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Graceful Atheist Podcast

Graceful Atheist Podcast

By Graceful Atheist
A secular humanist podcast about Secular Grace after deconstruction and deconversion.

The podcast takes an honest look at stories of faith transition from a life-altering faith, to doubt and deconstruction, to deconversion, and finally, to a thriving graceful life post-deconversion.

My name is David, and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist. Join me and be graceful human beings.

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Brady Hardin: The Life After

Graceful Atheist Podcast

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Mark Landes: Military, Deconversion and Humanism
My guest this week is Mark Landes, a former Army officer who is working toward becoming a humanist chaplain. Mark grew up in the United Methodist tradition. He went to West Point and became an officer in the Army. He wanted to become an Army chaplain. Mark’s army career is a fascinating tale in itself. He was stationed in West Berlin shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then during the Gulf War he volunteered to go to Kuwait and experienced the first air raid of the Gulf War. Mark was also a gay man in the military before the time of “don’t ask don’t tell” when there were witch hunts to remove gay military members. He was investigated and removed with an “other than honorable” discharge. Understandably, Mark went through time of deep depression. To make maters worse when he returned to the states he joined a 12 step group that was in effect a group conversion therapy. It is during this dark time of his life that Mark began to question the reality of god. Through a years long process Mark deconverted eventually admitting to himself he no longer believed. Mark has since become a humanist celebrant and has made an attempt to get a Masters in Divinity to become a humanist chaplain. In this process he began his “theological anthropology” which has led him to tell his story. He now wants to get a Masters in Pastoral care and is hoping to create an “institutional chaplaincy” in the business world. This humanist journey began with him asking the question, “how can I make the world a better place?” Links Mark’s Blog https://humanistchaplainjourney.blogspot.com/ Captain Cassidy https://gracefulatheist.com/2019/10/17/captain-cassidy-roll-to-disbelieve/ Sasha Sagan https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/02/06/sasha-sagan-for-small-creatures-such-as-we/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/10/24/mark-landes-military-deconversion-and-humanism/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/ Thanks to Logan Thomas for the new Graceful Atheist Podcast art work
01:04:49
October 25, 2021
Emily: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Emily. Emily grew up in an Evangelical Free Church in the rural Midwest. She was on the Cubbies-Sparks-AWANA track. Around age 10, she became a pastor’s kid when her dad switched careers and went into ministry. Her early childhood experiences of church were fairly positive, but she struggled with severe fear of hell and the rapture from a young age. The youth group setting was horribly unsuited to a sensitive introvert like. She was miserable being forced to attend churches where she didn’t know anyone except her parents.This discomfort in Christian circles continued through college. After college, Emily spent a year in London doing a master’s degree. She immersed myself in the city’s amazing performing arts scene and met a lot of people with totally different backgrounds and beliefs to hers. That year really expanded her horizons, and when she moved back to the US, she pursued a career in performing arts administration. For the first few years after grad school, Emily wasn’t ready to reject everything and say that she didn’t believe in God, but she had no interest in going to church, praying, reading the Bible, etc. Then the 2016 election happened, and she watched with horror as Christians whom she loved and admired went all-in for Trump. At that point, her indifference turned to disgust, and she wanted nothing to do with Christianity at all. In the past 2-3 years Emily has really done the hard work of figuring out what she believes now and addressing the harm that her Christian background has caused. Emily has had to work through the baggage of purity culture as she is in her first long term relationship. Therapy with a focus on religious trauma has been helpful. Emily is discovering who she is, relish the arts and experiencing the joy of being a human being. Interact We are very excited to announce the new private Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group. The group will be administered by Arline from episode 71. Please join us in building a community of graceful human beings. Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/deconversion Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/10/17/emily-deconversion-anonymous/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/ Thanks to Logan Thomas for the new Graceful Atheist Podcast art work
56:29
October 18, 2021
Ginna: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Ginna. Ginna is a software developer in her 30’s. She went through deconversion in her 20’s after suffering depression during her college years. Even though there were Christians around her who were on medication for their depressions no one was public about it. The implied stigma kept her from reaching out for help and kept her from finding the right treatment when she did. After college she went to a ” shelter for honest questions” called L`Abri to find answers to her questions. Her questions were pointed and personal. The questions of theodicy, divine hiddenness and theological evil. She “had a really good time, but [she] didn’t get answers to the questions that [she] had.” After a brief stint in a liturgical church, which she loved, she stopped going to church and gained some perspective. She realized she could no longer believe in a god where there was no practical difference between non-existence and said god being evil. Ginna eventually received the help she needed for her mental health. She had to try multiple different doctors and therapies until she found the right combination. Today she is excited about exploring secular community and growing as a human being. Interact We are very excited to announce the new private Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group. The group will be administered by Arline from episode 71. Please join us in building a community of graceful human beings. Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/deconversion Full show notes with quotes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/10/10/ginna-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap92 Magic Feathers and Sugar Pills https://gracefulatheist.com/2018/03/21/magic-feathers-and-suger-pills/?gaid=gap92 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap92 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap92 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:04:52
October 11, 2021
Monique: Deconversion Anonymous
My guest this week is Monique. Monique grew up a cultural Christian until the family of her boyfriend “made it known they were Southern Baptists.” She married that boyfriend and had kids. He became abusive. First psychologically, then spiritually and eventually physically. He gas lit her, told her she was not worthy and that she was not following god, and called her purity culture epithets we won't recount here. After years of isolation and spiritual abuse, Monique left after executing a cloak and dagger level plan to serve divorce papers and a restraining order simultaneously. Eventually, her kids were taken from her as he had lawyers and she did not. She was estranged from them for years. Monique went through a deconstruction and deconversion that began to give her some peace. Her youngest son reached out to her to tell her he is gay. She opened up her arms and showed grace, love and respect. She and her daughter attempted to reunite but this was ruined when the daughter took offence to a passing joke about prayer. Today, Monique is free and loving learning true things. Her and her new husband (who happens to be a believer) have respect and love for each other. Monique is telling her story to give hope to others so they may know they are not alone. Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/10/03/monique-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap91 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap91 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap91 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
46:43
October 4, 2021
Lars and Christie: Deconverted family
My guests this week are Lars, Christie, Teddy, Amy and Eleanor, a whole family who deconverted around the same time. Lars felt a sense of duty to be a Christian all his life because he believed it was true. Christie felt there was “good evidence” for parts of the Bible and accepted that the rest was true. This worked until both of them came to the conclusion there was not enough evidence to believe. During the pandemic with Church on screen rather than in person, both Lars and Christie began to feel the freedom from Church. They eventually admitted to each other that they no longer believed. A few months later they asked the kids, “do you notice anything we are not doing any longer?” To which they responded, “church.” None of them seemed to miss it too much other than friends and the snacks! Lars and Christie also share about Lars’ demi-sexuality and the difficult early conversations around sex when they were first getting married. This highlights the destructive aspects of purity culture on everyone. Today the whole family is feeling free, intellectually honest and relieved after admitting to themselves they no longer believe and stopped going to church. Links Answers To Answers In Genesis FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/answers2aig/ William Lane Craig admitting it is the witness of the holy spirit not evidence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VWEFY4JuGk http://www.reasonablefaith.org/videos/other-videos/what-is-the-inner-witness-of-the-holy-spirit https://youtu.be/wRm3PFFg97I?t=128 https://youtu.be/cYq-xNpokEs?t=37 Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap90 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap90 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:08:38
September 27, 2021
Book Review: Scout Mindset with Jimmy
My returning guest this week is Jimmy. Jimmy and I review Julia Galef’s book Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t. We explore the book from two lenses: Deconversion and Secular Grace. Jimmy brings an intense focus on humility, self-honesty and truth seeking to the conversation. The perfect complement to Julia’s book. Julia GalefThe best description of motivated reasoning I’ve ever seen comes from psychologist Tom Gilovich. When we want something to be true, he said, we ask ourselves, “Can I believe this?,” searching for an excuse to accept it. When we don’t want something to be true, we instead ask ourselves, “Must I believe this?,” searching for an excuse to reject it. ... In contrast to directionally motivated reasoning, which evaluates ideas through the lenses of “Can I believe it?” and “Must I believe it?,” accuracy motivated reasoning evaluates ideas through the lens of “Is it true?” Links Jimmy’s first appearance on the podcast https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/09/20/jimmy-deconversion-anonymous/ Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t https://amzn.to/3nFCKd9 Soldiers and Scouts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfRC8ZgBXZw Why Buddhism is True https://amzn.to/3nGnXyM Humanist Ten Commitments https://americanhumanistcenterforeducation.org/ten-commitments Daryl Davis, who attends KKK rallies and has helped many leave: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daryl_Davis Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/09/19/book-review-scout-mindset-with-jimmy/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:09:47
September 20, 2021
Sara: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Sara. Sara is “a musician from a home of musicians.” She grew up in an Assemblies of God church in a “vibrantly faithful home.” She spent her teen years in a “cool” Southern Baptist Church. She then spent some time in Acts 29 churches and Reformed theology. To round things out she attended a Presbyterian (PCA) church. Sara started having doubts in college, but she was able to ignore them for some time. They eventually wore her down. Parenthood was the last straw. She realized she loved her son more than God loved anyone. God’s “hiddenness” was neglect that any parent could recognize. Sara had been a worship leader. This usefulness kept her in the church longer than she would have otherwise. It also contributed to her deconversion as she saw what church was like “back stage.” Now Sara writes on her blog, Former Protagonist, about her deconversion experience. She is also exploring Humanism and loving her family. Links Former Protagonist Blog https://formerprotagonist.blogspot.com/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/09/12/sara-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap88 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap88 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap88 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:18:17
September 13, 2021
Joel: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Joel. Joel grew up in the WELS Lutheran church. He met his wife at a Christian group during college. They attended a few churches, one of which was Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll’s church. Joel began to question what he had been taught. He began noticing discrepancies in scripture. He began to see the way the Church handled LGBTQ rights and the role of women was wrong. He was able to reconnect with his sister as they grieved the loss of his grandfather. He discovered that she had deconstructed as well. He began to see atheism as not just reductionist and evil but as a viable option. Today he is making his unequally yoked relationship work with mutual respect and love. And he is experiencing “absolute joy that the shackles are off.” Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/08/29/joel-deconversion-anonymous/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap87 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap87 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:10:52
August 30, 2021
Stephanie: StephUp and Deconstruct
My guest this week is Stephanie, the host of the StephUp Podcast where she “delve[s] into different topics to learn more about the world and more about ourselves.” Stephanie had me on her podcast to delve into atheism. In this episode, Stephanie describes her journey of deconstruction of Christianity, politics and conservative culture. She is focused on caring for people and shedding racism, sexism and abusive behavior within and without the Church. Stephanie lives up to the honesty contest while describing: the burden of a “relationship with God,” purity culture and being single in the Church, and her disappointments with Church leadership. Ultimately, I believe Stephanie is an important voice of change within the Church. Links StephUp Podcast https://stephuppodcast.com/ What should Dragon Do https://www.stephanieannwebb.com/ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stephup_podcast/ Twitter https://twitter.com/steph_ann_webb My interview on the StephUp podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-talk-about-atheism-with-the-graceful-atheist/id1527866039?i=1000530710497 Interact Jon Steingard interview https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/01/03/jon-steingard-the-wonder-and-the-mystery-of-being/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:01:01
August 23, 2021
Eli: Transition and Deconstruction
My guest this week is Eli Fuhrmler-Wheeler. Eli grew up going to Awanas at an Evangelical Free church. Eventually, he attended an Assemblies of God church and spoke in tongues. His parents forbade him from going to that church and “of course I felt they were keeping me from the gates of heaven and pulling me into hell.” Eli’s childhood was traumatic in many ways. He experienced sexual abuse, neglect, his mom was very sick her whole life, her boyfriends were abusive, his father had an antisocial personality disorder, and he lived on and off in foster homes. Eli sought the comfort of drugs and alcohol. He discovered he was a lesbian. He was told he was going to hell by his family. As an adult, he began a relationship with his now-wife. At 30 he realized he was a man and began transition. Eli has faced rejection by family and some friends. However, his gracefulness through it all has won some of them over. Eli deconstructed from Christianity through the years. He has explored various world religions including Norse Heathenry and various mystic traditions. Transition and therapy have given Eli the wholeness he deserves. Eli and his wife show unconditional love for one another. This is the relationship that Eli has experienced grace for himself. Links Secular Therapy https://www.seculartherapy.org/ Religious Trauma Institute https://www.religioustraumainstitute.com/ Interact Thank you for nominating the podcast for the People’s Choice award in the Religion and Spirituality category https://www.podcastawards.com/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap85 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap85 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
51:13
August 16, 2021
Jason: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Jason, the son of a pastor. He grew up in the independent Christian Churches, an offshoot of the Church of Christ that allows music. He grew up doing “sword drills” and was a devout teenage believer. He participated in Bible memorization contests. He became a musician and participated in worship bands for years. In Jason’s young adulthood he began to question his own interpretation of the Bible. Why was bad language bad? Why the limited role of women in the church? How could a loving god send people to Hell? Eventually, the disparity between the idea of a loving god and the reality of the world and the suffering of innocent children led to his deconversion. Jason’s wife is still a believer though they both deconstructed from Evangelicalism and started participating in an Episcopal church. They are making an “unequally yoked” relationship work based on love, equality and mutual respect. Links Captain Cassidy interview https://gracefulatheist.com/2019/10/17/captain-cassidy-roll-to-disbelieve/?gaid=gap84 Roll To Disbelieve https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/08/08/jason-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap84 Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap84 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap84 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap84 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:10:25
August 9, 2021
Geoffrey Wallis: A Voice From Inside
My guest this week is Geoffrey Wallis, author of A Voice From Inside: Notes on Religious Trauma in a Captive Organization. Geoffrey is Physically In but Mentally Out (PIMO) of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After recognizing the religious trauma and the cognitive dissonance he was experiencing he found help through therapy. He remains within the Watchtower organization because it is a “captive organization” which enforces shunning by family members and friends. Geoffrey’s book, A Voice From Inside: Notes on Religious Trauma in a Captive Organization, is an evenhanded look at life inside a High Demand Religious Group. Geoffrey shows Secular Grace in his documenting his personal experience. It is incredibly well written and interesting to read. Links A Voice From Inside: Notes on Religious Trauma in a Captive Organization https://amzn.to/3BRvmjv Website https://www.wallisbooks.com/ Interact Nominate and Vote for the Graceful Atheist Podcast on the Podcast Awards https://www.podcastawards.com/app/nominations Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap83 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap83 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
57:43
August 2, 2021
David: That's Questionable
My guest this week is David. David is the son and grandson of pastors. He does has have good memories of growing up in the church and he credits his parents with restraint. As an adult, he became more fundamentalist. He was a Southern Baptist and went through a very strong Calvinist phase. David taught apologetics classes. He delved into apologetics to qualm his own questions. But teaching apologetics on topics like the Trinity led to more doubt not less. It was a re-read through the Bible where he began to recognize the god of the Bible is not a loving one. The full implications of Reformed theology began to have horrifying implications. Ultimately, David deconverted and now calls himself agnostic. Today David is the co-host of the That’s Questionable podcast Links Website http://thatsquestionable.net/ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thatsquestionablepodcast/ Twitter https://twitter.com/thatsquestiona1 Interact Nominate and Vote for the Graceful Atheist Podcast on the Podcast Awards https://www.podcastawards.com/app/nominations Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/07/25/david-thats-questionable/?gaid=gap82 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap82 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap82 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
54:03
July 26, 2021
Daniel Kelly: When Belief Dies
My guest this week is Daniel Kelly, the new co-host of When Belief Dies. Daniel began as a Charismatic Christian, moved to an Orthodox Christian church, and eventually was at a Bible church that preached through every verse in the bible. Daniel was a dedicated Christian working in a Christian non-profit helping those with disabilities. His mother had MS when he grew up so he was focused on helping his family through difficult times and did not always get to be a kid. Daniel’s feminism and belief in the humanity of the LGBTQ community led to moral objections to some of the harder Biblical passages that do not uphold the humanity and full autonomy of everyone. His serious investigations into theology and the Bible were some of the early seeds that led to deconversion. The grief Daniel experienced leaving the faith and the loss were profound. He lost his faith, his community, the health of his relationship and on top of that the pandemic hit. He was isolated and alone. He experienced “Hell Anxiety” and worried he was a “vessel of wrath.” The first year after deconversion was one of the most difficult of his life. He made it through and today he is the co-host of the When Belief Dies podcast. He is building healthy relationships and restoring family relations. He is experiencing the freedom to love people unconditionally. Links When Belief Dies Podcast https://whenbeliefdies.com/ Recovering From Religion https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Secular Therapy https://www.seculartherapy.org/ Interact Sam and Daniel interview me https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/05/23/sam-and-daniel-interview-david-ames-the-graceful-atheist/?gaid=gap81 Daniel and I interview Sam https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/when-belief-dies-bonus-inquisition-daniel-kelly-david/id1516058806?i=1000522850337 Tris Mamone’s Finding Faith in Secular Grace https://www.splicetoday.com/writing/finding-faith-in-secular-grace Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap81 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap81 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:17:14
July 19, 2021
Thomas: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Thomas. Thomas is a Missionary Kid. He was very close to his mother who passed away in her 40s when he was in middle school. Thomas went through real depression for years after losing his mother and losing his faith. We discuss the hardships of grieving a loved one without comforting beliefs. He went through bouts of self-medication including being immersed in the massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft. Thomas went on to become a professional scientist. The meditative nature of running was helpful. He also discovered actual meditation gave him peace. A rich and varied diet of podcasts also helped him along the way. He says he now experiences real joy that was only promised to him as a Christian. Interact Nominate and Vote for the Graceful Atheist Podcast on the Podcast Awards https://www.podcastawards.com/app/nominations Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/07/11/thomas-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap80 Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap80 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap80 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap80 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:29:31
July 12, 2021
Vanessa: Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome
My guest this week is Vanessa. She describes herself as “born into a large family of fire and brimstone preaching, bible beating, in-tongues-speaking Christians in the Pentecostal Church of God faith tradition.” Her father, her grandfather, and her great grandfather all were pastors of her home church. She began to doubt at a fairly young age and discovered she no longer believed in god in her college years. As a non-believer, she married her believing husband. Recently being unequally yoked has become a discussion point as they negotiate how to raise their daughter. Vanessa is grateful she can be present for her daughter in a way she did receive when she was young. We discuss unequally yoked marriage, secular parenting, and post-traumatic church syndrome. Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/06/27/vanessa-post-traumatic-church-disorder/?gaid=gap79 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to?gaid=gap79/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap79 Support the podcast Via Anchor.fm and Stripe Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist
01:12:05
June 28, 2021
Chris Highland: Friendly Freethinker
My guest this week is Chris Highland. Chris is an author of over a dozen books, he was a Protestant minister for 14 years and an Interfaith (collaborative, open-minded, inclusive) chaplain for 25 years. Currently a Humanist celebrant, he has a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Seattle Pacific University and an M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary. My highest compliment to Chris is that he has been doing Secular Grace for most of his life. Chris shares his love of nature and beauty. We discuss humanism, nature and loving believing spouses. Links Friendly Freethinker Blog https://chighland.com/ Clergy Project https://clergyproject.org/ Why I am not an angry evangelical atheist https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2019/02/why-im-not-an-angry-evangelical-atheist-part-1/ Do we have to choose between aggressive religion and aggravated atheism? Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap78 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap78 Books Nature Is Enoughhttps://amzn.to/3qnp1XX From Faith to Freedom https://amzn.to/2TLEjcK Attribution Additional music Dakar Flow – Carmen María and Edu Espinal "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:15:07
June 21, 2021
Travis: Measure of Faith
My guest this week is Travis. Travis documented his deconstruction on the blog measureoffaith.blog. There Travis has documented his journey from a questioning but dedicated Christian to a doubting agnostic. He delves into the apologetics that was supposed to give him comfort but ultimately led to the loss of faith. This is one of the more emotionally raw episodes. Travis opens up about his grief at the loss of his beloved father. His dad was an example of faith well lived and it had a profound impact on Travis. We discuss what secular grief is like after one no longer can be comforted by belief in life after death. I have been feeling a little conflicted putting this information out there that can potentially help people lose faith because it was so important to someone like my dad. It makes me question whether I really want to be a participant for taking that away from someone. These days Travis feels like he has said what he needed to say on the blog. His compassion and empathy is evident in that he is more concerned with caring for the people in his life than endlessly debating apologetics and counter-apologetics. Links https://measureoffaith.blog/ Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap77 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap77 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:01:10
June 14, 2021
Amy Rath: NoneLife
My guest this week is Amy Rath, the host of the NoneLife podcast. NoneLife is dedicated to all those who check “None of the above” for a religious category and who do not feel comfortable being categorized any other way. The podcast is inspiring us all to do good in the world and to live an ethical life. I’m Amy, and I’m a “none.” A what?  Well, it took a lot of searching for me to find this term, but it fits perfectly.  A “none” is someone who doesn’t belong to any particular religion.  There are likely as many reasons for being a “none” as there are individuals, so we’re a hard group to label.  Nones might be atheists, agnostics, former-members-of religions, humanists, etc. etc. etc. Amy grew up a dedicated Catholic and was “all in.” In her late teens and early twenties she felt better “just not believing in anything.” In 2019 she discovered the term “None” as in “None of the above” and had a sense of “coming home.” “Finally there is a name for what I am.” She had found her people. Amy started the NoneLife podcast so that others could discover this sense of finding themselves sooner. She has become an important and inspiring voice for Nones the world over. Links Website https://nonelife.org/ PechaKucha presentation https://www.pechakucha.com/presentations/practicing-decency Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/06/06/amy-rath-nonelife/?gaid=gap76 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap76 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap76 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:12:08
June 7, 2021
Reverend Bones: Escape From Heaven
My guest this week is Michael, AKA Reverend Bones. Michael is an Australian singer/songwriter whose latest album Escape From Heaven is about his faith transition out of Evangelicalism. Michael talks openly and honestly about how purity culture affected him and the religious trauma it produced. Michael is now a climate activist and anti-purity culture activist. Michael uses his TicTok presence to speak out on these topics as well as the need for separation of church and state. Links Website https://www.reverendbones.com/ TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@reverend_bones Instagram https://www.instagram.com/reverend_bones Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/6ITRWlI5YToDcwA1o7SdRi Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/05/30/michael-escape-from-heaven/?gaid=gap75 If you are interested in producing music for the Graceful Atheist Podcast, the sound I am looking for has a strong baseline and beat with gospel church organ, potentially with R&B or Gospel vocal samples. Here is a playlist to inspire you to Gospel R&B Beats. Get in touch. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/27qcj0QlDP23O7SzQKaAUL Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap75 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap75 Attribution Music by Reverend Bones from Escape From Heaven "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:20:36
May 31, 2021
David Ames: Graceful Atheist interviewed by Sam and Daniel
This week I am being interviewed by Sam and Daniel from the When Belief Dies podcast. The focus is on what I have changed my mind about since beginning work in the secular community. We discuss the following topics: The deconversion process https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap74 https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/11/23/i-was-mistaken/?gaid=gap74 Secular Grace How the 12 steps influenced my conception of Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/secular-grace/?gaid=gap74 Honesty contests Talking with believers The analogy of the Cathedral Secular Grief Letting go of an afterlife for oneself and one’s loved ones The human desire for an afterlife represented in secular movies This episode is a sister episode to Daniel and me interviewing Sam on When Belief Dies. Both episodes are dropping at the same time. You can see me in the YouTube version interviewing Sam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mtOgkvIqJU Music If you are interested in producing music for the Graceful Atheist Podcast, the sound I am looking for has a strong baseline and beat with gospel church organ, potentially with R&B or Gospel vocal samples. Here is a playlist to inspire you to Gospel R&B Beats. Get in touch. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/27qcj0QlDP23O7SzQKaAUL?si=d4fad72b30c64c94 Links When Belief Dies https://whenbeliefdies.com/ https://linktr.ee/whenbeliefdies Full show notes with much more https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/05/23/sam-and-daniel-interview-david-ames-the-graceful-atheist/?gaid=gap74 Attribution Photo graphic design by Logan Thomas, Beyond Belief "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:38:03
