Category Archives: Blogging

A Catholic Responds To “34 Things Atheists Are Tired Of Hearing”

Thank you to The Closet Atheist for her post 34 Things Atheists Are Tired Of Hearing.

Excerpts from it, and the thoughts I had after reading each “thing”:

The only reason you don’t believe is because you don’t want to be obedient.

A relationship with God is about more than following commands. (Matthew 19: 16 — 22)

Evolution is just a theory!

Just because evolution is a theory doesn’t mean it has no basis in reality.

Science changes its story all the time, but the Bible never changes because it’s the truth!

Than why did Martin Luther attempt to remove 7 books from the Bible? If that is not one example of the Bible being changed to suit one’s own “truth” than I don’t know what is.

The watchmaker analogy.

Just because a person makes a watch doesn’t automatically make that person deserving of devotion. i.e., The watchmaker analogy tells us nothing about the nature of the watchmaker; it just tells us that someone made a watch. And it doesn’t tell us for what purpose the watch was made, either. For an example of creating something just for the sake of causing pain and suffering, watch The Human Centipede.

You believe deep down, but you’re not willing to admit it because God would punish you for being a sinner.

You know what a person believes? Are you a mind-reader? Because, you should know: The Bible frowns on that. (Deuteronomy 18: 10 — 12)

It’s dangerous to be a Christian these days because we are being persecuted in this secular society.

Jesus said this would happen, and to embrace it with joy. (Matthew 16:25)

If not the Bible, where do you get your morals from?

The world isn’t split into Christians and atheists. There are so many more worldviews. And so many Christian denominations, too. At least one of which does not depend on the Bible alone for its view on existence…

Evolutionists took Intelligent Design out of public schools, because they’re afraid of it because it’s true.

Your evidence to prove what you’ve just said is true?

It takes just as much faith to be an atheist!

How do you determine how much faith something takes?

Atheism is dangerous because it claims that man is his own god.

Atheism claims there is no good reason to believe in a god. There’s a difference.

When God does things that don’t make sense, just trust him and have faith.

I agree. But: This advice is worthless to a person who doesn’t believe in a god. If I told you “The Loch Ness Monster does things that don’t make sense, so just have faith,” I imagine you would think I had a few screws loose.

I’ve experienced God personally, so he’s real.

He’s real to you, yes. But: This person you’re talking to has not “experienced God personally,” so your words are ultimately worthless, are they not? Getting someone to believe you because of an experience you’ve had depends on the relationship you have with this person, too. For example: I’m more likely to believe in aliens if my best friend tells me they were abducted than I am if a stranger tells me they were abducted.

So do you think you’re smarter than everyone else?

How do you measure how smart a person is? The reason I ask is: A Christian man with a PhD once wrote this to me: “I’m entitled to my opinion, as an expert with a graduate film degree [where’s yours?]!!!”

This is a Christian country.

And? This country also hung people because of their skin color. How Christian…

Why don’t you believe? Is it because something bad happened to you?

To quote Hannibal Lecter: “Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened.”

Just wait until you’re dead!

Do you know the final destination of one’s soul? Because I was certain that is information only God has.

Just read the Bible.

Many atheists were once Christians. Care to expand on “Just read the Bible”?

I’m praying for you.

Good. But: Do it for the right reason.

Hitler and Stalin were atheists.

Your point being?

There’s no proof that God doesn’t exist.

True. But I don’t see that fact alone leading to mass conversions.

Why do you hate God?

Atheists hate God the same way people hate Joffrey from A Game of Thrones.

We all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts.

I agree.

Without religion, society would fall to chaos.

This January, Christians gave the nuclear launch codes to this man:

Image result for trump mocks disabled reporter gif

Without God, there is no meaning.

Humans can make their own meaning. Whether that meaning will weather life’s storms is another matter…

Even though you don’t believe in God, he still believes in you.

If I were an atheist, why would I find comfort in the notion that a being that doesn’t exist believes I do?

You can’t look at the beautiful sky and tell me no one created that.

Actually, you can. Hence why you are having a discussion about this in the first place.

You’re going to hell!

And that’s when you know your attempt to reach out to atheists has failed.

We don’t see wind either but we know it’s there.

Considering it’s hurricane season… too soon. Too soon.

If evolution is real then why are there still monkeys?

Because not everything evolves in the same way or at the same pace? An organism’s environment being one factor that determines how it changes over generations.

What if you’re wrong?

