Two months after he threatened to sue a Texas county for allowing a Nativity scene on public property, longtime atheist Patrick Greene has announced that he is not only converting to Christianity, but also plans to become a pastor, the Christian Post reports.
Greene, an Air Force veteran from San Antonio who has a history of activism, threatened in February to file a lawsuit against Henderson County, Texas, if they did not remove a Nativity scene in front of the courthouse, Malakoff News reported.
But he was forced to drop the lawsuit after doctors told him that he had developed eye cataracts and was in danger of losing his vision, according to the Houston Chronicle. Shortly thereafter, Greene's failing vision forced him to quit his job as a taxi driver and he was left with the challenge of supporting himself and his wife of 33 years.
That's when Jessica Crye, a Christian woman who read about Greene's troubles in the paper, went to members of her church and asked if they would be willing to donate money to help Greene. They ended up raising $400 in donations for Greene, which left him "flabbergasted that Christians would help atheists," the Athens Review reported at the time.
Both Christians and atheists alike ended up donating to Greene through a fundraising account he set up on the site GoFundMe.com.
It's that compassion that Greene says compelled him to start rethinking his religious beliefs. He told the Christian Post that after thinking deeply about Christianity and reexamining his views on evolution and animals, he decided to start practicing the religion.
"There's been one lingering thought in the back of my head my entire life, and it's one thought that I've never been able to reconcile, and that is the vast difference between all the animals and us," Greene told the Post.
He added later, "I kind of realized that the questions I [was] asking you just had to accept on faith without doubting every period and every comma."
Now Greene says he plans to use some of the money he received from good samaritans to move out of San Antonio and buy his wife her "dream" mobile home, according to the Christian Post. He's also planning to write a book about the donations he received that he's tentatively titled "The Real Christians of Henderson County."
Check out Fox News' earlier report on Greene below:
Clarification: Language previously used in the article has been updated to more clearly note the distinction between atheist causes and first amendment issues.