May 24, 2021
Caroline Schwabe: My Beautiful Cyborg
I begin every streaming interview with a question, “Hi, can you hear me?” Never has an affirmative answer to such a mundane question been so profound as it was with this week’s guest, Caroline Schwabe. Caroline had progressive hearing loss and eventually could no longer speak on the phone even with hearing aids. Almost by accident, she was referred to a Cochlear implant program in Canada during a routine hearing test. January 28, 2018, was her last deaf day. She has been on a three-year journey of rediscovery after receiving a Cochlear implant. Along with her husband, Andreas, Caroline co-hosts a podcast called My Beautify Cyborg about her Cochlear implant journey. It describes the hopes and fears leading up to surgery and the joy and rediscovery after turning on the implant. Caroline’s gratitude and joy is infectious and comes through in each episode. Caroline and Andreas had experienced major disappointments and hurts from the Church. At the same time, she was going through the implant process, both she and her husband were slowly leaving the Church. If not a full-blown deconstruction, they have been asking very hard questions and wrestling with the answers. This episode is unique in that there are two parallel stories: one of regaining hearing and one of questioning one’s faith. Podcasts have played an outsized role in Caroline’s rediscovery of hearing and language recognition, including this one. Links My Beautiful Cyborg https://mybeautifulcyborg.com/ Links for Cochlear implant information https://mybeautifulcyborg.com/links/ Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap73 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap73 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:30:34
May 17, 2021
Brette: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Brette. Brette was so serious about her Christianity in junior high her goal was martyrdom. In her young adulthood, she followed her pastor’s advice and attended Master’s Commission, similar to a discipleship training program. Her experience there was nothing short of psychological torture. Her faith began breaking down as did her physical and psychological health at Master’s Commission. It included deliverance sessions and enumerating her demons. It wasn’t until she saw her younger brother being treated poorly that she began to question. She and her brother left: “leaving was the BEST feeling!” After a brief stint in “spiritual but not religious” land, she finally admitted she no longer believed in god. She let go of “trying to make it be true.” Brette has since discovered naturalistic and psychological explanations of her experiences that have given her more closure and comfort. Interact Sam (When Belief Dies) GoFundMe for a laptop https://gofund.me/9bed67a7 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap72 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap72 Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap72 Attribution Picture by Brette’s daughter A. "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:01:43
May 10, 2021
Arline: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Arline. Arline became a Christian in early adulthood. She went to a Christian college where she met her now-husband. Her faith tradition was a severe version of Calvinism. She taught complementarianism. The roles allowed for women and complementarianism were not a good fit for Arline’s inquisitive personality. Her husband went through an emotional deconversion first. Arline did not take this as well as she would now like. Alongside this was the long slow deterioration of her mother’s health. She slowly began to deconstruct. First by exploring other versions of Christianity. Eventually exploring other faith traditions including meditation from a Buddhist perspective. In short. she was letting her curiosity and intelligence explore all the areas of interest that were previously prohibited. In the end, for her own personal intellectual integrity, she admitted to herself she no longer believed. She has since discovered natural human habits that have helped her far more than her faith ever had. Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap71 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap71 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:04:26
May 3, 2021
Bonus: Janice Selbie and Conference on Religious Trauma 2021
Janice Selbie on the Conference on Religious Trauma (CORT) The Conference on Religious Trauma (#CORT) online May 11 to 16, 2021 Links Conference on Religious Trauma https://pheedloop.com/CORT/site/home/ Twitter https://twitter.com/cometocort Face Book https://www.facebook.com/ConferenceOnReligiousTrauma Godless Moms Podcast https://www.godlessmom.com/podcast Friends of the podcast presenting at CORT Janice Selbie https://gracefulatheist.com/2019/11/27/janice-selbie-divorcing-religion/?gaid=cort2021 Alice Greczyn https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/01/31/alice-greczyn-wayward/?gaid=cort2021 Dave Warnock https://gracefulatheist.com/2019/08/08/dave-warnock-dying-out-loud/?gaid=cort2021 Clint Heacock https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/04/30/dr-clint-heacock-reconstruction-after-deconstruction/?gaid=cort2021 Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/04/29/?gaid=cort2021 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=cort2021 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=cort2021 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
18:46
April 30, 2021
Michael Marvosh: Conversations That Matter
My guest this week is Michael Marvosh. Michael is the podcast host of Dead Man’s Forest and is working on his book Reality Knows the Truth: The Art and Artifice of Being Human. Michael and I discuss what it means to be human and the human experience of spirituality. Michael tells us his deconversion story that he no longer sees as deconversion. He describes his rediscovery of a rational spirituality. Michael and I hit a broad range of conversation topics including having conversations that matter, models vs reality, A.I., Death Cafes, vision quests, blind spots and podcasting. It was truly a conversation that mattered. Links Contact Michael mm@michaelmarvosh.com Website https://www.michaelmarvosh.com/projects Dead Man’s Forest https://www.deadmansforest.org/ Reality Knows the Truth: The Art and Artifice of Being Human About Rational Spirituality–a way of looking at the world with a balance between ancient wisdom and modern reason. https://michael.ck.page/d36a3d2338 Death Cafe https://deathcafe.com/ Interact Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap70 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap70 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:27:19
April 26, 2021
Sarah: Christian Nationalism, Complementarianism and Deconstruction
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Sarah. Sarah says she may have one of the “longest deconstruction stories. She grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church in an area where there were not that many Baptist churches. So she felt different from an early age. She was constantly attempting to live in the “will of God” but struggled to determine what that was. She knew from an early age that she was a doubter which equates to “backslider.” Sarah was never comfortable with the limited roles allowed for women in the Church. Fortunately, her mother encouraged her to do and become whatever she wanted. Sarah was smart and interested in science. Studying science and biology did not fit the Young Earth Creationism she was taught at church. Sarah and her husband were the one couple who were egalitarian while the young married couples group were all complementarian. Sarah was vocal about her thoughts on complemntarianism. Sarah spent a long time outside the United States. When she returned to the United States she was shocked by the Christian Nationalism she heard from the pulpit. Rachael Held Evens, Mike McHargue and David Hayward helped Sarah through her deconstruction. Today post-deconstruction she is interested in finding her “deconstructing friends” in real life. Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/04/18/sarah-deconstruction-anonymous/?gaid=gap69 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap69 Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap69 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap69 Promotions Conference on Religious Trauma https://pheedloop.com/CORT/site/home/ #ReligionShouldntHurt https://www.instagram.com/religion.shouldnt.hurt/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:08:45
April 19, 2021
Carly: Christian Science Deconversion
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Carly. Carly shares her story with a great deal of vulnerability and emotion. Carly was a Christian Scientist. While studying philosophy and the Bible Carly was introduced to Christian Science. She was impressed with its logical arguments and internal consistency. Carly was more evangelistic than the church she attended. She wanted to use the Christian Science reading room during SXSW as an outreach. She was shot down. When she pointed out that prohibited alcohol would be consumed by renting the space out she was shot down again. The juxtaposition of what Christian Science promised and the reality of life led her to doubt. Carly eventually found what she was looking for in more secular matters like work, exercise and therapy. Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/04/11/carly-christian-science-deconversion/?gaid=gap68 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap68 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap68 Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap68 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:04:29
April 12, 2021
Rachael Parsons Svendsen Deconversion not so Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion not so Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Rachael Parsons Svendsen. Rachael is a Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor at RCPS Therapy. Rachael became a Christian at three years old. She went to Biola University and studied philosophy. Later in life, she experienced the effects of Religious Trauma: just setting foot in a Church she would break down in tears. Honesty is an important value for Rachael and part of what led her to deconversion. She talks about the difficulty of relationships with believers in her life while attempting to maintain honesty. Rachael and I investigate the experience of cognitive dissonance and religious trauma. We discuss the importance of the Easter story to Western thought, what is like to parent post-deconversion and the loss of the (false) sense of control after deconversion when difficult life events occur. Rachael points out that she does not have it all together post-deconversion. We agree we are all winging it. Links RCPS Therapy https://rcpstherapy.com/ Small Words Big Stories https://www.instagram.com/smallwords_bigstories/ Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap67 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/secular-grace/?gaid=gap67 Adverse Religious Experiences https://gracefulatheist.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/?gaid=gap67 Promos Religion Shouldn’t Hurt https://www.instagram.com/religion.shouldnt.hurt/ Conference on Religious Trauma https://pheedloop.com/CORT/site/home/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:09:12
April 5, 2021
Mike T: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is G.A.P. editor, Mike T. Mike grew up in the South and went to a Catholic church. Everyone in the South went to one church or another and this was just in the background for Mike. After a charismatic Evangelical friend encouraged him he began to explore charismatic churches. The big draw was the opportunity to play music, his life-long passion. Later in life, married with kids, he had normal financial stresses in his life. When he compared the reality of both his life and the life of those around him to the promises of his more material success-oriented faith tradition he could not help but question. When a financial advisor suggested he hold off on his charitable giving, the mandated tithe, he expected consequences. Those consequences never occurred. Things were not adding up. His first mistake was doing research on evangelists that would come to town. These fantastical claims must have generated news stories somewhere, right? His second mistake was re-reading the bible (and Bart Ehrman). Eventually, he discovered science and a new way of determining what is true. His faith fell apart. Mike is the editor of the Graceful Atheist Podcast. Beyond editing, Mike wants to start a local community for those who are going through doubt, deconstruction and deconversion. Music continues to be the great passion of his life. Links Clergy Project https://clergyproject.org/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/03/28/mike-t-deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap66 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap66 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap66 Deconversion Anonymous episodes https://gracefulatheist.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/?gaid=gap66 Attribution "Dawg Biscuits on the Moon" and "Restless Regions" John Monson and the Galaxy Brothers "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:15:23
March 29, 2021
Ian Redfearn: Meaning Making
My guest this week is Ian Redfearn. Ian deconverted over 12 years ago. Since then he has continued to obsess over his deconversion. He is still asking the why? and how? questions. Ian is concerned with the deep questions of life and continuing to find ways to make meaning. Ian has experienced the full force of the chaotic world we live in. His 24-year-old son has Cystic Fibrosis which is particularly frightening during an airborne pandemic. His father is experiencing Alzheimer’s Disease. All of this is happening during the time of Covid 19. In spite of the difficulties of life, Ian has a joy and a sense of purpose. He is a committed father, husband, son, and community member. He takes time to wonder at the beauty in the world. He recognizes that relationships are what give us our most valued meaning in life. He is now attending the Manchester Sunday Assembly and becoming an active member of the Secular community. Links Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ian.redfearn1/ Sunday Assembly Manchester https://www.facebook.com/sunassemblymcr Zoom 11 am (GMT) Sunday mornings  https://zoom.us/j/2472709402 What is your favorite #DeconversionSong? Music is important to Ian and it influenced his deconversion and how he talks and feels about it now. See the full show notes link below to find Ian's deconversion-related musical recommendations including Spotify and YouTube links. Use the hashtag #DeconversionSong to tell us your favorite deconversion song. Interact Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/03/21/?gaid=gap65ian-redfearn-meaning-making/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap65 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap65 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:17:08
March 22, 2021
Leah Helbling: Women Beyond Faith
My guest this week is Leah Helbling. Leah is the host of the Women Beyond Faith podcast and an incredibly important voice in the secular community. Leah has a long history of secular community building. Post-deconversion she started a chapter of Women Beyond Belief. She now is a team leader of Bart Campolo‘s Cincinnati Caravan. “Leah is often referred to as ‘The Great Connector‘” Leah and I discuss the gift of being present when someone tells their deconversion story. Leah shares her deconversion story which includes overcoming the purity culture and complementarianism of Evangelicalism. It also includes the unwelcoming atmosphere in the secular community for women and what she is doing about it. We talk about podcasting and what motivates us to do the work. Finally, we talk about building secular community. Links Women Beyond Faith https://womenbeyondfaith.buzzsprout.com/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/womenbeyondfaith Instagram https://www.instagram.com/womenbeyondfaith/ Cincinnati Caravan https://www.cincinnaticaravan.org/ Recovering From Religion https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Search for secular community on meetup.com https://www.meetup.com/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/03/14/leah-helbling-women-beyond-faith/?gaid=gap64 Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap64 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/?gaid=gap64 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:01:21
March 15, 2021
Anna Hummel: YWAM, DTS and Deconversion
My guest this week is Anna Hummel. Anna became a Christian at 16 after growing up in a nominal culturally German Christian home. She was attracted to the community, the love of the people and the sense of belonging. Before long she found herself at a Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School where things were a bit more intense. At DTS Anna began to have Adverse Religious Experiences. The cumulative stress and lack of privacy began to wear on her. She had trauma around the fear of Hell both for her loved ones and for herself. It was not until she got home and experienced the Secular Grace of her non-Christian friends, that she recognized the harm she was experiencing and the loss of her normally care-free attitude. Today Anna has compassion, understanding and Secular Grace for those who succumb to the peer pressure of conformity to the group. She wants people to experience the freedom from religious trauma that she now thrives in. Links Secular Therapy Project https://www.seculartherapy.org/ Religious Trauma Institute https://www.religioustraumainstitute.com/ Interact Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap63 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/secular-grace/?gaid=gap63 You are not broken, you are human https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/12/06/you-are-not-broken-you-are-human/?gaid=gap63 Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/03/07/anna-hummel-ywam-dts-deconversion/?gaid=gap63 Attribution "You Are Not Alone" image Anna Hummel "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/
01:05:39
March 8, 2021
Brian Blais: Bayes vs Apologetics
My guest this week is Brian Blais, professor at Bryant University and IBNS, Brown University. He is the author of A Measure of Faith – Probability in Religious Thought and Statistical Inference For Everyone. Brian is an expert in Bayes’ Theorem and how it applies to philosophy, theology, and apologetics. In this episode, I take the restraints off myself and express the reasons why I think apologetics is faulty. Brian is the perfect guest for this. We bounce ideas off one another to articulate good epistemology. We discuss how mathematics and Bayes can be abused by injecting unstated information which changes the probabilities and ultimately the conclusions one comes to. We also discuss how beliefs have consequences. The current rash of conspiracy theories has had real-world effects. Brian explains how decision theory can be used to make difficult choices. Links Brian’s website https://bblais.github.io/ Twitter https://twitter.com/bblais Statistical Inference For Everyone (Free Version) https://bblais.github.io/posts/2019/Jan/14/stats-for-everyone/ Amazon Version https://amzn.to/2O2onzQ A Measure of Faith: Probability in Religious Thought https://amzn.to/37QzEKt Bayes’ Theorem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes%27_theorem The Monty Hall Problem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem Interact Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/02/28/brian-blais-bayes-vs-apologetics/?gaid=gap62 Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Critique of Apologetics https://gracefulatheist.com/critique-of-apologetics/ Apologetics Epistemology and Moving On https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/10/02/apologetics-epistemology-and-moving-on/ Previous episodes referred to in this episode https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/10/04/randal-rauser-conversation-with-my-inner-atheist/ https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/11/01/ian-mills-new-testament-review/ https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/11/15/barrett-evans-the-contemplative-skeptic/ Attribution Transition Music and Dawg Biscuits on the moon John Monson and the Brothers Galaxy "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:20:02
March 1, 2021
CG: African Polymath
CG grew up in strict religious home in Nigeria, where everything was banned except Christian media. His family was heavily influenced by the Pentecostal Word-Of- Faith/Prosperity movement. CG attended a tyrannical, authoritarian, and punitive college in Nigeria. CG, later on, moved to London, UK. In London, he saw that the world was bigger than the Christian bubble that he had been raised in his whole life. He attended a popular charismatic church where he met people from different cultures, beliefs, and denominations. However, some of his friends challenged his Word-Of-Faith/Prosperity beliefs. He started theological beliefs started changing as a result. CG, subsequently, moved to the USA to get a graduate degree at a Christian college. He lived in the American south where, as an immigrant, he felt isolated and disconnected from the Christian culture around him. This drove him to a personal intellectual journey, where he spent hours reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos. After graduating with his master’s degree, CG came to the point where he could not ignore the damage that Christianity was inflicting on his mental health and personal development. He realised that he had to choose between completely losing his sanity & freedom by remaining a slave to religion or abandoning his beliefs and accepting his freedom/autonomy. A few days later, he became an Agnostic, and, subsequently, an Atheist. CG has been on the path of freedom, healing, and recovery ever since. He is deconstructing sexual shame, self-hatred, misogyny, white supremacy, colonization, and western imperialism (and other forms of injustice). He also seeks to heal the havoc that religion has inflicted in Nigeria (and other African countries) through evangelism, cultural imperialism, and colonization. Religion, significantly, contributes to the apathy and passivity of Nigerians, which prevents them from fighting for their freedom and justice. CG is very passionate about humanism. He believes humanism is what our generation needs to help make the world (especially Africa) a better place. He is an existential humanist, a cosmopolitan humanist, and a planetary humanist. He believes that humanists need to have freedom (autonomy), humility, compassion, hope, love for learning, curiosity, and open- mindedness. Links African Polymath Blog https://africanpolymath.wordpress.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/AfricanPolymath Reading list and resources https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/193EJcKRNIxAftLb6daW9f_blMaJ2QwrQ?usp=sharing Email AfricanPolymath@gmail.com Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.com/deconversion/?gaid=gap61 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/secular-grace/?gaid=gap61 Graceful Atheist Podcast https://gracefulatheist.com/podcast/?gaid=gap61 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:21:13
February 22, 2021
Troy Moore-Heart: Y'all Means All
My guest this week is Troy Moore-Heart. Troy grew up in an Evangelical family in Texas and described his childhood self as a “true-believing born-again Christian” who was baptized by his father at 6 in his grandmother’s church. Troy experienced religious trauma, the natural childhood fears given the purported reality of a spiritual realm all around him. Later in life, when he acknowledged his sexuality he “fervently believed [he] was going to hell.” When he eventually came out to his family he needed to put up healthy boundaries. Troy started to call himself an agnostic and not an atheist for fear of losing his relationship with his family. After marrying as an adult, he came to terms with his religious trauma and anti-queer shame. He discovered secular humanism as “an ideological and moral home.” Today, troy calls himself a progressive humanist, and he is focused on transformative justice. He is becoming a humanist celebrant. He supports projects like the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Y’all Means All and the Trevor Project. Troy also supports the thriving secular therapy community that is growing around trauma-informed therapy, including the Religious Trauma Institute and the Reclamation Collective. Troy requests that you consider signing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Y’all Means All” pledge. “It’s become a galvanizing slogan to promote LGBTQ inclusion and advocacy in rural Southern communities.” Links Instagram https://www.instagram.com/troy.moore.heart/ Y’all Means All http://www.yallmeansall.com The Trevor Project https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ Religious Trauma Institute https://www.religioustraumainstitute.com/ Reclamation Collective https://www.reclamationcollective.com/ American Humanist Association https://americanhumanist.org/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/02/14/troy-moore-heart-yall-means-all/ Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:06:30
February 15, 2021
Meir-Simchah: On Orthodox Judaism
My guest this week is Meir-Simchah. Meir-Simchah Panzer lives in Jerusalem with his wife and their four children. He co-hosts the podcasts Two Christians And A Jew, with Frank M. Taylor and Dr. Jennifer Brown Jones, where the team dives into how Christians and Jews read the Hebrew Scriptures differently and what difference it makes for our lives, and the Artifact Podcast with Nachliel Selavan where ordinary objects become portals into the history, ideas, and existential mystery behind them. Formerly, he co-hosted Holy Madness – The Show, with Tzvi Zucker. Meir-Simchah is a student of Rabbi Matis Weinberg. He is a co-founder and executive at Ohalecha Arts and Events Center; he writes essays, poems, and stories; and he teaches the Hebrew language and Hebrew Scriptures for individuals and groups. Meir and I discuss his work on Two Christians and Jew, how he interacts with the Christians, what he actually thinks about Jesus and the NT, and the influence of secular Judaism on secular humanism. Links Two Christians and a Jew http://twochristiansandajew.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/MeirSimchah Facebook Two Christians and a Jew discussion group https://www.facebook.com/groups/215152216739045 Artifact page https://www.facebook.com/ArtifactPodcast Artifact discussion group https://www.facebook.com/groups/397213411493038 Email meirsimchah@gmail.com. Interact Full show notes and book recommendations https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/02/07/meir-simchah-on-orthodox-judaism/ Rate and Review the Graceful Atheist Podcast Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution “Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
01:32:60
February 8, 2021
Alice Greczyn: Wayward - Spiritual Warfare & Sexual Purity
My returning guest this week is Alice Greczyn. Alice has written a new memoir called Wayward: Spiritual Warfare & Sexual Purity. In it, Alice tells the harrowing story of growing up in an Evangelical family that attempted to live by faith. They moved from place to place believing the “Lord would provide.” Alice describes it as being “homeless.” Alice came of age under the oppressive sexual and purity mores of the “Kiss Dating Goodbye” era. She tells the story of being shamed while on a mission trip to India for being “flirty.” As an adult in her 20s, in a desperate but final act of faith, Alice tests God. God fails. And Alice begins the difficult process of letting go of faith. This is a dark time of panic attacks, depression, and self-harm. With the help of secular therapy and the discovery of the term, Religious Trauma Syndrome, Alice began her recovery process. She studied the science of faith, neurotheology, and began to understand herself and those around her who still believed. In this new freedom, she rebuilt her life reclaiming her autonomy and discovering what real love feels like. On top of being an author, Alice is an advocate for those questioning their faith. Her organization, Dare to Doubt, is a resource for those who are no longer satisfied with their faith tradition’s explanations and demands. Links Wayward: Spiritual Warfare & Sexual Purity Limited supply of signed copies https://www.alicegreczyn.com/wayward-limited-signed-copy Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1632993546/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1632993546&linkCode=as2&tag=gracefula-20&linkId=cce5b264f1fe651344a691f03654a7f5 Dare To Doubt https://www.daretodoubt.org/ Interact Alice’s first appearance on the Graceful Atheist Podcast https://gracefulatheist.com/2019/07/25/alice-greczyn-dare-to-doubt/ Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/01/31/alice-greczyn-wayward/ Rate and Review https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:18:22
February 1, 2021
Logan Thomas: Beyond Belief
My guest this week is Logan Thomas who blogs at Beyond Belief. Logan interned at St. Andrews, a famous church in the UK. He went on to Bible college and eventually perused a Master’s degree in theology where he studied biblical studies, biblical languages, history and textual criticism where he began to question. After discovering his sexuality, Logan came out during his internship at St. Andrews. He discusses coming out twice. He started with a more progressive view on homosexuality. But between the Church’s stances and the biblical texts, he realized these things could not be reconciled. We discuss the differences between UK and US churches handling of the LGBTQ community. Logan cares about the truth. As he was deconstructing what he believed about the bible based on what he was being taught at Bible college he came to a point where he could no longer believe. Logan tells his story with a great deal of honesty and self-reflection on his former faith. Now Logan has a social media presence where he blogs and creates videos asking questions about faith and doubt. Links Beyond Belief Blog https://www.beyondbelief-blog.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/itsbeyondbelief Instagram https://www.instagram.com/its_beyondbelief/ YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw-jiLmRFSpxKuSldp7bzEQ/ Interact Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2021/01/24/logan-beyond-belief/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ A Humanist Podcast https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/podcast/ Rate and Review the Graceful Atheist Podcast Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:30:36
January 25, 2021
Erin: Religious But Not Spiritual
My guest this week is Erin. Erin is working toward her chaplaincy and her Master's degree in Practical Theology. She describes herself as “religious, but not spiritual.” Erin grew up in Northern Ireland. She was raised to respect all people. But when she was accepted by an Evangelical Presbyterian church she became in her words “the worst kind of fundamentalist.” This included deriding Catholics. At University she excelled and found herself attracted to more liberal theologies. She says she went from Evangelical to an Open Theist to a functional atheist (agnostic). Erin also happens to be on the Autism spectrum. This had an impact on her inability to accept things on faith. She needed logical consistency. But Erin still finds value in the Christian tradition. She plans to do good in the world as a chaplain. Links and recommendations Doubts and Loves by Richard Holloway https://www.amazon.com/Doubts-Loves-What-Christianity-Canons/dp/1786893924/ Autism Faith Network https://autismfaithnetwork.com Autism Pastor https://autismpastor.com/ Interact Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/erin-religious-but-not-spiritual/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Humanist Podcast https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/podcast/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Rate and Review the Graceful Atheist Podcast Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Make audio snippet quotes of the podcast Vurbl: https://vurbl.com/station/4hdO0KfiVRV/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
45:52
January 18, 2021
James: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is James. James is a former missionary to Haiti who was a part of the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions. James took his Christianity very seriously and was sensitive to God speaking in his life. Through a series of realizations and life difficulties, James began to doubt what he had been taught about God matched reality. Later, exploring psychology he realized the cognitive biases and connotative dissonance he had lived under. James describes himself as more “emotional.” His story is an important one representing the way Christianity can play on emotions and “works” until real tragedy strikes. Special thanks to Mike T. for editing this episode. Links ExChristian Recovery https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristianrecovery/ Secular Therapy Project https://www.seculartherapy.org/ Interact Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2021/01/10/james-deconversion-anonymous/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Rate and Review the Graceful Atheist Podcast Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Make audio snippet quotes of the podcast Vurbl: https://vurbl.com/station/4hdO0KfiVRV/ A secular humanist podcast: Graceful Atheist Podcast https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/podcast/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:13:51
January 11, 2021
Jon Steingard: The Wonder and the Mystery of Being
My guest this week is Jon Steingard, the lead singer and guitarist for Hawk Nelson. In late spring of 2020, Jon posted a gut-wrenching confession on Instagram that he no longer believed in God. He is one of the more prominent recent high profile deconverts. Jon risked more than most by publicly acknowledging his lack of faith as his career was tied to the Christian music world. This confession and the public discussion of his loss of faith has and will continue to have reverberations throughout the Christian community for some time. Jon has made himself widely available to honestly and vulnerably tell his story both to the Christian community and to the atheist humanist communities. It is Jon’s honest seeking after truth and his willingness to respectfully engage apologists and other prominent Christians that are having such a large impact. He has become a safe person for others in the Christian world to discuss their doubts. In my conversation with Jon, he describes a major turning point in his life when he saw poverty, starvation, and abandonment of the Batwa children and community in Uganda. This began a quite reasonable time of questioning: if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and good, why are the Batwa suffering? In January of 2021, Jon started a podcast and YouTube channel called The Wonder and Mystery of Being. Links Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jonsteingard/ Confession of his lack of belief https://www.instagram.com/p/CAbHm10lt7w/ The Wonder and The Mystery of Being podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUjFcPl10_QMxoevHL4jLXg Twitter https://twitter.com/jonsteingard Response to Brian Houston https://twitter.com/jonsteingard/status/1313552919661342725 Interact Full show notes with quotes from the episode https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2021/01/03/jon-steingard-the-wonder-and-the-mystery-of-being/ Deconversion from Christianity https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Jennifer Michael Hecht’s Doubt: A History https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/jennifer-michael-hecht-doubt-a-history/ Clergy Project https://clergyproject.org/ Make audio snippet quotes of the podcast Vurbl: https://vurbl.com/station/4hdO0KfiVRV/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:20:15
January 4, 2021
Michelle: A Loving Unequally Yoked Relationship
My guest this week is my wife, Michelle. Though I have deconverted from Christianity, Michelle is very much a dedicated Christian. We still love each other and we are making it work in an “unequally yoked” relationship. We have an honest conversation about how we got to now and how we go forward in the future. Michelle does work that is social work adjacent. She is a better practicing humanist than I am. I admire her for who she is as a person. I admire her for the work she does. And, yes, I admire her for her faith. We sit down at our kitchen table for an honesty contest. You can hear the love, but you can also hear the tension and the hurt. We discuss how we met, how we have “deconstructed” over the years, when I told her I could no longer believe, and how we are making it work “unequally yoked.” In this episode, we respond to listener questions about our loving relationship when one of us believes and the other does not. Send in your questions for a potential future episode with Michelle and me. Links Unequally Yoked verse 2 Corinthians 6:14 – 15 https://www.bible.com/bible/107/2CO.6.14-15.NET Recovery From Religion has a resource page with a section entitled: Spouses/ Partners With Mixed Belief Systems (from a secular perspective) https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/religious-resources Unequally Yoked (from the Christian perspective) https://thriveglobal.com/stories/what-does-it-mean-to-be-unequally-yoked/ Interact Chosen Family Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/11/14/chosen-family-grace/ Michelle and I discuss her listening to the Sarah: Believing Spouse of an Atheist Deconvert episode https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/sarah-believing-spouse-of-an-atheist-deconvert/ Full Show Notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/12/13/michelle-a-loving-unequally-yoked-relationship/ Rate and review the podcast Podchaser https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/graceful-atheist-podcast-1136736 Vurbl https://vurbl.com/station/4hdO0KfiVRV/ Attribution Photo Sneha ss, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Music"Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
01:12:54
December 14, 2020
Colin: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Colin. Colin absorbed his mother’s Evangelical Christianity. He has mostly good memories of the people in church. He bounced from his mother’s to his father’s families never quite fitting in. He hung on to his Christianity long after he recognized it no longer brought him “positive results” out of fear of losing everything: salvation, community, and identity. My first and only real religion is inclusion. Colin’s doubts began young with a dynamic Sunday school teacher who was not allowed to preach in church and a gay uncle he was not supposed to approve of. Colin recognized that love demands inclusion. He felt it was his moral obligation to be inclusive. In his late twenties, in therapy, he experienced true acceptance. Even while he was explaining to his therapist he was still a virgin, having been a part of the purity culture of the ’90s. Colin’s story takes a dramatic turn of self-discovery. He discovers himself and discovers his voice. He then experienced more acceptance telling his story of recovering from growing up Evangelical to non-christian audiences. Colin tells his story with rawness, honesty and a great deal of humor. Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/ Colin mentions a post I wrote on apologetcis: What If I Grant That https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/what-if-i-grant-you-that/ Colin mentions my friend Bryce interviewing me https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/bryce-harrington-interviews-the-graceful-atheist/ Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/colin-deconversion-anonymous/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:11:33
November 30, 2020
Barrett Evans: The Contemplative Skeptic
My guest this week is Barrett Evans, author of The Contemplative Skeptic. Barrett wrote the book for those who are skeptical but drawn to spirituality.  A former evangelical seminarian and ex-Roman Catholic, Barrett is an agnostic who has retained a fascination with contemplative spirituality.  Building on what he learned in his divinity, counseling, and historical studies, he draws on hundreds of religious and secular sources in an effort to combine honest doubt with the best of contemplative experience. It is proper to doubt. We discuss how honesty and humility lead to doubt. Barrett’s look at comparative religion reveals the reasons for doubt and the wisdom of a contemplative life. We ask what does it mean to be “spiritual.” The tremendous range of religious diversity is one of the greatest reasons for skepticism towards any particular religious belief. Links The Contemplative Skeptic https://www.amazon.com/Contemplative-Skeptic-Spirituality-Non-Religious-Unorthodox-ebook/dp/B085W7F7WB/ Barrett’s website https://www.americannone.com/ Honest Doubt https://www.americannone.com/post/doubt-and-the-good-life Twitter https://twitter.com/ContemplativeS4 Interact Secular Humanist Graces Thanksgiving secular grace sayings https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Steps to deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Critique of Apologetics https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/critique-of-apologetics/ Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/11/15/barrett-evans-the-contemplative-skeptic/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:26:07
November 16, 2020
Ian Mills: New Testament Review
My guest this week is Ian Mills, a PhD candidate in New Testament studies at Duke University. His dissertation is “Rewriting the Gospel: Second Century Evangelists and the Act of Gospel Writing.” His key advisor is Mark Goodacre and Bart Ehrman is on his dissertation committee. Ian is a professing Christian who confesses the resurrection of Jesus. I ask Ian to provide intellectual cover for believers. His example is one of honesty and intellectual integrity while maintaining faith. What makes him interesting is his commitment to methodological naturalism as it applies to studying the first and second century gospel writings. He explains why even as a believer this is not threatening to his faith. Ian is the co-host of the New Testament Review Podcast. He and his co-host Laura Robinson rose to internet fame (at least in secular circles) after they did an episode giving an unflattering review of Lee Strobel’s “A Case For Christ.” Ian’s approach is a breath of fresh air particularly when compared to popular apologetics. What [popular apologists] do is bad for you. And it is because it is a complete inversion of what people of integrity and what good science inquiry should be. Instead of starting with questions and data and going and looking for explanations that satisfy your questions, they start with a set of conclusions and go mining the evidence looking for that. I personally learned a lot from Ian in this conversation. He is a wealth of information and expertise on the early Church and the process of gospel writing and canonization. As I say in the interview, I felt transported back to the best of Bible college. I suspect we will be hearing from Ian for years to come. Links New Testament Review Podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-829560134 YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR8SeIgZf4x0-wUMWVvWchw Academia https://duke.academia.edu/IanMills Twitter https://twitter.com/IanNelsonMills Interact I mention Ted Chiang’s Hell is the Absence of God https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/review-hell-is-the-absence-of-god/ Critique of Apologetics https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/critique-of-apologetics/ Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/11/01/ian-mills-new-testament-review/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:24:02
November 2, 2020
Suandria Hall: My Choice My Power
My guest this week is Suandria Hall. Suandria is a trauma informed counselor specializing in faith transitions. Her practice, My Choice My Power, is online and she offers mental health counseling to residents in Colorado and life coaching sessions online, by phone, and email for anyone. Suandria tells her story of being groomed for ministry in a very Charismatic community with rigorous honesty. In her early adulthood she began to question and eventually deconverted. She had a positive experience with a therapist who “held space” for her shifting faith positions. She then went on to become a secular counselor to help others through the same process. We talk about the power of parents to influence children. And the damage that can occur when parents pass that responsibility on to an invisible god. Her approach to counseling is trauma informed and acknowledges Adverse Religious Experiences and religious trauma. She helps people going through the process of deconstruction and deconversion while being open to all faith positions. Links Suandria’s Counseling Site https://www.mychoicemypower.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/mychoicemypower Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mychoicemypowercounseling/ Interact Adverse Religious Experiences series https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/ Steps of Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Full show notes https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/suandria-hall-my-choice-my-power/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:05:40
October 19, 2020
Randal Rauser: Conversations With My Inner Atheist
My guest this week is Randal Rauser. Randal is, in his own words, “a systematic and analytic theologian of evangelical persuasion.” He is a professor of systematic theology, apologetics, and worldview at Taylor Seminary. Randal has written a number of books on apologetics and atheism. I first became aware of Randal’s work around 2017 when I read “Is The Atheist My Neighbor.” At least in the circles, I am a part of, Randal is considered to be a fair and honest apologist and is widely regarded for “steel-manning” atheist arguments before giving his arguments against them. This week we discuss his new book, “Conversations With My Inner Atheist.” In this book, Randal personifies his doubts as an interlocutor named Mia, My Inner Atheist, who presents the atheist, humanist and naturalistic arguments against his faith. Randal shows real vulnerability in several of these dialogues and often leaves the matter without a satisfactory conclusion by either party (believing Randal or non-believing, Mia). As you might imagine, I have some thoughts on these matters most of which I express in the Final Thoughts section of the podcast. We also discuss a recent back and forth between Randal and Ian Mills of the New Testament Review Podcast fame on the topic of methodological naturalism. Links Blog https://randalrauser.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/RandalRauser YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/RDRauser Books Conversations With My Inner Atheist https://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Inner-Atheist-Christian-Apologist-ebook/dp/B08G4ZWLY7/ Is The Atheist My Neighbor https://www.amazon.com/Atheist-Neighbor-Rethinking-Christian-Attitudes-ebook/dp/B0118FX8E0/ Interact My Critique of Apologetics https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/critique-of-apologetics/ Full Show Notes including links to the Randal and Ian methodological naturalism discussions https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/?p=5839 Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:17:36
October 5, 2020
Jimmy: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Jimmy. As early as the beginning of 2020 Jimmy was still in the closet trying to determine how he would come out as an atheist and humanist. By mid February he had told his family and was bracing for his church to find out. Jimmy was a serious and dedicated Christian drawn to Calvinism by family and the intellectual rigor. As the years went by and his attempts at self-betterment were not realized he began to be drawn by the pragmatism of Stoicism. He eventually realized that counseling would be beneficial, though this had so far been off the table. Through these active measures he began to see some success at self-betterment. Jimmy’s chief concern was not damaging the relationships with his believing friends and family. He was very careful to show them he loved them and had no contempt for their faith. "It is one of these things where I think, this has got to be a band-aide I am ripping off and not a cancer I am injecting into my family. And I am going to do my darnedest to make sure that this works and that they know I love them." For the full show notes including Jimmy's book recommendations and quotes from jimmy: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/jimmy-deconversion-anonymous/ Interact Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Image Attribution "memento Mori, 'To This Favour' by William Michael Harnett" by Bob Ramsak is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ Audio Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:19:25
September 21, 2020
