hear the same message over and over from those like Ms. Jones who take the time to write about their journeys from superstition to rationality.

The Bible Handbook can be ordered from H. H. Waldo, Bookseller, P. O. Box 350, Rockton, IL 61072-0350. The telephone number is (800) 669-2536 (66WALDO).

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