New York Times Spotlights Atheist Ex-Nun Who Rejects Good Friday

The New York Times thinks Good Friday is a great day for counter-programming Christianity. On Twitter, they promoted the day’s atheist article: “An ex-nun asks: ‘It was Good Friday. How could I have forgotten?’”

An atheist ex-nun named Mary Johnson felt compelled – at least for literary reasons – to leave a bar to see a Jesus figure walk by, and then dismiss all this Christian hubbub as the tug of an oppressive, conformist Catholic past:


I stood on the sidewalk and allowed the crowd to pass around me. I’d grown tired of death and resurrection, bells and incense. I wanted fish and chips and beer. I wanted the half-grin on my husband’s face when I re-entered the bar. I wanted Friday to be Friday, nothing more.

No one piped up as she wrote this saying, “Ahem! You can have Good Friday worship AND fish and chips and beer!” The New York Times isn’t a newsroom full of people who know Catholic religious practices.

This ex-nun was saucy, apparently abandoning her vows of chastity to lust after other women and men who’d taken similar vows. It sounds like the latest anti-Catholic bodice-ripper, or that “Monsignor” flick with Christopher Reeve:

I had sinned. Or that’s what they called it. I fell in love with a sister, then with a priest. I sought consolation and friendship from others when a nun should seek only Jesus.

But I hadn’t left the convent because of a scandal — I’d cut myself off from my lovers by then. I left because I couldn’t bear being forbidden to think my own thoughts, couldn’t survive in a group that valued conformity and obedience over creativity. Truth be told, my irreconcilable differences had been more with my in-laws, the sister-wives, than with my ex [Jesus].

One might wonder if “creativity” is how she defined seducing nuns and priests. “Creativity” is how liberals describe any activity rewriting the world to match their own whims. Conservatives are somehow the antonym of creativity. There is none of Chesterton’s “adventures in orthodoxy” to be considered. But liberals will at least pretend to be conflicted so they sound more open-minded:

Yet, 12 years after my spiritual divorce, I found myself shivering on Main Street, repeating, “Lord, have mercy,” even though the things I felt guilty about at that moment were things I no longer considered sinful, like forgetting Good Friday and loving a human husband. What was I doing here? The hymns and the pageantry still held a certain appeal, the sense of being part of something larger than myself, but no way was I trading my hard-won freedom for a mystical thrill.

“Loving a human husband” is generally not sinful at all, unless you're still a nun.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis