‘Militant’ Atheist NBA Employee Driven to Disprove God Ends Up Proving Him, Converting to Christianity

‘Militant’ Atheist NBA Employee Driven to Disprove God Ends Up Proving Him, Converting to Christianity
(Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
Michael Wing

Marc Lozano had it all. Working for the NBA, he had achieved his dream job. He had a beautiful wife, financial security, and the life he’d always wanted. So why was the fortunate young man so miserable?

A self-described “militant atheist,” Lozano, 31, was a voracious reader gifted with a brilliant mind, and formed his own conclusions about things. No one—not his college basketball coach, not even his wife—could convince him God existed. So, when a theological argument set him on a quest to disprove his wife and “de-convert” her to atheism, fathom the irony when he ended up converting himself. Lozano became a Catholic—though he admits he’s no longer miserable.

To his credit, Lozano let truth win the day, rather than his desire to be right.

“The Answers Don’t Exist”

“Catholic by name only,” Lozano’s family didn’t exactly exude faith, nor did faith resonate with him. “We stopped pretending when I was around 11 years old,” he told The Epoch Times, explaining why they quit attending church. The world had moved beyond faith—beyond its antiquated forms and dogmatic devotion—in favor of something science-based. “Science had done away with God” and “all of the religious people in the world were kind of talking some nonsense,” he said of his formative understandings. “This kind of led me towards denouncing religion and all of its forms, shapes, signs, and embracing a more materialistic, hedonistic view of the world.”

It didn’t help that others hadn’t wisdom to offer. “It was really more people of faith who just didn’t really have answers for me,“ he said. ”I figured, if they’re the people who’re practicing, they didn’t have the answers then probably no one has the answers and the answers don’t exist.”

Lozano turned to the New Atheists for his worldview, as well as Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx.

Lozano playing college basketball. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
Lozano playing college basketball. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
Lozano on the basketball court in college. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
Lozano on the basketball court in college. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)

A formidable intellect, when evangelists tried converting him, Lozano thought it more of a nuisance than anything. Lozano attended Florida Southern College on a fast-track basketball scholarship, and his coach, a Protestant Christian minister, begged him to go to church. “I would brush him off, never give him straight answers or anything, because I don’t want to offend him,” Lozano said. “He wasn’t charging my playing time.” Eventually, Lozano rebutted: “You believe in this book that was written 2,000 years ago and Old Testament 6,000 years ago. Most people can’t keep their story straight when they tell their best friend what happened to him yesterday.”

It made sense to the then-20-year-old Lozano.

He met his future wife, Taylor, in college in 2012. Both were sophomore basketball players; she was a star. He was hired to improve her game and they often trained one-on-one. “We started spending more and more and more time together, and eventually that led into a romantic relationship,” he said. It started off smoothly enough, until Taylor, a “cradle Catholic” born into her faith, started inviting him to church. “I started refusing or started giving her a hard time,” Lozano said. Increasingly, their beliefs clashed, yet both remained committed to the relationship.

But in 2013, things came to a head. Now, something would have to give.

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

“We realized that, even despite all of our arguments and fights, that neither of us were leaving the relationship,” Lozano said. “I’m an international economist by trade and, as an obsessive reader, I figured I would just convert her—or de-convert her—from her religious beliefs.” In like a lion, he would confront Christianity’s philosophical underpinnings and, with his laser-focused analytical mind, quickly dismantle the whole works—or so he thought. Had he known it would take five years, reading north of one hundred books while spending months contemplating, he wouldn’t have bothered.

“I read the Summa Theologica, Augustine, the Bible, the Quran, the tenets of Buddhism. I went through the whole gamut,” he said, adding how he was surprised to come away feeling “much more knowledgeable of good and bad philosophical thought” afterward. He further admitted, very early on he became an “intellectual Christian,” and “the words of St. Augustine can be very powerful.”

