An excerpt from a recent letter that a reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog sent to him:
I grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh, watching Fox News and had a “Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” bumper sticker on my debate tub. I was lucky though. I did well enough in school to be eligible to attend one of those evil elite East Cost universities on scholarship. I defended Bush, idiotically, all the way until my senior year, when I studied abroad in both China and England. I was forced, over and over, by classmates and those I met in other countries to confront the grotesque neo-con mindset I had thought was so obviously right.
It took crossing both oceans, a comprehensive study of the history of religion and government, and four years of college to change my perspective. As someone who moved from one extreme to the other, I can tell you the one thing that saved me was the conservative impulse to be self critical, to avoid hubris and arrogance. The other was my parents teaching me to love science. My first break with Whitopia doctrine was when I argued with my church’s youth group leader over the reality of evolution. That someone could deny something so obvious baffled me. It has been a slow and painful process since then, testing and retesting my beliefs.
Read the whole letter here.