In his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir Growing Up, Baker reported losing his faith in God after his father died when he was five years old: "After that I never cried with any real conviction, nor expected much of anyone's God except indifference, nor loved deeply without fear that it would cost me dearly in pain. At the age of five I had become a skeptic and began to sense that any happiness that came my way might be the prelude to some grim cosmic joke." (p. 61)
The following quote arrives from Wayne Aiken's Atheist Fortune Cookie File.
"One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce and punish fraud, hypocrisy and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning and hanging were Christian things to do..." [The New York Times, December 1988, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief]