Former minister says Updike all but told his story

In an opinion piece for Baptist News, David Ramsey contemplated “Atheism and agnosticism: The last closet,” which began,

“In 1996, John Updike released his 17th novel, In the Beauty of the Lilies, a story about a Presbyterian minister, Clarence Wilmot, who loses his faith, leaves the ministry and becomes an encyclopedia salesman. In a strange case of art imitating life, Updike was narrating my story. I was a Baptist minister who had slowly been losing my faith. That same year, I left the ministry and embarked on a second career in technology sales.

“While Updike captured my painful but liberating movement from Christianity to agnosticism, he failed to narrate the stigma and stereotypes associated with being an agnostic or atheist,” Ramsey wrote.

“Last year, I wrote a book in which I discuss my journey from minister to agnostic and critique popular religious notions like ‘everything happens for a reason.’ I have friends who have reviewed my book online, some of whom masked their names to avoid being outed by their association with a controversial topic and agnostic writer,” Ramsey said.

Read the whole opinion piece.

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