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David Fitzgerald's fork in the road that led to a life of atheism

David Fitzgerald at Sutro
AllisonMay Kiputh

A fork in the road, faced by the timorous can be grounds for confusion, helplessness, immobility and, at its worst, terror. Faced by someone pluckier, it is a chance to learn something new about how to navigate safely in the face of uncertainty. David Fitzgerald is an intrepid soul who was jolted by an unexpected branch on his safe and predictable path. Having been raised in a religious home, there was no doubt in his mind about the importance of Christ until a purely social conversation with a girl in college turned his world into more question than answer.

So David began his search for what was true, what would hold up under inspection and found what would guide his own life from that point on. Looking for truth is a brave undertaking helped by an unwavering desire for historical honesty, diligence, an open heart and mind, an adventurous spirit and a sense of humor. The ultimate answer for David was atheism, a philosophy with a growing following in part due to his work on the subject as reflected in his two books.

His first book is Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All. His second book, part of a complete series called The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion, takes a look at the Mormon Church, and is called, simply enough The Mormons. This work presents David's findings on that fascinating thoroughly American religion that started in Elmira, New York. Is his work combative? “No” he says. “Just provocative.”

David has the rare gift of being able, as a non-believer, to talk to believers and be taken seriously. And, with a laugh in his voice, he says that all the Christians who did not like his first book just love his second. To listen to David talk about his search for religious truth within Christianity and then portray Mormon history as he finds it is a lesson in taking that unknown fork in the road, and thank you Yogi Berra for the valuable advice. Religious conviction can be a complicated issue best decided by you to see if your beliefs are challenged or supported by David’s outlook.

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