A former college student shares how her college professor convinced her to turn away from Christianity and become an atheist.
In a commentary for The Blaze written by Samantha Sullivan, the now 29-year-old shares the story of how her college professor “preyed” upon her and her classmates, convincing her to become an atheist for almost two years.
Sullivan was an incoming Freshman enrolled in a pre-college summer program at the University of Texas at El Paso when one of her first professors walked into the room proclaiming, “God is bulls**t.”
While Sullivan was raised in the church and had always loved God, she found the professor’s justification to be “rational, detailed, and persuasive.” She said, “He had decades more education and experience than me, and to me, an 18-year-old incoming freshman student, this professor represented the ultimate authority.”
Sullivan continued, “College professors have the power to shape the minds and beliefs of thousands of young men and women every year. And on college campuses that are increasingly and overwhelmingly secular and hostile to religion, many of those professors wield that authority to rob students of their faith.”
After losing sight of her faith, the then “trusting, naive, young, and idealistic” 18-year-old said she began to spiral.
In an interview with Faithwire, Sullivan said she began working as a cocktail waitress, binge drinking, failing her classes and arguing with her roommate – someone Sullivan described as a “bad influence.”
The young adult even changed her “religion status” on Myspace from Christian to Atheists. According to CBN News, Sullivan shared that her family had noticed her behavior change and were worried about her, but they did not know what was going on. She explained, “My family was worried about me, but I don’t think my mom realized what had happened.”
One day, more than a year later, however, after the culmination of bad decisions and difficult arguments, Sullivan said she simply woke up and knew she had to change her life.
Sullivan said, “I just remember being at my low point and thinking this can’t continue. The next day I woke up, and I didn’t tell anyone about anything, and I went to church by myself.”
She continued, “I remember crying my eyes out because I was so ashamed of that one- or two-year period of my life. It was very emotional for me to come back [to Christianity].”
“I remember having K-LOVE on in my Mini-Cooper all the time and so that’s what really drew me back in,” she added.
Sullivan hopes her college experience will help other students who have been through or are going through a similar experience.
“Some students either stand in solidarity with the left's doctrines in the classroom or risk being cast out. Before the ‘prefrontal cortex’ is developed in adults between the ages of 18 to 25, which is responsible for our impulsive decisions, they're being taught to accept certain beliefs uncritically,” Sullivan said, noting that when professors offer their opinions without providing all sides of the argument, they are preying on young students’ vulnerability.
“That's the antithesis of critical thinking which college professors are ideally supposed to foster in their classrooms,” she stressed.
“This is paralyzing for not only the student who wants to challenge groupthink but to the group standing in solidarity because, according to authors Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff who have studied campus culture extensively, ‘Solidarity can interfere with the group's efforts to find the truth, and the search for truth can interfere with a group's solidarity.’”
Sullivan concluded noting that her situation with her professor is not a unique one, sharing that it is becoming increasingly more common as colleges become more secular and Christianity-adverse.
Sullivan encourages parents to talk to their kids and prepare them for the “predatory” behavior they may experience in college by professors and peers.
She told Faithwire, “What I would say to parents is just stay involved. Even if your kids seem strong on the surface, always check in with them.”
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Vasily Koloda
Video courtesy: Faithwire
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Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog kaylamariekoslosky.blogspot.com since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.