Although I am a non-believer, I enjoy talking about, reading about, and writing about religion. This may strike some as hypocritical, but on the contrary, a belief in god is not a requirement for caring about religion. In fact there is a joke at the University of Chicago’s Divinity school that being an atheist is a requirement for receiving one’s PHD.
I was raised in a Christian house, went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, was the youngest (and highest revenue generating) usher in my church’s history (there is absolutely no data to back up this claim), sang in choir from the earliest age until I went to college, and was fully confirmed. The dwindled congregation of First Presbyterian has since disbanded and the building has been sold to a performing arts organization, but I can still walk the halls of that grand building in my head and see the details of every room, corner, and hiding place.
I also went to a liberal arts college where I let go of my religious beliefs when I realized that the universe could be just as cool without the existence of a sentient creator. Yet, at the same time, my courses in philosophy, history and the study of ethics instilled a deep curiosity about religion.
So…I may have been able to shake my Christian guilt, but I am a sympathetic critic.