Than may they have lived a life where, ultimately, being wrong doesn’t matter. You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to make the world a better place. Just look at all the atheists who lost their lives in WWII, fighting for human dignity.

So do you even believe in anything?

I know one thing atheists believe in: The importance of an open mind.

There are no atheists in foxholes.

Certainly it’s not unthinkable that someone would reconsider their worldview as shells are falling around them, but there’s no guarantee of that happening.

You’re taking it out of context!

Than do your job as a Christian and explain the context. Don’t yell at a person because of an issue it is your duty to rectify.

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The Mystery Blogger Award

Rules:

Feature the award logo/image on your post
List the rules
Thank the blogger that nominated you
Tell the readers 3 things about yourself
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well — Okoto Enigma
Answer the questions provided
Nominate 10-20 bloggers and notify them by commenting on their blog
Ask the nominees 5 questions of my choice with one weird/funny question (specify)
Share and link to your best post(s)

Blog

Thank you to Love Alchemy for nominating me. She has been a godsend. Her words — her posts, and the conversations we’ve had — have helped me through a number of dark times. She inspires me and gives me hope. It is people like her who convince me to keep on trying to be my best self.

3 Things About Catholic In The 21st Century:

  1. I have a scar on my forehead. Along with my glasses and hair, I believe I could pull off a Harry Potter cosplay. 🙂 I got the scar after I fell and hit the corner of a wall. Chaos ensued.
  2. I have a box turtle. I’ve had her for over 10 years. I won’t be surprised if she outlives me. I’ve read box turtles can live for 120 years. I just call her “Turtle” since I could never think of a good name for her.
  3. I am studying screenwriting. I am currently getting feedback on the first screenplay I’ve written.

Questions:

What did your past relationship teach you?

Think before you speak.

What one thing do people always misunderstand about you?

Because I’m a Catholic, people believe that I lack an open mind.

What makes you feel accomplished?

Knowing that someone heard what I had to say.

What is your favorite song?

Weird Question: What would you name your boat if you had one?  If you already do, what did you name it?

I would name it “Lazy Kitty.”

There are a number of cats in my neighborhood.

My Best Posts:

How I Decided To Not Commit Suicide

Need Evidence That Good Will Triumph Over Evil? Look At A Woman’s Butt

The Gate — A Short Story

For now, I’ll have to return to this post later in order to nominate people.

Lately, I’ve been out of touch with my fellow bloggers.

That will end, though. 🙂

Thank you for reading.

UPDATE: September 11th:

Nominees:

Uninspired Writers

Be Inspired

Hidden glitter

Cristian Mihai

To all my fellow bloggers: You may not have been nominated, but I still look forward to reading your writing. Keep doing what you love, and may you find all that you seek.

Nominee Questions:

  1. What is the last book you read?
  2. What is one thing you were afraid of as a child but aren’t afraid of now?
  3. If you could have any animal for a pet, what would you have and why?
  4. What is a goal you are working towards achieving?
  5. Weird/funny question: If you found out that nothing could kill you, what is the first thing you would do?

A Catholic Responds To Christian Apologetics

Note #1: Language.

Note #2: Contains spoilers for Life Is Strange.

Thank you to The Closet Atheist for inspiring me to write this.

Below are excerpts from her post Apologetics 101: Lesson 1 and the thoughts I had while reading them:

Postmodernism says there is no objective truth or reality, but rather, reality is whatever we’re feeling

And?

I mean, it’s good to have some definition of a word, but on its own that does nothing to reassure me that the god of the Bible is who he says he is.

Secularists treat life as if it has no value

This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. It’s basically saying “You can’t be good without God.” And that’s just not true. Why? Because: Atheists are just as capable as Christians of having empathy and showing compassion. Which, ironically, the Bible itself points out: “He has put eternity in the human heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Not the Christian heart — the human heart.

You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to fight to defend your country from fascists. You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to slip $5 into the hand of a homeless person. You don’t have to say “Jesus is lord!” in order to cry at the funeral for a family member.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there.

We all have a “God-hole” that can’t be filled by stuff

I agree.

In life, we’re always wanting more.

To repeat what I said in Is Humanity Pagan?:

There is no climax to end all climaxes.

Without God, man tries to rise to become a god himself

As someone who struggles with pride, I can tell you for a fact that, even with God, “man tries to rise to become a god himself[.]”

Money can’t save us; it hasn’t fixed poverty or other problems of our world, so why should we expect it to? (note: neither has prayer)

I agree that money is, ultimately, not the solution to societal ills like poverty. A change of mindset is. Throwing money at a person who isn’t motivated to make their own isn’t going to lift that person out of their circumstances.

