This week’s guest is Jose Ramos, Hannah’s husband from her episode two weeks ago.
Jose’s family converted to Independent Fundamentalist Baptist and his father became a pastor. They were taught that the IFB had the “pure word of God,” and it was their purpose to evangelize and change the world.
“I had this sense…that God was going to use me in a special way to impact the world. To be that young and to have the weight of the world on your shoulders is…looking back, traumatizing.”
Throughout his teens, Jose’s only rebellion was, “like a month partying with [his] brothers.” Later, he went to Bible College, and then started preaching. He met Hannah and took over his father’s Spanish speaking church. Studying the Bible for ministry, however, brought more questions and doubts.
“If I wrestle with these questions and allow myself to doubt, shouldn’t my faith come out stronger?”
Over the next year, he continued preaching but knew he didn’t believe. He left the ministry and later told Hannah why. After another hard and depressive year, he knew he was agnostic.
“Even when I realized, ‘I am a full blown agnostic,’ there was still this sense of, ‘I can still come back.’”
Jose gave Hannah the space to go on her own journey. They still attended church as a family, but he did not try to change her. Today, their stories can give comfort to other couples facing religious doubts and uncertainties.
Jose’s honesty and vulnerability show the grace and goodness in his own human heart. No more looking forward to heaven or fearing hell, simply being present in each moment and looking for the beauty found there.
Sam Harris’ Making Sense
“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats