August 23 in freethought history…

motherteresaAugust 23, 2007Letters written by the late Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa (1910-1997) are made public, revealing that, despite her public proclamations, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun admitted to friends that she did not feel the presence of God. “Even deep down,” she wrote, “there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me.” In another letter she said “As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.” These revelations caused considerable controversy: the devoted saw her struggle with faith and belief as just another admirable aspect of the woman who would be beatified in 2003; to her critics, including atheist Christopher Hitchens, it simply confirmed that “she was no more exempt from the realization that religion is a human fabrication than any other person, and that her attempted cure was more and more professions of faith could only have deepened the pit that she had dug for herself.” To add insult to injury, she had requested the letters be destroyed; instead, they were not only made public ten years after her death, but were published in a book titled Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.

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