By Heather Adams
With dozens of hymnals in her home, Bobbie Kirkhart can often be heard singing sacred songs to herself. But listen closely and you’ll likely notice she’s changed a word or two.
Kirkhart, 75, sees no reason she should abandon the music she grew up with, even if she has left her faith behind. An atheist and the owner of Heretic House, a gathering place for local atheist and freethought groups, she retains an affection for her Christian upbringing.
“We all love our first music,” Kirkhart said. “I don’t believe the lyrics of any hymn more than I believe ‘A man is a two-face, a worrisome thing who’ll leave you to sing the blues in the night.’
“But nobody asks anybody why they sing that,” she adds.
Kirkhart grew up in a devout liberal Protestant family in Enid, Okla. She attended church services, potlucks and even taught Sunday school while attending the University of Oklahoma, where she majored in journalism.
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