I may do my best to encourage folks to be Freethinkers, choosing to face difficult questions and reflections about faith, but I’ve never tried to convert anyone to my way of thinking or to non-belief. Yet … sometimes simply presenting my own perspectives, questions and story brings about unexpected results. For instance, someone who has taken several of my Freethought classes sent me this note:
“I received a call from a 97-year-old friend of mine, who lives in [a retirement center]. I don’t know whether you know her by name, but I know you met her when you gave a talk there. [She] was calling to thank me for the holiday card I had sent her. She was happy to let me know that after meeting you, and reading your book, A FREETHINKER’S GOSPEL, and after having been a practicing Christian all her life, she had become secular.
[I ordered several books for another friend, then] I was pleased to be reminded of your book, which I thought he would prefer. I’m delighted that it came in time for Christmas, also allowing me to read some of the essays before passing the book on. I’m enjoying what I’ve read so far, which I knew would be the case.
Just thought you might be amused to know how the universe responded to my need, and that your book turned out to be the perfect gift for my friend.”
I’m always happy to hear these responses to my writing. Though it’s never been about “converting” anyone, I’m pleased to hear that my words can help people make important decisions and shifts in their thinking … no matter the age!
And I’m constantly trying to be a more informed freethinker myself, “converting” old ideas into new.