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Jimmy Pianka
Outgrowing Greek Orthodoxy
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For much of his life, Jimmy Pianka stayed with Greek Orthodoxy. Raised in Lancaster, PA, he went to church camp through age 18 and admired his religion's emphasis on artistic beauty. His slow break from his faith began as his curiosity grew. He wondered how he could believe in and love both God and Jesus even though he felt like he did not know them.

Jimmy feels lucky that his sister paved the way for his departure from religion: she had angrily left the Church years before he did because of Greek Orthodoxy’s position on gay rights. When he admitted his atheism, his parents seemed concerned not that he had lost his belief in the divine but rather that he would be unable to raise a successful family of his own. His father openly wondered how he would be able to raise moral children outside of the Church. While losing his belief in God has brought its own difficulties, Jimmy feels grateful that his life is free from superstition and a fear of hell.