And the more I asked, the more complex his answers became.I soon realized that Harry is not a typical atheist.t's two weeks before Christmas, which means the Shaughnessys are deep into their December rituals.Cookies have been baked and sprinkled with enough sugar to give a gingerbread man diabetes.A Christmas tree, sparkling with colored lights and surrounded by a small troop of Santa Clauses, stands in the corner of the living room, waiting.
But that number has been inching upward, passing American Jews (2.2%) in the latest round of surveys.I've been following that ascension for years, watching America's "atheist awakening" burst forth from a few best-sellers to become a force with the potential to reshape the country's culture, politics and spirituality.But I am also interested in the small picture – less atheism as a mass movement and more the thoughts that flicker and burn through someone's mind as he forsakes faith.But one day a question cracked the foundation of Harry's faith, and the fissure slowly widened until the walls shivered and the roof shook and the whole damn house fell down. Harry, who turns 44 next month, comes from a long line of Catholics. Right about now, I imagine you might have two questions: 1. It was a small but symbolic moment, this changing of the guard.The kind of people who call a priest when trouble erupts and see God's touch in every corner of their lives. " Brennen yells, grabbing a tangle of pipe cleaners and yellow felt. As the monster knocked the angel aside, it nearly announced: The Shaughnessys were "out" as atheists. The Flying Spaghetti Monster had to hide when Harry's parents came over for dinner.