Letters to the Editor: Losing your religion could be the start of a new search for faith

A cross atop a church.
A Roman Catholic church in Lisbon.
(Armando Franca / Associated Press)

To the editor: Religions are human-made institutions and subject to the same blind spots and failures that show up in secular ones. (“In ‘The Exvangelicals,’ Sarah McCammon tells the tale of losing her religion,” Opinion, March 20)

They all let you down periodically, as do the people who belong to them. American evangelicalism has a tendency toward rigid categories, so losing one’s religion might be the beginning of a more meaningful search for God.

To have faith is not the same thing as to have proof. Faith is a journey, and to keep it, one remains curious and grows more comfortable with paradox and mystery. It seems to require a little humility along with critical thinking, oddly enough. Then, of course, there’s always love.


And what about all those contacts Jesus made with diverse and marginal members of society? Sounds pretty progressive. If you have trouble believing, enlarge the temple — it was never intended to be American.

Lynn Aldrich, Glendale

To the editor: I went to Catholic school for 12 years. I graduated in 1962 and left Catholicism in 1965, and now at 80, I have never looked back or regretted it. It opened a whole amazing world of contentment, philosophy, spirituality, enlightenment and well-being. Just let it go.

Rachel Perumean, Montebello

To the editor: I really get so tired of The Times’ uniformly left-leaning Opinion section that has almost nothing on the other side, including about religion. There was an article by the letters editor (“Grieving without God is one thing. Grieving without God’s people is another,” Opinion, March 16) and now we get the piece by Randall Balmer slamming white evangelicals.

Not all of us evangelicals are fans of Trump or rejectors of evolution. (I can’t stand Trump.) I don’t suppose The Times would consider running an article about those whose lives have benefited by becoming conservative Christians? I would be amazed to see that.

John Wagner, Altadena



To the editor: To the letter writer who spoke of leaving the Catholic church at 15, I have to say that I had much the same experience. There was always something just not right; my connection with the church was severed by a seemingly trivial matter, yet to a young person it was anything but. For years, we were not allowed to eat meat on Fridays — just how many Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks can one girl eat? Then suddenly, they had a meeting and it was OK. Really? That was it for me. What else were they making up? I raised my two daughters without the drama of the church. I get blamed for them not being familiar with church customs and vernacular — a propitious trade off.

Cheryl Schwaebe, Cardiff

To the editor: I am saddened that others have rejected formal religion, never having a personal relationship with God. As I see it, the Bible lays the foundation for belief in God. When it is read and/or taught it can enlighten your mind and soul to the gifts that are available when you open your heart to receive them. I can attest to the fact that when I asked God into my life I became filled with peace, love and a joy that cannot be explained. I know that I am not alone.

Linda Marshall, Los Angeles