Ray Gilford: Deconversion not so Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Ray Gilford. Ray grew up more of a cultural Christian. His family believed but did not push him. In college, without community and looking for friendship predatory evangelism took advantage of him. Ray worked hard at being a Christian but wanted something deeper. He learned Hebrew and Greek in an effort to find “True Christianity.” He remained a Christian for 32 years. Eventually, he deconverted realizing that Christianity did not live up to its promise. Ray now says he practices Pagan, metaphysics and spiritualism. Though this is a different path than most of my guests what is interesting about Ray’s metaphysics is that id does not preclude miracles and yet Ray still found Christianity wanting. Interact Deconversion Anonymous https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/ Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:12:57
September 7, 2020
Dr. Anthony Pinn: Humanism and Race
My guest this week is Dr. Anthony Pinn. Dr. Pinn is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, the Professor of Religious Studies. the Founding Director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning Rice University, and the Director of Research of the Institute for Humanist Studies. Dr. Pinn has written a number of books on the intersection of humanism and race. In this episode, we discuss his book, When Colorblindness Isn’t the Answer. I learned quite a lot from Dr. Pinn. Both about humanism and the experience of black humanists. Ultimately I was challenged to change my behavior, to “do my homework,” and to understand that it will take dismantling of white supremacy in humanist communities in order to gain the great benefits that diversity brings. "We can do better." This sort of fundamental change this movement towards diversity and equity means giving up comfort. You cannot request comfort and say you are interested in change Throughout his book(s) and in the interview Dr. Pinn calls on our humanist values to be less ignorant, to include black and other historically disparaged voices, and to develop our own vocabulary and ways of experiencing awe without calling on theistic traditions. Links Website https://www.anthonypinn.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/anthony_pinn Books https://www.anthonypinn.com/books When Colorblindness Isn’t The Answer https://www.amazon.com/When-Colorblindness-Isnt-Answer-Challenge-ebook/dp/B06XXM1MWR/ Interact Critique of Apologetics https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/critique-of-apologetics/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:16:24
August 23, 2020
Joel Furches: Why Christians Become Atheists
My guest this week is Joel Furches. Joel is a psychologist researching topics of religion. He has a BA in psychology an MA in education, and he is working on his PhD in Behavioral Analysis. He he has focused on conversions and deconversions and has written a well researched article entitled: Why Do Christians Become Atheists? A Case Study. Joel and I discuss his research and walk through his model of deconversion. We discuss the “Market place of ideas” and “The Christian Bubble.” We define the terms disaffiliation, deconstruction and deconversion. Joel’s advice for Christians who are seeing more deconversions: [What] I would say to Christians in general is that it is not their responsibility to re-covert [the deconvert]. They have not failed because this person deconverted and they will probably not succeed in re-converting them. It is to respect the person who has deconverted, respect their experience. Give them the right that any other human being would have which is to defend their views. And interact or engage in those views as important. Links Joel’s Website: https://joelfurches.com/ Switching Sides FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/416964269222311 Twitter: https://twitter.com/SidesSwitching Why Do Christians Become Atheists? A Case Study https://hubpages.com/politics/Why-do-Christians-Become-Atheists-A-Case-Study Perez, S. and Vallières, F., 2019. How Do Religious People Become Atheists? Applying a Grounded Theory Approach to Propose a Model of Deconversion.Secularism and Nonreligion http://doi.org/10.5334/snr.108 Interact Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:37:15
August 10, 2020
Leighann Lord: Very Funny Lady
My guest this week is Leighann Lord, comedian, author and podcast host. She has traveled the world doing comedy and has been on VH1, Comedy Central and HBO. She has co-hosted on Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Start Talk Radio and on CFI’s podcast, Point of Inquiry. She hosts her own podcast, People With Parents. She has written two books: Dict Jokes and Real Women Do It Standing Up. Leighann went to Catholic school growing up and is now a humanist activist. Leighann was awarded the 2019 Humanist Arts Award for her work as the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. We talk about humanism and what it can add to the conversation about race in America. Leighann handles my naivete with grace and elegance while still pointing out the world is a complicated place and racism is a persistent problem in America. "[This] is humanism. Human beings trying to be better humans. Actually doing the work." Leighann’s podcast, People With Parents, deals with the role reversal of taking care of elderly parents. It is also a raw and real look at grieving the death of parent. We discuss secular grief and the need to be more public about grief as non-believers. We geek out about comedy and how it can let truth sneak past our defense mechanisms. Leighann shares her top five comedic influences. She talks about first seeing Marsha Warfield on stage, “I didn’t know we did this. Which tells you the power of role models.” Leighann’s comedy specials which are available on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Prime have much to say about living in 2020 though they were recorded a few years ago. They cover race, religion, sexism, sex, wealth disparity, and the lack of education in the current administration. Links Website http://www.VeryFunnyLady.com Instagram https://www.instagram.com/leighannlord/ Twitter https://twitter.com/leighannlord People With Parents Podcast http://www.veryfunnylady.com/people-with-parents-podcast YouTube http://youtube.com/c/LeighannLordComedy Books http://tinyurl.com/LeighannsBooks Interact Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:02:47
July 23, 2020
Bart Campolo: Humanize Me
My guest this week is Bart Campolo. Bart is the host of the Humanize Me Podcast. He is the author of “Why I Left, Why I Stayed.” Along with his famous Evangelical father, Tony Campolo, Bart is the subject of John Wright’s documentary: Leaving my Father’s Faith. If that is not enough, Bart is also the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Cincinnati. Bart and I discuss graceful ways of talking with people with whom we disagree, having conversations that are difficult that touch on religion, race and politics and changing one’s mind. I point out that Bart has been particularly public with some of these conversations, including a book and documentary with his dad, Tony Campolo, a podcast episode with his son, Roman, where they disagree on the hope or lack thereof for our species and a recent podcast episode on race. In short, Bart wears his heart on his sleeve and lives his life out loud with humility, honesty and grace. We discuss humanism and the burden of being hopeful. Bart pushes back on my assertion that everyone needs awe, belonging and community. According to Bart different people need different amounts of each of those things. At the same time, Bart is facilitating a healthy secular community in Cincinnati providing just those things for the lucky few who attend. They put it this way: Commitment to loving relationships Making things better for other people Cultivating gratitude and wonder in life Worldview humility I normally have a few quotes from the episode, but as I was writing them down it became a transcript. Bart is eminently quotable. Listen to the show to find out. I will leave you with just one which you will need to listen to the show to understand: Show your work! Be sure to listen to the end for a funny story I tell that relates to Bart’s father, Tony Campolo, during my time at bible college. Links Website https://bartcampolo.org/ Podcast https://bartcampolo.org/humanizeme Documentary https://campolofilm.com/ Book https://bartcampolo.org/why-i-left-why-i-stayed Interact Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:00:48
July 9, 2020
Bryce Harrington interviews the Graceful Atheist
My guest this week is Bryce Harrington. Bryce and I have been colleagues off and on at a couple of different companies over the years. But most importantly he and I had a seminal discussion back in 2012 while killing time in an airport. At the time I was a dedicated Evangelical Christian and Bryce has been a life long atheist. Even though I had an ulterior motive at the time Bryce was kind, gracious and genuinely curious as he wanted to understand how and why I believed. As you will hear, ironically, my former believing self changed Bryce’s view of religious people. Fast forward to today, I told Bryce I had deconverted last year. He was shocked and amazed and wanted to understand how I had changed my mind and why I was doing the podcast. This turned out to be a really fun and interesting conversation that I am glad to be able to share with you. We did not pre-plan the questions. What you hear is Bryce’s genuine curiosity. He may have a career in podcast interviews. We also get to hear Bryce’s story. The isolation and loneliness he felt growing up the only non-believer in his community. That sense of isolation lasted for much of Bryce’s life. I think many of you who are life long atheists or who have just recently deconverted will be able to relate. Interact Hell is the Absence of God (thought experiment) https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/review-hell-is-the-absence-of-god/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:29:11
June 27, 2020
John Marriott: A Recipe For Disaster
My guest this week is John Marriott. We are talking about deconversion from the Christian perspective. John is the Director of Global Learning and teaches in the department of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Biola University. John did his PhD dissertation focused on deconversion from Christianity to atheism. He has written a book on deconversion called “A Recipe For Disaster,” which is directed to the Church on the ways they are setting up believers to lose their faith. I define [faith] as having enough reasons for a hope worth acting on. I think there enough reasons for me to act on this [faith]. I first came across John’s work in an interview he did with Randal Rauser. I was struck by the honesty and clarity that he had in describing deconversion. In particular this quote: Something similar underwrites a significant percentage of deconversions. The biblical narrative that once easily fit within their childlike understanding of reality began to get squeezed out as they matured in their understanding of reality. The stories in the Bible about miracles, witches, giants, demons, etc. began to feel as out of place as Santa. To resolve the problems they may seek answers that will allow them to continue to believe in such things as adults in the 21st century. This is the experience not just of those who deconvert but all educated, reflective Christians today. I suspect that even for those that do remain Christians, the cognitive dissonance never completely goes away, it just has been reduced to a level that allows them to continue to believe. For deconverts however, the cognitive dissonance is not sufficiently assuaged by apologetics. It grows despite their efforts and reaches a tipping point. As in the case with Santa, the only way to resolve the tension is to admit what they know is true. God does not exist. John proved to be as honest in person as he is in his writing. He met me in an honesty contest and we found points of agreement on what it is like to deconvert. Even though we disagree on the conclusions we were able to have a vital conversation. Links Website https://www.johnmarriott.org/ A Recipe For Disaster book https://www.johnmarriott.org/a-recipe-for-disaster Randal Rauser interview https://www.christianpost.com/voice/the-problem-of-christians-becoming-atheists.html Interact Deconversion and How to Deconvert https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/ https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:21:21
June 11, 2020
Richard Swan: London City Voices
My guest this week is Richard Swan. Richard grew up Catholic, became an Anglican and then moved on to Pentecostalism. He was a worship leader and an active member of the Christian music scene including touring as Graham Kendrick‘s choir director. He began to notice that regardless of his person life the people responded in worship under his leadership. This began his questioning which eventually led to his deconversion. Post-deconversion, Richard is now the director of London City Voices, a non-religious community choir. Richard has figured out how to use his passion for music to build a secular community. In our conversation, we talk about the power of music to bring people together, how it can be manipulated and what it takes to be a community builder. Links Website https://www.londoncityvoices.co.uk/ YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCE7166Y1HBO7_lh7_yjE4g Twitter https://twitter.com/LondonCityVoice Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/412432238841455/ Interact Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:08:30
May 28, 2020
Amy Logan: Exmormonology
This week’s guest is Amy Logan. Amy is the podcast host of Exmormonology. She is a certified life coach who helps people through exiting Mormonism, deconstructing and thriving in a post-faith life. Amy was the perfect Mormon girl. She did everything right. She attended BYU. She was married in the Temple. When she discovered a book covering the full history of Mormonism she began to have doubts. Until she had what she describes as the “moment,” sitting in her car crying her eyes out with the realization that she could no longer call herself a Mormon. If the church is true, it has nothing to fear, and I get to figure this out. It was at that moment I gave myself permission. She continued on for a while trying to maintain some semblance of belief. She tried to “hang on to Jesus.” But eventually that crumbled too. Today, Amy helps those who have also left the Mormon church live full and healthy lives. Exmormonology is not just for those who have left Mormonism, it is for anyone who has gone through a faith transition. I knew life is never going to be the same. But I didn’t know that it could be better at that point. Links Amy’s website: https://amyloganlife.com/ Exmormonology podcast: https://amyloganlife.com/category/podcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyloganlife Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyloganlife/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWLNS7aHLgQ6UaiJVX8yrDw Truman Show: ending clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn5kuDdeGzs Interact Deconversion How To: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution “Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:15:35
May 14, 2020
Dr. Clint Heacock: Reconstruction after deconstruction
My guest this week is Dr. Clint Heacock. Clint is the host of the Mindshift Podcast that focuses on reconstruction after deconstruction. Clint grew up in the Church of Christ with parents who followed the Bill Gothard method of child rearing. Clint now describes this as cultic practices. What I need to do is discover the authentic Christianity … and then I wasn’t able to do it. After pursuing a PhD in Theology in the U.K. while teaching Clint began to recolonize the disparity between what he believed and what he was teaching. The problems with the bible became too much. At the time Clint was hosting a podcast called “Preacher’s Forum.” The content had become too radical for its audience. He then changed the podcast into Mindshift and as his listeners have told him, he began deconstructing in public. Only when you physically remove yourself and psychologically remove yourself, that’s when you start to think critically. Clint has has had a focus on cult studies, Christian Dominionism and Christian reconstruction where politics and religion meet. He has had various experts in these fields on his podcast. Best advice: Get yourself educated Most important Clint has a heart for people. Just because we no longer are religious does not mean we lose our sense of pastoral care. Links Mindshift Podcast http://mindshiftpodcast.co.uk/ Blog https://medium.com/@clintheacock https://medium.com/@clintheacock/leaving-christianity-is-a-lot-harder-than-it-looks-8930f532e41e Interact Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:13:48
