Formerly atheist blogger Leah Libresco reports that she has converted to Catholicism.
That's quite a shift. Typically, the terminus a quo of Tiber swimmers is either generic theism or mere Christianity (in C. S. Lewis' sense) or some Protestant sect. Seismic is the shift from out-and-out God denial to acceptance of an extremely specific conception of God.
The God of Catholicism is of course a Trinity: one God in three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. (It was 'Holy Ghost' still in the 'fifties; the arguably ruinous Vatican II reforms of the 'sixties replaced 'Ghost' with 'Spirit.') The Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, or Logos (Word), entered human history at a particular time in a particular place in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. This is the doctrine of the Incarnation. God, or rather God the Son, became man. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." To do so, Jesus had to be born of a woman in that humble manner common to all of us, inter faeces et urinam, and yet without an earthly father. Thus arises the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. But since the God-Man is perfectly sinless, he canot be born of a woman bearing the taint of Original Sin. Hence the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception: Mary, the mother of God, was born without Original Sin. So far, five dogmas that go beyond generic Western monotheism: Trinity, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Original Sin, Immaculate Conception. See Trinity and Incarnation and Original Sin categories for some details.
I have gone only a about a third of the way into the specificity of the Catholic God-conception, but far enough for one to see how dogmatically rich it is.
Now the more dogmatically rich a religion, the more specific its claims, the harder it will be to accept. To be an intellectually honest Roman Catholic, for example, one must accept not only the above dogmas but a number of others besides. These extremely specific dogmas are stumbling blocks to many thinking people. (Of course, the same problem arises with other doctrinally rich belief systems such as Communism.)
For some of us who were raised in the Roman church, the dogmas and their presuppositions beg give rise to questions that we simply must get clear about. (We cannot merely go along to get along, or participate in rites and rituals the theological foundations of which are murky. Example: to take communion when Transubstantiation beggars understanding.) And so some of us become philosophers. But any movement towards Athens is a movement away from Jerusalem . . . .
But it's Saturday night, time to punch the clock, time for my once-a-week ration of tequila, and time for Saturday Night at the Oldies. Tomorrow's another day.