Trinidad & Tobago’s majority religious demographic is that of Christianity. Earlier this year I received a number of books from Dr. Shabir Ally, and had decided to read some of these books while on campus at one of our Universities. The book I chose to start with was John Loftus’ The End of Christianity. I hadn’t considered the reaction I would receive from walking around with a book of that title, I did receive reactions and those reactions are not what I expected them to be.
It started in class, I had taken out the book to read because I was either bored or had finished an in-class assignment early. A classmate who I knew to be Christian asked me to see the book. In that moment, I wondered if the book’s title had upset the person. They took the book, read the cover, checked the table of contents and even flipped through the book, skimming as they went along. The classmate asked me what I thought of the book, I answered quite honestly (I’m paraphrasing here): it’s new atheist dribble, but it has some nice points I hadn’t thought of as yet.
They weren’t offended, they were interested in the book. That was just the first encounter, over the course of the next 3 months, I met students throughout the campus that not only wanted to skim through the book, but many of them wanted to borrow it. This had taken me by surprise. The positive reactions from so many of my Christian colleagues had me wondering what was going on. Why would they react so positively to a book that critiqued their faith? I knew that my generation was less conservative than the previous generations. I knew that more young adults were less religious than those found in previous generations, but had this decrease in religiousity been more than I thought it to have been? As it turns out, while most of the young adults my age came from Christian families, most of them no longer considered themselves Christian. Not only were young adults apostating from Christianity, they were interested in exploring other religions, while taking an active role in leading their peers out of Christianity.
This book sparked more conversations than I am able to recall, this book gave my peers the opportunity to speak out and renounce Christianity. I never could have imagined that merely carrying a book around by this title would have this much of an effect on the people around me. What this experience taught me, was that many young adults are desperate to leave Christianity, they want to reject Christianity, they are tired of the message of the Cross and of its ineffectual teachings. These last few months gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, it opened my eyes and allowed me to reach out and apostate many Christians. At most, it took 4 conversations for me to bring someone out of Christianity. Most of the people that engaged me in discussion abandoned Christianity during the first conversation! They were just waiting for someone to reach out and agree with them, to give them the motivation to abandon the message of the Cross. This year, a simple book cover allowed me to bring many young adults out of Christianity and get them interested in Islam. While the book itself has a few interesting arguments, its overly wordy and most of its essays are okay at best.
and Allah knows best.