Reading souls… the easy way

If you’re familiar with the popular social art project Post Secrets, you’ll get the concept behind Soul Secrets right away. Sponsored by Patheos, Soul Secrets asks visitors to share their most private thoughts on God and religion. Posters are anonymous, and the contributions can be intensely personal:

I really want to come out as a nonbeliever to my very Christian family but I am afraid they will cut me out of their lives.

I have so much anger and hate in my heart right now, it is hard for me to pray. I hope this leaves soon.

I have always been a woman of strong faith but I have been praying for 6 months for my fiancée to come back and nothing. My faith has been shattered.

Once you start reading, it’s tough to stop. But after a few pages, you start to notice the omnipresent themes of doubt and spiritual disenchantment. It can get overwhelming.

I am the principal of a Jewish religious school. I don’t believe in God, and I think anyone who believes in the Torah literally is stupid. I fake it.

The more I pray, the less conservative I am becoming about some things, not everything. But I think God doesn’t love over-patriotism and I’m changing.

I always assumed that as I aged I would become more spiritual. At 55, I find myself doubting more and questioning more. And being more afraid.

January’s earthquake killed 230,000 Haitians without Divine interference. A month later, the sound of my newborn son breathing made me an agnostic.

My husband ruined my faith for many years because of his becoming a Born Again Christian and pushing his beliefs on me. He turned me off for 30 years.

When I feel depressed or confused about my faith I find comfort in taking the focus off of me and putting it on who I know God is.

Reading through the various Soul Secrets is a bit like surveying the modern spiritual landscape. It may not cheer you up, but it will give you insight into the struggles your fellow Americans — even fellow Catholics — are facing.

Have a look.

Brian Saint-Paul

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Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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