I’m using the phrase “open letter” ironically. Beating something to death on the Internet is so mainstream, you can do it ironically and be cool.
We actually met because of an open letter. You did an interview with one of my favorite artists, Derek Webb, and it caused a stir, because you both did what you excel at; you were honest. Then a turkey got angry and that turkey was a dick, then proceeded to write a year’s worth of open letters to you and Derek and RUINED THE INTERNET FOR EVERYONE.
I have always loved having a conversation with you because you have a contagious energy to be involved with something bigger than yourself. Whether it’s non-profit work or investing time into someone else, you have that permeating sense about you. It’s because of that and that you have a paralyzing quality to you, that makes me not worried my beliefs as a Christian would be eviscerated or dismissed, which (after reading your memoir) is often in short supply in the atheist community.
Speaking of which, I did read your book Faithiest. It was disarming and honest. I’m surprised from your experiences with the church that you haven’t written off the whole spectrum of Christianity. I don’t think anyone would blame you. There aren’t many people who could’ve gone through the ordeal and discovery you did, and come out the other side and as interested in the dialog of the interfaith.
Your story was encouraging and somewhat inspiring. It made me realize tons of things. I’ve sat in so many conversations with other believers who casually and unabashedly make blanket statements about the eternal fate and destination of large groups of people. It was kind of a big turn off to the whole fellowship and evangelism thing, because I’m probably not going to want to be that person to throw my beliefs about God, the universe, morality and such in peoples faces.
Your book started to make me think about atheism & Islam. I haven’t met tons of atheists and I don’t think I’ve met a Muslim in my entire life. Nor do I fully understand those groups of people. I would love to share my journey of faith with them and receive their stories. I think my life and their lives could be richer for the exchange and we could value our own tribes more.
Where would I get started in that venture?
All the best, Charles