And prayer by itself won’t save us, either. Because:

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

The reason why people don’t believe in God is because they don’t want to be obedient

I wouldn’t be surprised if that was some person’s reason for not wanting to believe in a power higher than themselves.

But, if you actually talk to atheists (like the Bible says to do — Matthew 5:14 — 16) you’ll find that that is not the case for everyone.

A Christian college can’t make you a godly person

I agree.

On a related note: 5 Insane Realities At My Fundamentalist Christian College

Revelation from God provides a “truth detector” from error and falsehood which arise from a man-made doctrinal base

I agree.

It’s hard discerning what is an apparent “Revelation from God” and what is, in fact, nonsense someone pulled out of their ass.

The world’s knowledge is limited by the mind of man and his imagination, while the mind of God is infinite and unlimited

I agree. We don’t know it all.

How boring would life be if we did?

When you’re trapped on a desert island, it’s more useful to have a Bible than fire (I think this was implied but not directly stated)

Depends: Is the island overrun with White Walkers?

Seriously, though: Depending on the circumstances, if I had to choose between a Bible or fire, I’d pick fire.

For example: If the person I’m stranded with is going to die of exposure before they have a chance to hear the Good News, unless there’s a miracle, a Bible isn’t going to warm them up.

Morality is objective and comes from the Bible

Which version of the Bible are we talking about here?

Because if it’s the King James Bible, you’re telling me that for over 1,611 years (at least) people didn’t know that killing your neighbor isn’t generally something you should do? It’s a wonder anyone lasted long enough to hear such a revelation…

Seriously, though: While I consider the Bible to be the source of much of what I consider moral, morality does not come from the pages of the Bible alone.

What I mean when I say that is: You don’t have to look long to find codes of conduct that predate, or come after, the words written in the Bible.

Regarding morality: There’s a reason the 10 Commandments say “Thou shalt not kill” and not “Never kill” — because there are circumstances where the moral thing to do is kill.

If a bullet is the only way to save a mother and her child from the person who has invaded their home, than pull the trigger.

Mormon beliefs and practices are really bizarre (because Christianity is so not bizarre?)

Why single out Mormons?

And I agree: Christianity can be bizarre.

But, you know what? Life is strange, so a strange worldview suits me just fine.

Don’t be a “silent witness”; rather, go up to people and start a conversation in order to find what makes them tick so that you can try to convert them to Christianity

Let your actions speak louder than your words.

A lot of people don’t believe that they’re lost and think they’re a good person

I don’t believe anyone is “lost.”

We’re all on a journey, even if we don’t know for sure what is at the top of the mountain we’re climbing.

Keep seeking what is good, true, and beautiful, and I believe you will one day find yourself in the presence of the creator of all that is good, true, and beautiful.

“Holy tension” is when the Bible doesn’t make sense like when Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt (but if God wants to do things like that, then He can)

I thought Lot’s wife turning to salt made sense. God said “Don’t do the thing.” And what did Lot’s wife do? She did the thing.

On the other hand: Why a pillar of salt? God has infinite options for condemning disobedience, and that’s what He goes with? OK.

Unbelievers will be encouraged to examine the evidence for theism

I agree.

The question is: For what purpose?

Liberals relegate scripture as myth, legend, or fable in order to discount the veracity of the Bible

Examples of “Liberals” please.

“The skies declare His glory – HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE SKY?” (Checkmate, atheists!)

The beauty of the world is one reason I believe in a god.

But: Different strokes for different folks.

You can’t change people’s minds, only the Holy Spirit can do that; you can only point them in the right direction

I believe that God, being God, allows all things to be possible since all things, ultimately, have their source in Him.

However: I don’t see how a person will come to believe in God without using their free will. After all: Just like how you can’t force someone to love you, you can’t force someone to believe in you. Which it sounds like what the Holy Spirit is doing here — flipping the “I believe in God” switch in your brain itself.

“The virgin birth is true because God” (I specifically pointed out to myself in my notes that this was a direct quote from my teacher)

*Groan*

Noah’s Ark is hard to understand, but we can believe it, because believing something comes before understanding it, not the other way around

I agree. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a leap of faith.

For example: If I’m slowly dying, and my best friend says they’re going to help me, than for the sake of our friendship I’m going to trust that the person who says “I have your best interests at heart” really does have my best interests at heart. After all: I don’t want to lose my best friend like Max lost Chloe:

For more: Chloe, Euthanasia, and Seeing All Ends

We don’t understand wind either, but we believe that it’s there because we can see its effects!

