Penn Jillette says reading the Bible made him an atheist

His story (of being part of a liberal Christian family and community and attending a church youth group with a minister who was modern and open to dialogue and questioning) is exactly like mine. The main difference is that I was not as smart and as well read in my teens as Jillette was and thus was not exposed to serious atheist thinkers. As a result, my own intellectual efforts at that time were directed towards finding ways to justify my belief in god, and this required me to gloss over all the problems in the Bible and rationalize its atrocities. My serious reading at that time consisted of the modern theologians who did not take the Bible literally (except for a few core elements) and instead focused their efforts on making belief in god intellectually respectable.

So my story is the same as Jillette’s except for about a twenty-year gap in which I was seeking reasons to believe in a god before I reached his stage of understanding that the whole exercise was pointless

But better late than never, as they say.

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