"My name is Eric Fromm … and I am an atheist."
That is how the student body president of Northwest Christian University in Oregon announced his "coming out" as a non-believer on the school's student news site last week.
The 21-year-old says he felt compelled to "admit" his true beliefs after he felt increasingly isolated from other students who either suspected his doubts or with whom he had confided.
Fromm says he felt forced to set the record straight because rumors began circulating about how he viewed Christians and Christianity in the tight-knight student community.
According to Registerguard.com, some fellow NCU students "responded with shock, shame or fear when he divulged his doubts and lack of faith."
In his open letter to the university community, Fromm says it was that negative reaction that pushed him to go public,
"I find it ironic that some NCU students will talk about how they were ridiculed in high school because for their faith, but now, when the roles are reversed, they are doing the very things that hurt them. Matthew 7:5, right?"
Fromm says he was baptized as a Lutheran and attended a Methodist church. He says he attended the Christian school because of its strong communications program, and was comfortable with its level of religious requirements.
Since his open letter to the university, Fromm says he has been pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction and support he has received.