Really? That’s the best you can do?

One difference between God and the wind: Wind destroys mindlessly, and God does not.

Hurricane Harvey wasn’t sentient; it wasn’t aware that it was passing through Houston.

I want my tuition money back.

10-Word Story: Self-Love

Exploring myself with curious fingers, I ask: Are you enough?

Thank you to the beautiful woman who made this picture possible.

And thank you to Love Alchemical. This piece of writing is inspired by a post on her blog, and the thought-provoking conversation we had as a result of that post:

Catholic In The 21st Century (CIC): A thought-provoking poem.

I think everyone can relate to the desire to explore themselves — to probe regions of their body with curious fingers.

However, when that happens, I feel like something is lost.

If you and you alone are the one pleasuring yourself, what does that mean for the man (or woman) who is your partner?

It seems like pleasuring oneself drives a wedge between lovers; if the one loving you *is* you, than the love-making aspect of your relationship with this person will suffer.

Love Alechemical (LA)Thank you for reading. Great comment and question. I agree with something being lost in a partnership though this is written from the perspective of not having a partner or rather the desire to have a partner and pleasuring oneself in the waiting space. I imagine in a partnership this type of indulgence can play out in voyeuristic fashion as foreplay if you will, in hopes that nothing is lost 🙂

CICYou’re welcome. I’m glad you liked what I said.

Thank you for explaining the context of the post; the post being written from the perspective of someone who’s not in a relationship, but who is trying to make the most of waiting.

And I agree: Couples can mix things up in order to ensure that, when it comes to their intimate encounters, nothing is lost.

The reason I said what I said earlier is: Love-making is something that should never lose its joy and wonder. And I feel like there is a risk of that happening if, as a result of pleasuring oneself, experiencing pleasure becomes as routine and commonplace as, for example, scratching an itch.

LAI appreciate your desire to bring clarity to your message. It makes sense and I agree wholeheartedly.

CIC“I appreciate your desire to bring clarity to your message.”

I’m glad my message came across clearly. That’s what I strive for in everything I write: Clarity.

I won’t always agree with everything that a person says, but I do my best to express my disagreement in a way that keeps the conversation going and doesn’t shut it down.

I believe there’s a lot of conflict that stems from a refusal to communicate or clarify.

“It makes sense and I agree wholeheartedly.”

I’m glad.

And same here. I believe I understand why you’re saying what you’re saying, and agree with it.

LAYou’re kind. I love communications and other viewpoints; believe being open to perspectives is what grows us, keeps us open to considering truths we may be blind to, especially in these type of platforms 🙂

CIC“You’re kind.”

Thank you. 🙂

I do my best to always be kind.

“I love communications and other viewpoints…”

Me too.

“…believe being open to perspectives is what grows us, keeps us open to considering truths we may be blind to, especially in these type of platforms…”

I agree.

Thank you for communicating with me.

I’m enjoying the conversations we’re having.

I look forward to more of them. 🙂

LAThank you – Same here 🙂

CICYou’re welcome. 🙂

10-Word Story: Vulnerable

Mental or physical; emotional or linen; she has no walls.

Woman 7

Thank you to the beautiful woman whose photo inspired this piece of writing.

And thank you to Love Alchemical for a conversation we had recently that helped me to understand myself better:

Catholic In The 21st Century (CIC): There’s something about nudity that fascinates me. Through my writing, I hope I can figure out what it is. … …there is a sense of freedom to being naked that one can’t get any other way.

When one is naked, all that they physically are is exposed for all to see: There are no barriers of any kind (like clothes) to hide behind.

And I guess I’ve been looking for freedom in my own life lately. At times I’ve felt trapped. Confined. And I’ve wished I could “take off” my regret, anger, and fear as easily as a person takes off their underwear.

I apologize if this all sounds weird. I’m just thinking out loud.

Love Alchemical (LA)Thank you for sharing. The sense of confinement and desire for freedom resonates and easily correlates to being in our most natural state. You’re not alone 🙂

CIC:  You’re welcome.

And thank you for reading.

You’re right: “…desire for freedom resonates and easily correlates to being in our most natural state.”

It means a lot to know that I’m not alone.

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A Response To “I love being naked!”

Note: The language in this post could be called “Explicit” so reader discretion is advised.

