When Alex left for Alaska,” Franz remembers, “I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn’t believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex. After I dropped off the hitchhikers,” Franz continues,” I turned my van around, drove back to the store, and bought a bottle of whiskey. And then I went out into the desert and drank it. I wasn’t used to drinking, so it made me real sick. Hoped it’d kill me, but it didn’t. Just made me real, real sick.
― Ron Franz, on Chris McCandless and his withdrawal from the Christian church.