Mom and Bob are beginning to clear out their Ohio home, in preparation for a permanent move to Arizona next year. This month they mailed me some papers from my college years. Most of them are shreddable--I can part with financial aid documents from 1995--but some interesting items were in the mix.
Way back before there were blog posts, there were essays. In the spring of 1998 (when I was 21) I wrote "Apostasy," my first serious attempt to document why I abandoned the Christian faith of my youth. Reading it again a few days ago, I chuckled at the use of phrases like "unjust opprobrium" and "petty neuroses." And I noted my somewhat odd intonation of the concept of the "secular university," because when I entered Northwestern I perceived myself as attending such a place.
Oh well; I was young. I'm still proud of these sentences, almost ten years later:
1. "Who cares if the fundamental truths of different faiths contradict each other? Might this not be because the truths are only valid within the particular contexts in which they arose, and are not meant to be universal?"; and,
2. "I have recently realized that Christianity's penchant for moral codification is not necessarily a bad thing, as part of everyone's life is sorting out what is desirable from what is not. The problem with Christianity (and other religions, too) is that this codification becomes extremely rigid, so that it is eventually reduced to a rule-making contest rather than an examination of how to live a good life."
With those thoughts, Happy New Year!