(Photo: Patrick Greene)
Patrick Greene, an atheist activist in Texas who said last month he had become a believer in Christ after a Christian woman showed compassion to him, now says his conversion was merely out of excitement.
"I got all caught up in the excitement," Greene, a retired cab driver who lives in East Texas since 2005, told San Antonio Express-News.
In an apparent attempt to play a victim, the 63-year-old resident of San Antonio said, "It's easy to do when you get ostracized and treated like garbage. When you're an atheist, you're public enemy No. 1."
Having gone back to atheism, Greene is opposing Christians once again. He fought against Mayor Julián Castro's participation in the National Day of Prayer event on City Hall Thursday. In a lawsuit, he argued that the event was organized by evangelical Christians, was sectarian and therefore unconstitutional for a mayor to engage in.
Greene had told The Christian Post early last month that the theory of evolution had not been able to provide answers to his questions about human life. He claimed he had not only converted to Christianity but also wanted to become a pastor.
Greene claimed he had converted to Christianity while fighting against a Nativity scene that had been set up outside the courthouse in the town of Athens, Texas. Shortly after he threatened to sue over it, he discovered that his ability to see was rapidly deteriorating and he would soon be blind. He withdrew his threats and left the Nativity alone. That's when Jessica Crye, a Christian woman from Athens, asked her pastor, Erick Graham of Sand Springs Baptist Church, if they could help Greene. As a result of her kindness, thousands of dollars in donations went toward helping Greene. That gesture of compassion led him to reconsider his view of God.
"There's been one lingering thought in the back of my head my entire life, and it's one thought that I've never been able to reconcile, and that is the vast difference between all the animals and us," Greene told The Christian Post last month. The theory of evolution didn't answer his questions, he said, so he just set those questions aside and didn't think about them anymore. But after Crye showed compassion, Greene "kind of realized that the questions I [was] asking you just had to accept on faith without doubting every period and every comma."
To show his appreciation to the Christian community both in and around Athens, Greene purchased a star for the top of the tree that was part of the Christmas display he once railed against. He also wrote a letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation to explain why their legal arguments against the Nativity were not valid.
After his conversion, however, Greene was hit with a barrage of criticism from atheists who accused him of not having really been an atheist.
Pastor Graham says Greene is a "very complex character." "I've struggled with exactly how to deal with him. It was work. But I believe it was God-ordained. People nationwide saw how Christians ought to react to these situations," he was quoted as saying.