"This country was founded on the principle of Christianity. The moral fiber of this country is in trouble, and I will stand and honor the Ten Commandments, I always will and I will never be apologetic for it" (Craig James, candidate for U.S. Senator from Texas in a televised debate on April 13, 2012). As a Texas resident (I can't say I'm a true Texan because I wasn't born here, even though I've lived here longer than in any other state), I wasn't surprised to hear these words while watching part of this recent senatorial debate, in which four candidates sought to outdo each other in wooing conservative religious voters. James' sentiments certainly would have resonated with me prior to my deconversion; after all, the U.S. was founded on Christian principles, including the Ten Commandments, was it not?
Kenneth W. Daniels (1968-), son of evangelical missionaries, is the author of Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary. He grew up in Africa and returned as an adult to serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Niger on the edge of the Sahara Desert. While studying the Bible on the mission field, he came to doubt the message he had traveled across the world to bring to a nomadic camel-herding ethnic group. Though he lost his faith and as a result left Africa in 2000, he remains part of a conservative Christian family. He currently resides with his wife and three children in suburban Dallas, TX, where he works as a software developer.