While growing up in the relatively liberal United Church of Christ, Mike never took religion too seriously; it was just something the family did every weekend, and sometimes during the week. He never really discussed his beliefs with anyone unless he was at a church service or event. Once he hit high school, however, he joined Young Life, an organization aimed at evangelizing to teenagers and bringing them to Christ. He became a born-again Christian, and dedicated himself toward seeking God's purpose for his life. In college, Mike joined Campus Crusade for Christ, a group like Young Life but with a stronger focus on evangelizing to the general public and a literal interpretation of the Bible.
At this point Mike began to believe in the Bible literally, going so far as to become a young-earth Creationist. He regularly evangelized door-to-door in the college dorms and around town, and took part in a Crusade-sponsored debate between creationists and "evolutionists". Much like Matt Dillahunty, Mike also considered pursuing a career in the ministry; however, at the time, he didn't feel that God was "calling" him to it.
Eventually Mike left this college for another, and in the process disconnected from the community of fundamentalists he had associated himself with. He began to take an interest in examining the veracity of his beliefs and determining a way to rationally defend them from those who disagreed. Mike took a class on the philosophy of religion, taught by a Creationist professor who professed to be a "former Atheist". Ironically, rather than gaining a justification for his beliefs, Mike encountered many problems with the logic behind the arguments for God, chiefly among them being the problem of evil and the fact that the arguments simply led him to a generic God and not to his own theology.
As a result, Mike began to examine his beliefs with a more skeptical eye, which he'd never done before. He gradually peeled off layers of dogma until he was left with nothing but deism, which he eventually abandoned as well as nothing more than a God of the Gaps argument. Now, Mike spends his time working as a technical editor, volunteering for groups such as Habitat for Humanity, debating theology online, and organizing events for his local Atheist/Agnostic meetup group.
- Assistant Organizer, Capital Region Atheists and Agnostics, 2009-