April 30, 2020
David Johnson: Skeptics and Seekers
My guest this week is David Johnson, the co-host and creator of the Skeptics and Seekers podcast and blog. David is a former Church of Christ member and a pastor’s kid. He was baptized at 7, leading the church in song at 7, preaching at 12, the youth leader at 15 and assistant minister at 21. His deconversion process began as he examined the Church of Christ’s doctrine against musical accompaniment in worship. He says “the little things, were the big things.” And if the little things were wrong, what else might be wrong? You know, I think we might be wrong about that [instrumental accompaniment]. And that was hard for me. It was hard in a way that I am not going to be able to express. For me, if we were wrong about musical instruments, we were wrong about everything. Deconversion was “like death” for David. Today David uses an unabashed polemic approach to counter-apologetics to reveal the problems with Christianity and faith in general. You can find him on his Skeptics and Seekers podcast and on his appearances on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? podcast. You can read the book he co-authored in response to Justin Brierley: Still Unbelievable! Links Skeptics and Seekers blog https://skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com/ Skeptics and Seekers podcast https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers Still Unbelievable! the book https://reasonpress.net/SU1E David Johnson’s appearances on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? podcast https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Is-the-resurrection-unbelievable-Jonathan-McLatchie-vs-David-Johnson https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Can-Justin-defend-his-own-book-feat.-David-Johnson-Andrew-Knight-Randal-Rauser My recent appearance on Skeptics and Seekers https://skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com/blog/x-tians-part-one-what-christians-who-stay-need-to-know-about-the-christians-who-dont Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:13:27
April 16, 2020
Sarah: Deconversion Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Sarah. Sarah is a co-author of the book “Still Unbelievable!” She is a regular poster on the Unbelievable? discussion boards. Sarah has a unique blend of down to earth perspective and an intellectual rigor. Sarah grew up a Christian. She was a part of the Shepherding Movement which is now considered a cult. She has moved from the Anglican church, to (British) Baptist, and then to Charismatic Vineyard churches. Until she began to research her own faith. What she found was an utter lack of evidence and a confusing morass of conflicting information. She describes her search for validation as “going forensic” as she studied apologetics, philosophy, cosmology and evolution. Ultimately, she could not keep god on “life support” and she is now an agnostic. Links Reason Press and the Still Unbelievable! book https://reasonpress.net/ “Sophie’s” Story https://reasonpress.net/SU1E/Sophie1 https://reasonpress.net/SU1E/Sophie2 Skeptics and Seekers https://skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com/blog/x-tians-part-one-what-christians-who-stay-need-to-know-about-the-christians-who-dont Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? podcast https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Support the podcast here. Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:08:25
April 2, 2020
Sam: When Belief Dies
My guest this week is Sam, the blogger behind When Belief Dies. Sam is also starting an upcoming podcast of the same name. Which will include his friend Dave who remains a believer with questions. They will tackle the difficult questions about Christianity with mutual respect and curiosity. Sam was a very dedicated to Christ and to his church. He was in the process of becoming an elder when depression and doubt led to deconversion. Sam tried to appease his doubt with apologetics to no avail. Now Sam uses his insights post-deconversion to help others who are doubting and in the process of deconverting. Links Blog https://whenbeliefdies.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/WhenBeliefDies Facebook https://www.facebook.com/whenbeliefdiesblog/ Interact My guest appearance on the Skeptics and Seekers podcast https://skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com/blog/x-tians-part-one-what-christians-who-stay-need-to-know-about-the-christians-who-dont Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:11:34
March 19, 2020
Stephen Barry: Deconversion not so Anonymous
This week’s show is a Deconversion (not so) Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Stephen Barry. Stephen was a Seventh Day Adventist who deconverted while attending college studying theology. When he was exposed to other ideas and other people even within his own faith tradition, this small amount of scrutiny led to deconversion. After losing the community of the black church, Stephen has found secular community. Though he notes we have a long way to go to be more inclusive of people of color in the secular community. Stephen is a musician and a music critic. He blogs about this love of music with great insight on Tublr. We discuss explicitly spiritual music and how we interpret it post-deconversion. Stephen’s break down of the H.E.R. song, “Lord is Coming.” https://barryorchestra.tumblr.com/post/190207895358/barryorchestra-presents-top-50-of-2019-26 Links Twitter https://twitter.com/barryorchestra Facebook https://www.facebook.com/barryorchestra Blog https://barryorchestra.tumblr.com/ Music https://barryorchestra.bandcamp.com/ Interact Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Deconversion Anonymous episodes: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:00:28
March 4, 2020
Jessica Hagy: The Humanist Devotional
My guest this week is Jessica Hagy. Jessica is the artistic and comedic genius behind the blog, Indexed. She has recently written a book titled, The Humanist Devotional. Jessica is an artist, an author, a comedian, and a marketing and social media guru. Get as humble as you can. Jessica grew up secular and calls herself a humanist. It is not that she rejected the bible, but rather that there was so much more for her to learn. In the episode she uses the analogy of a library card as granting access to the world’s knowledge. Access that she took advantage of. Small talk can get big fast. We walk through her 10 steps on how to be an interesting person and re-imagine them as how to find meaning and purpose as a humanist. Do something! Links Blog https://thisisindexed.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/jessicahagy Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hagy/ 10 Steps on how to be interesting https://inkandescentwomen.com/the-women/author-jessica-hagy/ The Humanist Devotional https://www.amazon.com/Humanists-Devotional-Meditations-Worlds-Greatest-ebook/dp/B07YCT8NNY/ How To Be Interesting https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Interesting-Simple-Steps-ebook/dp/B00ANSW8MW/ Interact Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Why I am a humanist https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/why-i-am-a-humanist/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:02:34
February 20, 2020
Sasha Sagan: For Small Creatures Such As We
My guest this week is Sasha Sagan. Sasha has written a beautiful book called For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals For Finding Meaning In Our Unlikely World. The book title comes from a quote in the book Contact: For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love. Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan from Contact Sasha and the book she has written embodies Secular Grace and carries on the graceful life philosophies of her parents. Sasha has a galaxy spanning perspective on life that only the child of physicist can have. Sasha has an infectious joy about life. Listening to her or reading her work it is hard not to share in this joy. In her book, Sasha argues that we as human beings need ritual in our lives to mark the passage of time, to celebrate the momentous moments in our lives and to mourn the loss of loved ones. We discuss secular grief in the face of the loss of her father, Carl Sagan, when she was 14 years old. Sasha shares the wise parting words he had for her and the ongoing impact he has had on her and the world. Links Website https://www.sashasagan.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/SashaSagan Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sashasagan/ For Small Creature Such As We https://www.amazon.com/Small-Creatures-Such-We-Unlikely-ebook/dp/B07N5JQXFK/ Interact Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
58:28
February 6, 2020
Joel Berry: The Petty Prophet
My guest this week is Joel Berry, the podcast host of the Petty Prophet Podcast. Both his blog of the same name and the podcast are from the Christian believer and politically conservative perspectives. Joel is very much a believer. He had listened to the Graceful Atheist Podcast and was curious enough to initiate a conversation. [Due to fundamentalism] I think that I was teetering, when I was 19, …, and I was deciding which direction to go with my life, teetering in my faith a little bit, and I joined the military, became a Marine Corps infantry man. Within a year I was in Fallujah. [I was] a sheltered kid, [a] home schooled fundamentalist. I am taken out of the [United] States, out of my Christian bubble, and I spent a year in Iraq. … I had a little Bible in my flak jacket that I read when I could. Joel meets me in an honesty contest in which we both push each other but also take the time to listen to one another. I think it makes for a compelling conversation. What compels me about Christianity? I think the first thing was that, and this is experiential … , I was taken out of a Christian world … and I open my Bible and I read the words of Jesus in the Gospel and the words of Jesus really drew me in, there was something about that man that seemed other worldly and amazing to me. Joel experienced a deconstruction from a fundamentalist form of Christianity. He left the IFB. He left a fundamentalist Calvinist theology. But he maintains in his words “a childlike faith.” [I got into] aplogetics, the reasons to believe, the reasons for my faith, but all that stuff it’s all arguments, none of it is completely conclusive, and there is still an element of childlike faith involved. This is a 20 Questions with a Believer episode. Joel and I take turns asking each other questions and then crucially allowing the other person to answer. Links Joel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoelWBerry The Petty Prophet Blog: https://thepettyprophet.com/ The Petty Prophet Podcast https://thepettyprophet.com/homepage/petty-prophet-podcast/ Interact In the final thoughts section I make reference to this tweet: https://twitter.com/GracefulAtheist/status/1218199410682691594 Joel brings up several episodes he has listened to. Here are links to those episodes: Laura Anderson: Adverse Religious Experiences: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/laura-anderson-religious-abuse-and-religious-trauma/ Matthew Taylor: Confessions of a Young Earth Creationist: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/matthew-taylor-confessions-of-a-young-earth-creationist/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:38:39
January 23, 2020
Marie D'Elephant: Everyone's Autonomous
And what else would you want from life except to connect with other people … and to talk about things that matter and ask the big questions? My guest this week is Marie D’Elephant the host of the Everyone’s Autonomous podcast. Marie has a powerful and unique voice in the secular community. She is passionate about her own autonomy and the autonomy of others. What is next? Since none of that is real, what is going on and how do I want to live? Her new podcast jumps off where Everyone’s Agnostic leaves off. What to do now after a faith transition. The podcast “hosts conversations about reclaiming our autonomy and advocating for the autonomy of others through the lens of recovering from religion.” OK, I’ve been heard, I understood what happened, how do I resolve this, how do I move forward? We discuss existential dread, the fear of aging and facing death. Marie talks about her work on Everyone’s Agnostic and taking on managing Dave Warnock‘s Dying Out Loud tour. Mostly we talk about autonomy and how you can discover yours. I love this autonomy and this is the life that I want to live! Links Everyone’s Autonomous Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/everyones-autonomous/id1485253552?mt=2&app=podcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_autonomous Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/everyonesautonomous/ Interact Dave Warnock Episode: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/dave-warnock-dying-out-loud/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:07:39
January 9, 2020
Sarah: Believing Spouse of an Atheist Deconvert
What happens when you are married to a person based on your mutual faith and one of you deconverts? My guest this week is Sarah who is a believer married to a former Christian and now atheist deconvert. Sarah describes herself as “born again.” She is a dedicated Christian who is very active in her church preaching and teaching. Her integrity, honesty, and heart for people come through with shining colors in this interview. After many years of marriage that was predicated at least in part on their shared faith, her husband informed her he had deconverted and was no longer a Christian. He goes on to blogging and podcasting about his atheism while she continues to teach and preach at her church. As you might imagine, this was and is a difficult process of transition for both Sarah and her husband. This decision that you made on your own affects us; it affects both of us. The core of our relationship was centered around church and being Christians. We talk about the complexity of being Unequally Yolked. She describes what it felt like when she learned her husband no longer believed. How do they discuss the Bible together? How do they handle their daughter and the Alpha Course? We explore ways to make a marriage work when one spouse believes and the other does not. This has been a major theme of Secular Grace: that relationships are valuable and worth keeping even when we disagree on faith. And it is our job to love our friends and family through our deconversion process. This is a 20 Questions with a Believer episode (formerly known as A Believer Interviews the Graceful Atheist). Sarah and I take turns asking each other questions and then crucially allowing the other person to answer. Links Recovery From Religion has a resource page with a section entitled: Spouses/ Partners With Mixed Belief Systems (from a secular perspective) https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/religious-resources Unequally Yolked (from the Christian perspective) https://thriveglobal.com/stories/what-does-it-mean-to-be-unequally-yoked/ Interact If you are a believer and would like to have a 20 questions honesty contest with me on the podcast, get in contact: gracefulatheist@gmail.com Secular Grace https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/ Steps of Deconversion: Telling your family and friends https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/#in-and-out-of-the-closet Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:16:47
December 12, 2019
Janice Selbie: Divorcing Religion
My guest this week is Janice Selbie. Janice is a Registered Professional Counselor (RPC) in Canada helping people through religious trauma syndrome. Janice is the director of the Conference on Religious Trauma. Janice’s personal story of fundamentalism, tragedy and eventual freedom is inspiringly and honestly told on the episode. Was it possible that everything I had believed had been wrong? CORT2020 is sponsored by the Secular Therapy Project (a division of Recovering from Religion) and by Journey Free, which is Dr. Marlene Winell’s organization. Use the discount code GA036  for $60 off a standard ticket. Janice also provides a workshop called “Divorcing Religion” using the analogy of divorce to help people out of fundamentalist religion. It might take a tragedy (or more than one) to shake you lose from your cognitive dissonance. This episode is another in the series of mental health professionals who specialize in religious trauma, religious abuse and the emerging term Adverse Religious Experiences. Links Conference on Religious Trauma https://cort2020.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wise_Counsellor https://twitter.com/divorcereligion Secular Therapy Project https://www.seculartherapy.org/ Journey Free https://journeyfree.org/ Interact Series on Adverse Religious Experiences https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/ Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
