I once attended a series of debates between a local atheist and a pastor in a suburban Portland, Ore., church. It was 2011, heyday of the New Atheism movement led by men like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens.
I had left Christianity only a few years earlier and found myself anxious and uncomfortable entering a church. I stood in a corner and kept to myself. A woman noticed my antisocial behavior and introduced herself as a member of the congregation. She welcomed me, asked about my life, and brought me a soft drink and pizza from the kitchen. She also introduced me to her adult son, who was equally welcoming.