“I was an atheist long before I came to NCU. I was baptized Lutheran, and raised Methodist, but as time went on I slowly came to the conclusion that God wasn’t real. For me, church was an empty ritual that I participated in so I could see friends, scripture was largely mythological, and Jesus was a great moral teacher, but he wasn’t God.”
Eric Fromm, a student from a Christian university in Oregon, revealed he’s an atheist.
Eric Fromm, 21, a senior at Northwest Christian University in Eugene published his thoughts about not believing in God in the Beacon Bolt, the student-run online newspaper — despite the fact that his university is a Christian school.
Although Fromm didn’t share the religious beliefs as the school, he said in his post he decided to enroll because Northwest Christian had a “solid communications program.”
“Before I enrolled, I visited the campus to make sure that the chapel services were comfortable enough that I could fulfill the requirement,” he said. “No one was speaking in tongues or handling snakes, so I decided to stay.”
But Fromm didn’t feel at peace.
“Every day I’m burdened by the fact that my peers might reject me because I’m different from them. I won’t be rejected because of my race or social class, but simply because of the fact that I don’t believe in God — because I am an atheist,” wrote Fromm in his post.
However, the support he received from the school, from friends, and even online came as a surprise to him.
“I was expecting for it to be non-accepting and I was very afraid of it,” Fromm told ABC News.
“Eric’s story within the blog post isn’t a surprise to us,” said Jeannine Jones, director of university relations at NCU. “Eric and his journey to his faith is central to our mission.”
According to NCU’s website, the school’s mission is to “foster wisdom, faith and service through excellent academic programs within a Christ-centered community.” [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]
“We seek to highlight our Christian identity in ways that unite Christians everywhere, and not in ways that tend to cause division between various groups of Christians. In this spirit, we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and we proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world,” NCU’s website said.”
“All of our students are on a journey,” Jones said. “While the majority of our students profess a Christian faith, not all do. We as an institution meet students were they are at and believe that our God is big enough.”
Within a few hours of when “Lifting the Curtain” was posted, it went viral and comments from around the web started to appear in support of Fromm.
“I’m startled how people can be so judgmental especially Christians for the love of God,” wrote “Julie,” a commenter in the Beacon Bolt.
All the way from Iceland another reader commented:
“I have to admit it’s a bit strange that people take it so personal just to see that you are a atheist. Nothing wrong with that. It’s not like it makes you a bad person at all,” wrote “Guðni – Ísland.”