In a new interview with Alternative Press (via SupaJam), former As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis has stated that he lied about being a Christian in order to sell records. Lambesis, who was recently convicted of attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife, revealed that he as been an atheist for some time:
"Truthfully, I was an atheist. I actually wasn't the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I'm pretty sure they dropped it, too."
The singer began questioning his faith when he majored in religious studies while attending college through a long distance course.
"In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one," he said.
"The first time I cheated on my wife, my interpretation of morality was now convenient for me," Lambesis explained. "I felt less guilty if I decided, 'Well, marriage isn't a real thing, because Christianity isn't real. God isn't real. Therefore, marriage is just a stupid piece of paper with the government.'"
He went on to reveal that he kept up the act in order to keep selling records to Christian fans:
"I remember one Christian festival where an interviewer wanted one of the guys [in the band] to share his testimony, and he just froze up and let one of the guys who was still a Christian at the time answer the question. We laughed about it afterward, but we were only laughing because it was so awkward.
"When kids would want to pray with us after shows, I'd be like, 'Um, go ahead and pray!' I would just let them pray. I'd say 'Amen.' If praying while I have my hand on their shoulder makes them feel better, I didn't want to take that away from them. When they would specifically ask me to pray for something, I'd say, 'I don't really like to pray out loud, but I'll take that with me to the bus."
He also stated that his band wasn't the only group on the Christian rock circuit who were lying about their faith:
"We toured with more 'Christian bands' who actually aren't Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands.
"A lot of Christian parents said, 'Yes, you can buy this As I Lay Dying CD, because they're a Christian band.' They don't even think to actually check the lyrics. So when you change your views, you kind of owe it to the fans to be honest."