Current atheist, former charismatic Christian. Writer Elizabeth King subscribes to each label, but they are not mutually exclusive.
In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, King admits she cannot shake God.
"The idea of God pesters me and makes me think that maybe I'm not as devoted to my beliefs as I'd like to think I am and would like to be. Maybe I'm still subconsciously afraid of hell and want to go to heaven when I die. It's confusing and frustrating to feel the presence of something you don't believe in. This is compounded by the fact that the God character most often shows up when I'm already frustrated," King writes.
Her statements echo the words of famed atheist Richard Dawkins about the unseen force of faith.
"There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings," Dawkins said in 2010. "I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, insofar as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse."
Indeed, the unseen force pestering King and giving Dawkins pause could be what makes Christians among some of the happiest people.
But regardless of professed faith, many atheists recognize the awe of creation and acknowledge there is a force (they call it the "Universe") at work around us, according to a Pew Research poll.
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