The crux of his epiphany boiled down to two arguments—one emotional and the other philosophical. “There’s an emotional argument from Augustine recorded a million times over and that is, ‘Our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee,’” Lozano said. “I realized at one point during my intellectual Christianity that I was successful, I was reaching all the goals I wanted to, I was working for the NBA, dream job of my child self, I had this beautiful wife.

“So, I had about everything that I could have wanted—and financial security and everything—but I’m a miserable person. I was miserable because my heart wasn’t resting in God.”

Lozano and his family after his conversion. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
Lozano and his family after his conversion. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)

Lozano distilled the second, more philosophical argument to its essence:

Say your brain is in a vat somewhere. You don’t think your mom, dad, brother, sister, wife—you don’t think any of them are real. You think you’re just part of this computer simulation, right? This is extreme skepticism. Can’t be more skeptical than that.
But one thing you know, from that extreme skepticism, is that existence exists. If existence exists—basically, I will go through all of the logic from that. If existence exists, the essence of existence exists, and the essence of existence has no potentiality in it, because it is the essence of existence. And if the essence of existence has no potentiality, it basically has the attributes of God. Therefore, if existence exists, God exists.
And as the essence of existence, it has no potentiality. That means it is all knowledgeable and all-powerful. And something that is all knowledgeable and powerful, therefore, has to be good because the only thing that commits bad things are the things that either lack knowledge or lack power.
Think of the alcoholic: They either don’t know what’s best for them or they lack the willpower to stop drinking. The essence of existence doesn’t have that problem. Therefore, it is all-powerful and knowledgeable—all good.

Out like a lamb, Lozano emerged from his quest a “reluctant convert,” to use his term. His heart wasn’t quite there but he attended church with his wife, though his Catholic-by-name-only family thought he'd betrayed them. “They were like, ‘Wait a second, aren’t you on our side?’” he said. “And I would always make the excuse of like, ‘Well, I’m on your side, but when we refute them, we need to use sound logic.’” But more and more he was becoming a theist, though not a practitioner. Not yet.

For Lozano was afraid to pray. It wasn’t that he feared prayer wouldn’t work. Just the opposite. “I knew that once I prayed, I was actually pretty confident He will respond,” he said. “The thing is, when He responds now you have no what you would call ‘irrevocable ignorance.’” He wasn’t ready.

A recent photo of Lozano, his wife, Taylor, and their four children. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)
A recent photo of Lozano, his wife, Taylor, and their four children. (Courtesy of Marc Lozano)

So, did Lozano say his prayer? Yes, soon enough—and his “hair was set on fire” by it, he said. Did it change him in big ways, too? Yes—and irrevocably.

The “reluctant convert” was now Catholic.

Quitting the “Woke” NBA

For moral reasons, Lozano quit his dream job with the NBA and embraced financial insecurity as joy. As for the NBA, he saw the direction the company was headed and became spiritually antsy. “I was on the inside for six years,” he said. “It is about idol worship; it is about making these kids to idolize the Steph Currys and LeBrons and Russell Westbrooks. That’s how it is designed.” He also saw the sports giant had no qualms engaging with China’s genocidal CCP, which employs slave labor, and promoting unhealthy “woke” ideologies in society, such as Critical Race Theory and transgenderism for children. These were countervailing forces for his newly forming moral convictions.

Besides leaving the NBA, he saw ethical issues in his trading, prompting him to pull his assets while leaving little income for his budding Christian family. “There’s no way for me to justify the market because what you’re doing is you’re buying low, you’re adding no value, you’re doing no labor, and you’re trying to sell high,” he said. “It’s all an abstraction and produces inflation.”

Today, Lozano runs his website, Christ Centered Capital, applying his financial wisdom to screen for Christian-friendly investments to distinguish for the moral investor the bad options—ones that fund Planned Parenthood or invest in the CCP for instance—from those that are biblically sound.

He offers this service free of charge, accepting only donations should anyone wish to support him. “That’s the biggest evangelistic effort,” he said. “Christ talks a lot about the barrier to the Kingdom of Heaven, that is money, the love of money. The way in which you obtain that money can be an even bigger barrier.”

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Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.
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