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To the Cross and Back
To the Cross and Back

To the Cross and Back

An Immigrant's Journey from Faith to Reason


224 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, PDF, EPUB

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $18.95)

Publication Date: November 2015

ISBN 9781634310482

Rights: WOR

Pitchstone Publishing (Nov 2015)


eBook Editions Available

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A Mexican immigrant and rising star within the Christian community abandons his faith and comes out as a gay atheist In this exceptionally moving and soul-searching memoir, Fernando Alcántar recounts his incredible journey from poor Catholic boy on the dusty streets of Mexico to globetrotting missionary and high-profile Christian leader in the United States—where he eventually left his celebrated life behind to advocate for the liberating power of reason and equality. With heart-wrenching honesty, he shares stories of trauma, tragedy, prejudice, uncertainty, survival, and, ultimately, discovery. In the process, he gives a voice to thousands who are hiding in the shadows, afraid to publicly question their religious, cultural, or sexual identity for fear of isolation and retaliation. You will discover that his is not simply a Mexican story or an American story, a heterosexual's story or a homosexual's story, a Christian's story or an atheist's story. Rather, his is a universal story—one uniquely about and for our times. 


"Alcántar provides a very compelling and gripping personal narrative that is both a coming-of-age story and the story of a man who is transformed by the power of thought. This book is a page turner that . . . is a must read for all those who believe or have believed in the power of God and faith." —David Tamayo, Founder, Hispanic American Freethinkers, Inc.

"This is as much an adventure and coming-of-age story as it is a coming-out story (both gay and atheist). It clearly shows how sincere and fervent religious belief erodes when logic and clear thinking creep in. Beware, Christian fundamentalists—this book is dangerous to your beliefs, but is a secular blessing to the rest of us." —Linda LaScola, co-founder, The Clergy Project; co-author, Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind

"Fernando Alcántar has been on a remarkable journey that could easily have cost him his life. But as we learn in this challenging memoir, he has fought his way to the other side and came out whole with a clear understanding of his sexuality, his spirituality, and his mission in life. Fernando is an inspiration!" —Eric Marcus, co-author, Coming Out to Play (with Robbie Rogers) and Breaking the Surface (with Greg Louganis)

"We find ourselves in the presence of a master storyteller who has made a fine contribution to the growing library of works by ex-Christians who have valuable stories to tell—to make the world a better place." —David Madison, author of Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief

Author Biography

Fernando Alcántar is a former leader of the Foursquare denomination in Mexico and senior coordinator of North American Partnerships at Azusa Pacific University, where he oversaw hundreds of churches in Mexico and helped to mobilize thousands of missionaries a year from all over the United States and Canada. He later served as director of leadership development for young people for the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is now a gay atheist activist, spreading a message of tolerance, introspection, and understanding. He lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Dan Barker is copresident of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and author of Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists and Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.