As followers of my blog know, I write about nudity. For example:

Nudity was reserved for the bedroom or the bathroom. So it was… interesting… to be naked in a room that was neither. Walking around the living room, I felt like I was seeing it with new eyes. I felt like, all my life, I had been wearing a “Clothes Filter,” and now the filter was off. My eyes were as naked as my body.
~Being Naked Outside

Because of my Catholic faith, I don’t want to shy away from subjects like nudity. As a Catholic, I’m supposed to be a light in a dark place:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~Matthew 5:14 — 16

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And that means talking about subjects considered by many to be taboo or indecent.

Which brings me to a blog I discovered weeks ago but, for the longest time, was not sure how to feel about. Until now.

Specifically, I’m talking about this blog post: I love being naked!

Below are excerpts from that post, and my thoughts on them:

…it’s such an awesome feeling. Having nothing touching your skin. Being able to touch anything you wanna touch, with nothing in the way. It’s looooove.

I understand. And I agree.

Being naked can be an awesome feeling. It can be nice to have nothing touching your skin. To be completely free.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
~Genesis 1:31

“And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
~Genesis 2:25

It’s so sexy! Cuz that’s obviously what it’s all about. Being naked turns me on. Like big time. It makes me wanna touch myself all over all the time. And sometimes I do.

Once again: Perfectly understandable.

When you are naked, not only are you showing all of yourself, your body is preparing to give all of itself.

What do I mean? I mean this: Sex is an act of giving. The woman receives the man. The man enters the woman. The two become one.

“…a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
~Genesis 2:24

Image result for man and woman usb port comic

That’s why you want to sexually excite yourself when you’re naked: Your naked body is telling you “It’s time for sex.”

…I can get myself so increeeeeeeedibly turned on I can barely get myself to stop being naked any more.

There’s an old saying: “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.”

I don’t say that to come across as the stereotypical religious scold…

Image result for shame on you meme

…I say that to tell you, belle noowelleDon’t allow your nudity to become too much of a good thing.

There could come a day when you regret the choice to be naked.

And I don’t want that day to come.

I want being naked to be something that changes your life for the better in ways that you continue to discover throughout your long and happy life.

I know that might sound corny, but it’s true. I want you to be happy, belle noowelle.

Being naked is so cool. It helps with getting naughty, it makes me feel sexy, and it makes lame Sundays so much more interesting. Try it!

belle noowelle, your honesty and openness is attractive.

You don’t have to be naked to come across as sexy. You are sexy by just being your unashamed and positive self.

What I’m trying to say is: You’ve found something that brings you joy, and you want to share that joy with others, so that they may have what you have. And, to me, there is nothing more beautiful than that.

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To conclude this post:

belle noowelle,

May being naked continue to bring you a feeling of freedom.

May your orgasms always be shattering.

May the people in your life always look beyond your naked body, appreciating your naked soul, too.

And, when all is said and done, may you look back on the life you have lived with no regrets, knowing that all the choices you made ultimately brought you to where you wanted to be, even if you didn’t know where it was that you wanted to be.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart…”
~Ecclesiastes 3:11

~21stCenturyCatholic

A Conversation With “The Closet Atheist”

Thank you to The Closet Atheist for her questions.

And thank you to The Closet Atheist for answering my questions. You can find her answers here.

The reason for this post is: I was feeling bored and curious one day so, wanting to make the best use of my time, I decided to reach out to The Closet Atheist in order to better understand where she’s coming from, and she did the same.

Below are my answers to the questions she asked me.

1. Why are you Catholic and not another denomination?

I was raised a Catholic.

Going to church, praying alone in my room, following the 10 Commandments — these actions, and the mindset that came with them, were as natural to me as wearing clothes, bathing, or brushing my teeth. They were something I did for the sake of my well-being, and because to not do them just felt wrong.

Now, as an adult out in the world, separated from the Catholic cocoon I grew up in, my faith remains an integral part of my life, influencing my thoughts and choices.

Image result for life is strange choices

More about my faith in questions #2 and #4.

The reason I am not another denomination is:

I haven’t seen compelling evidence to show that another denomination, not the Catholic Church, is the “correct” expression of Jesus’ teachings.

For example: The Protestant Reformation lasted from 1517 — 1648. (Thanks, Google.) So, going by Jesus’ words to Peter — Matthew 16:18 — that means that, if any one of those Protestant churches established in the wake of the Reformation is the “true” Church, than Jesus waited 16 centuries to establish his church. And I just don’t see the reasoning in that. When Jesus says “On this rock I will build my church,” does that not imply that Jesus is building his church on this rock right then, not more than 1,500 years later?

