Last week Julie Burchill wrote a piece for the Guardian that was ostensibly about her faith journey from atheism to her current Christian practice. I read it eagerly, always curious about other people's spiritual paths and how they compare to my own. But I started to get a little nervous in the first paragraph already when she declares she believes in the God of the Old Testament, the same oft-vengeful God that I personally have a lot of trouble with, being more of a fan of Jesus's subversive rule-breaking and ultimate message of love myself. And then she totally lost me when she talks about her conversion experience:
Her implication that atheism is something you simply grow out of discounts the scores of thoughtful atheists I know who respect my faith as I respect their own beliefs. Sure, I get upset about the occasional kneejerk "all Christians are fundamentalist jerks" kind of comment, but I also understand where that's coming from. Burchill's antagonism toward atheism seems like the same kind of gross generalization and doesn't exhibit a whole lot of openness to complexity. And even though she calls herself a Christian, I don't think she actually mentions Christ once.