Loser Letter Nine
My Turn to Atheism, Part Two. An Internet Café in Portland, the Little Debbie Tea Party, and You.


Mary Eberstadt

C. S. Lewis, for one, pulls the rug out from under Us like this: “If you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?” I can’t pretend to Statistical certainty here, and I hate to say the old Loserphile got anything right. But I’d have to say that based on what I’ve seen of most Brights I’ve known, he nailed that case shut.

Fulton Sheen — who incidentally gets under my Epidermis like no other flak for Rome, though he also is mercifully as it were Deceased — makes a different if also hateful point. He addresses what he calls the “anger” that colors so much Bright writing and thinking: “He who has fallen away from the spiritual order will hate it, because religion is the reminder of his guilt.” Can You believe that guy? As if humorlessness and a low boiling point have anything to do with being drawn to godlessness! I got so mad when I read that one, I threw his book right across the room!

Yet Lewis and Sheen, much as I hate to admit it, get closer to the Facts of my own personal conversion than any explanations offered by our own Side. In the end, it was all very simple; and the simplest part of all went like this.

You see, if everything You Guys and the rest of the Brights said is true; if we Humans really are just some tiny animate buttfungus on a somewhat larger rock of some kind, however Statistically improbable, just orbiting one of those billions and billions of stars that Forebear Carl Sagan liked to talk about; if there really is nothing behind us and nothing ahead, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all; if You Guys and the other atheists are right, and all the Loser’s poets, builders, painters, prophets, believers and apologists stretching back over three millennia are wrong; if no one else really is watching us, or caring about any of us at all; well then, in this whole random cosmic rave of matter and anti-matter, space and time, that just dwarfs every last thing any one of us will ever be or think or do — if that’s really what we’re talking about here, then one little procedure, one teeny-tiny exercise of a woman’s right to choose by one very insignificant Human Female like A.F. Christian, shouldn’t matter much to anyone, anywhere, ever at all.

Isn’t that right, Everybody? Isn’t it just right?

Because that is how it all came down. We were living in Portland with friends by then, leechosaurus ex-boyfriend Lobo and me. His Dad as mentioned earlier had finally kicked him out of the apartment in New York. Lobo managed to find a job at our nearest Starbucks, so he was actually working a little for once (though not much!). I was sort of working too — not for real money, Loser knows; just trying to get some of my fiction serialized online. But at least for the first few months there in Portland, things were more or less what You might call normal — or as close to that as the likes of us could get.

That’s when I found out I was pregnant. And that’s when Lobo, who is a hyper somewhat Endorphically challenged head case even at his absolute best which he rarely is anyway, really flipped out.