Through apostolic succession, the Catholic Church can trace its origin back to Peter.* Which is something that Protestant churches, established more than 1,500 years after Peter’s time, can’t do.

2. Why do people sometimes say that Catholicism is a separate religion from Christianity rather than just a denomination within it?

I have not heard that before — that Catholicism is its own separate, non-Christian religion.

Regarding why people would say such a thing: I don’t know.

Skimming The Catechism of the Catholic Church, it’s clear that a foundation of the Catholic Church is the teachings found in the Bible. So this claim of Catholicism being “a separate religion from Christianity,” as far as I can tell, has no legs to stand on.

When it comes to Catholicism’s relationship to Christian denominations such as Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, etc., here is how I see it:

Picture a tree. Picture the trunk and the branches going up and up and up. The Catholic Church is the trunk, and the denominations (like Lutheranism and Presbyterianism) are the branches. Being offshoots, they wouldn’t exist without the trunk.**

3. If there was one thing you wish that Christians today would or wouldn’t do, or something you wish they understood about Christianity and what it means to be a Christian, what would it be?

I wish that Christians today wouldn’t conflate faith with politics.

Image result for american flag cross

I’ve been called a communist because I said that if I had to choose between saving one person from Hell or saving America, I would choose to save that one person. After all: Countries don’t last forever, but the soul does.

Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations,” not “Go and win an election.” (Matthew 28:19)

4. If you had a teenage or young adult child that told you that he or she is not a Christian, how would you respond to them?

I would be proud of them.

Why?

Because: Such an act would show that they were using their brains, not just accepting what they were taught because it’s what was expected of them.

The Bible encourages one to use their brain:

“Test everything. Hold fast to what is good.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:21

“…be as shrewd as serpents…”
~Matthew 10:16

I would be glad that this young person is testing everything and being as shrewd as a serpent. The fact that, as a result, this person is now an atheist, would not bother me.

What would bother me is if this person, as a result of becoming an atheist, did not keep an open mind — if this person refused to hear or consider reasons to believe in a god. And I would be just as bothered by someone who did believe in a god refusing to ever consider the possibility that there isn’t one.

Why?

Faith.

Faith, by its nature, requires uncertainty, however small.

That’s why the Bible — Hebrews 11:1 — says that faith is “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”*** (Emphasis mine.)

The fact of the matter is: Regardless of how strongly I believe there is a god, and regardless of what I see as evidence for the existence of a god, until I die and either enter the void or stand in front of the pearly gates, I won’t know, with certainty, if a god exists.

UPDATE:

I realize that these words don’t answer your question: If you had a teenage or young adult child that told you that he or she is not a Christian, how would you respond to them?

This is how I would respond:

I wouldn’t mind that they weren’t a Christian.

Not everyone is, and not everyone will be.

Would I want this person to become a Christian? Yes.

But: I have to accept the reality that, for one reason or another, that might not happen.

So instead of beating them over the head with a Bible, I would tell them: “Keep on seeking goodness, truth, and beauty in all things, and one day you will find where that goodness, truth, and beauty comes from.”

5. How do you deal with doubt in terms of God’s existence?

If there is one thing that could cause me to not believe in a God, it is the violence I see in the world nowadays.

Which is one reason why I don’t like watching or reading the news. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to, for example, stop a terrorist attack in Britain, causes me to feel depressed and consider notions that I otherwise wouldn’t. Like committing suicide.

But, like a boomerang returning to the person who threw it, I always find myself returning to my belief in a higher power.

The reason why is: As horrible as the universe is, it’s also beautiful.

Two examples of beauty:

The Incorrupt

There are people who, even after being dead for years, have not decomposed.

For example: Mary of Jesus de León y Delgado, O.P., who died in 1731:

Juan Diego’s tilma

A garment bearing an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was undamaged after a bomb went off next to it.

Virgen de guadalupe1.jpg

In conclusion:

Thank you for your questions, The Closet Atheist. I hope you were satisfied by my answers. And if you were dissatisfied with anything I said, let me know.

I hope the day will soon come where you can leave the closet.

*Apostolic succession: (in Christian thought) the uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the Apostles through successive popes and bishops, taught by the Roman Catholic Church but denied by most Protestants. (Thanks, Google.)

**The Reformation (from Latin reformatio, literally “restoration, renewal”), also referred to as the Protestant Reformation and the European Reformation, was a schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther, and continued by John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and other early Protestant Reformers in 16th century Europe.
~Wikipedia

***Conviction: a firmly held belief or opinion.