59:16
November 27, 2019
Brian Peck: Room To Thrive
My guest today is Brian Peck. He is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who specializes in religious-based trauma in his private practice and who helps guide individuals through their deconversions with evidence-based practices online. His practice is called Room to thrive and Brian describes it as “secular therapy for human well being.” It is trauma-informed therapy and coaching. Brian has had a huge impact on me and my thinking. It was a great pleasure to get to pick his brain. You can hear me learning in real-time during our discussion. If you have survived trauma (of any sort), your nervous system did exactly what it needed to do to survive. This episode is another in an ongoing series of mental health professionals who specialize in religious trauma, religious abuse and the emerging term Adverse Religious Experiences. We humans need community to survive. Links Room To Thrive https://www.roomtothrive.com/ Twitter https://twitter.com/RoomToThrive Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RoomToThrive/ Viral "Trauma is not your fault (period)" post https://www.facebook.com/RoomToThrive/posts/2496151297329417 How and Why We Believe https://lifeaftergod.org/059-how-and-why-we-believe-part-1/ Interact I quote Brian in my article on the Steps of Deconversion https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Adverse Religious Experiences series: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/adverse-religious-experiences/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:15:07
November 14, 2019
Laura Anderson: Religious Abuse and Religious Trauma
My guest is Laura Anderson. We discuss religious abuse, religious trauma and the difference between them. Abuse is the thing that happened to you. Trauma is the experience that your body or nervous system has as a response to the thing that happened to you. Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Tennessee, a Professor of Psychology and an Approved Supervisor through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and is in the final stages of completing my completing her Ph.D. in Mind-BodyMedicine at Saybrook University. Laura specializes in complex trauma, religious trauma, religious abuse, and purity culture. Laura has developed a manual for mental health professionals on Adverse Religious Experiences and Religious Trauma which is available on her website. This is a resource for both mental health professionals and those who have experienced adverse religious experiences themselves. Use the discount code: RELIGIOUSTRAUMA15 for $15 off the price of the manual. Links Website: https://www.lauraandersontherapy.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ms_elleanderson Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ms_elleanderson/ Interact On the show, I mention my writing on the steps of deconversion and “doubling down” that can be found here: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:13:57
October 31, 2019
Captain Cassidy: Roll To Disbelieve
My guest today is Captain Cassidy. Cassidy blogs at Roll To Disbelieve on patheos.com. Her focus is on deconversion, counter-apologetics and generally describing the mind-warping nature of religion. Cassidy has an array of metaphors and analogies in her writing that make a vivid picture of what it is like to believe and then not to. Cassidy's "Extimony": She is a former Catholic, was briefly a baptist and then stayed a Pentecostal for a time. Until she realized the context of her faith mattered. While at a prayer group set in a normal university room “out of the context” of a church she realized it was all an act. She now describes herself as “a humanist, a skeptic, a freethinker and a passionate student of science, mythology, and history.” Join her “Commentariat,” a thriving community of commentators on her blog at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/. Links Blog: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/ The Handbook for the Recently Deconverted https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/the-handbook/ The Unequally Yoked Club https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/the-uyc/ Newbie Guide https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/series-list-and-newbie-guide/ Pool of Faith https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2018/02/18/why-i-rejected-christianity-then-and-now/ Conservation of worship https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2016/06/03/christians-and-the-law-of-conservation-of-worship/ Doctrinal Yardstick https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2019/03/04/the-doctrinal-yardstick-illustrates-a-serious-problem-with-christianity-lsp-81/ Atrocity Apologetics https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2013/12/09/the-christians-guide-to-ex-christians-atrocity-apologetics/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/casmadeherroll Cat Photos! https://www.instagram.com/rolltodisbelieve/ Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:23:42
October 17, 2019
Bret Gallatin: Humanist Activist
My guest today is Bret Gallatin. Bret is a secular humanist activist. He is about to launch a new podcast covering secular matters and politics. What you believe affects everybody, it doesn’t just affect you. Bret is a pastor’s kid. More than that he is a member of a multi-generational Evangelical family. He was expected to go into the family business. He was on track to do so, going to bible college and working at the church’s radio station ministry. The easiest place to hide being gay is in the purity culture. Until questions about his faith and honesty about his sexuality led to his deconversion. On the path of grace, he began to question if his interpretation of the bible was correct. His coming out to his father who was also his pastor was a defining moment for Bret. https://twitter.com/BretG/status/1158427818130366464 At the end of the day, how do you know you are right? How do you know your brand of Christianity is right? Links Twitter: https://twitter.com/bretg Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radbret/ Recovery From Religion: https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:00:28
October 5, 2019
Fred: Deconversion Anonymous
Today's show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest today is Fred. Fred is a relatively new deconvert who is not entirely out as a non-believer. He has told his son, but no other family members including his wife. Fred grew up Catholic then his family discovered charismatic Catholicism. He has moved through various charismatic protestant churches during his adult life. He still participates in church with his family. Fred grew up in the '80s and lived through the Satanic panic, D&D panic and the Evangelical fear of Rock and Roll. While studying anti-cult apologetics against Mormonism and Scientology, Fred experienced the outsider test for faith. He began to question his faith which did not stand up to scrutiny. "Anyone who wants you to think that you can stand on the strength of your faith and get what you want is placing a burden on you because so many times what you really wish for will not come true and you will blame yourself." Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Deconversion Anonymous episodes: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/ Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:08:10
September 19, 2019
Brady Hardin: The Life After
My guest today is Brady Hardin. Brady is the co-host and creator of the Life After Podcast. Brady’s story of deconstruction is a painful one. He dedicated his life to ministry at 14. He discovered he was gay, was honest about it and committed to never acting on it. He got married to a woman. He was doing everything “right” everything that was expected of him. My biggest “sin” was to believe that the Holy Spirit actually changes people from the inside out and makes them more like God. Then he got divorced (you have to listen to understand why), was kicked out of ministry, lost his best friend and had his son taken away. He described himself as “God’s only forgotten son.” This was where his deconstruction started. Why am I the only one trying to do the Holy Spirit’s work for the Holy Spirit? He needs to do something. The ball is in his court. Today Brady is an openly gay man, a humanist and a deconstruction super star. You can find him on the Life After podcast, on Twitter and Facebook helping others through the deconstruction and deconversion process. Brady is dedicated to raising awareness of Spiritual Abuse, Religious Trauma, and Indoctrination. I can gaslight myself to be even more indoctrinated or I can take a second, get my head above water and realize: my logic has been drowning this whole time because I have been putting conclusions before evidence and trying to shove these narratives into real life instead of observing what is actually there and working off of that. In the episode, Brady breaks down how narratives affect our lives. The Evangelical narrative is restrictive and repressive. But we can choose our narratives: a narrative of freedom, self-expression and inspiration. [Narratives are] what we are using now, with honesty, as atheists and with responsibility to tell our own stories. Links Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradyHardin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeafterorg/ Community group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelifeafter/ The Life After Podcast https://www.thelifeafter.org/ Interact Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:24:35
September 5, 2019
Karen: Deconversion Therapy
My guest today is Karen, the co-host and creator of the Deconversion Therapy Podcast. Karen is a comedian, a writer, and now a podcast host. She grew up attending Evangelical schools from grade school to Bible college. Everyone is good at something. I was good at being a Christian. Karen was so dedicated to Christianity she became a missionary with YWAM. After attending DTS, she and her husband moved to Thailand. With hindsight what I got called to was adventure, meaning, purpose, travel and helping people. Honest laughter from the Thai women she was working with shook Karen up enough to recognize maybe they were fine without her Western Jesus after all. Later after reading Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, Karen further deconstructed when she discovered the premise of her missionary work, Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” was not in the original manuscripts. Karen’s best advice to Christians: Don’t research. It is bad for your faith. Along, with her co-host Bonnie, Karen uses humor, sarcasm, self-deprecation and occasional snark to eviscerate the silliness of Evangelicalism. Their podcast is Deconversion Therapy. We can laugh at this stuff. We are OK. You can laugh at this. You are going to be OK. Links Website: https://deconversiontherapypodcast.com/ Deconversion Therapy Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/deconversiontherapy Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deconversiontherapy/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Deconversion-Therapy-Podcast-378017629443177/ Facebook Community Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/302187740481879/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/The_DeConverted Book Recommendation Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SEGJF8 Interact Deconversion How To Deconvert In 10ish Easy Steps Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution “Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
01:11:30
August 22, 2019
Dave Warnock: Dying Out Loud
My guest today is Dave Warnock. Dave was an Evangelical christian for almost 40 years. Many of those years were spent in ministry in one form or another. Dave decoverted around seven years ago. His deconstruction and deconversion cost him close family relationships. But he has found love, affection and support in the non-believing community. In early 2019 Dave was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which is terminal. Rather than be overcome with grief, Dave began to talk honestly about dying as an atheist and living your best moments while you can. This became what is now known as “Dying Out Loud”. Dave is on a “world” podcast tour spreading his message of secular strength and hope even in the face of dire circumstances. Quotes: “Dying out loud is really living out loud.” In regards to the fear of punishment and hell: “It ain’t real let it go.” “Its gonna be OK, listener, it is gonna be OK.” “We don’t remember days we remember moments” “Life is a collection of moments” “Wait, goddammit, wait. This is a moment. Don’t miss it.” “Carpe the fucking diem!” “I am more interested in the quality of my life than the quantity of my days.” “The human connection is beautiful to me. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful that is” Links: Dave on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveWarnock.DyingOutLoud/ Dave’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dyingoutloud Dave’s Dying Out Loud at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYLQu5A4h5Q Clergy Project: http://clergyproject.org/ Interact Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
55:49
August 8, 2019
Alice Greczyn: Dare to Doubt
My guest today is Alice Greczyn. Alice runs the Dare to Doubt website dedicated to millennials who are detaching from harmful belief systems. Alice tells her story growing up with purity culture, Christian Courtship and Alice's nearly arranged marriage. She describes being an atheist while surrounded by LA spirituality. She tells the story of cult-like acting classes. As a Christian she felt she had to fake spiritual experiences because others around her seemed to be having them but she never seemed to hear from god. Her honesty stopped her from claiming spiritual experiences she knew were not real. While watching the Jesus camp documentary, she asked herself, "how many of them are faking it?" Alice recognized that other spiritual paths still required faith. She could not accept them because she could no longer lie to herself. She had grown to recognize when she was trying to lie to herself to "make things real." "I became not so great at lying to myself, I recognized when I was trying to make something real." Dare to Doubt walks the tricky line to be welcoming to atheist and those just beginning to dip a toe outside of the belief waters. "I built the site that I wanted and that I needed that I wished I could have found when I was deconverting" Alice is interested in studying why there are not more out women atheists and what causes non-believing women to hesitate to identify as atheists. "1% of women identify as atheist, I need to come out of the closet." Alice recommends the Secular Therapy Project to find a therapist who will not push spirituality on you while you recover from your religious trauma. "I feel so much more love and so much more peace as an atheist than I ever felt as a Christian." Links: Alice's Social Media: https://twitter.com/alicefood https://www.instagram.com/alicegreczyn/ Dare to Doubt: https://www.daretodoubt.org/ https://twitter.com/daretodoubt https://www.instagram.com/DaretoDoubt/ Recovering From Religion https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Secular Therapy Project https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/the-secular-therapy Alice's Book Recommendation: Dr. Marlene Winell Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Fold-Former-Fundamentalists-Religion/dp/1933993235/ Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:29:13
July 25, 2019
John Lopilato: Counter Apologist
My guest today is the Counter Apologist AKA John Lopilato. John is active on Twitter as @CounterApologis. He has a YouTube channel called Counter Apologist. He is also one of the new co-hosts of the RealAtheology podcast. John has taught himself philosophy, apologetics and counter apologetics. In fact, he learned apologetics in a desperate attempt to keep his faith. Ultimately, he found the apologetics wanting. He became the Counter Apologist because he wanted there to be sophisticated answers to apologetic arguments that could not be easily dismissed. John can be found online interacting with apologists and discussing the relative merits and flaws of apologetic arguments. I appreciate John's approach. He is often more than fair to his interlocutors. In my conversation with him, he is very kind to my naive questioning. We discuss a wide range of topics including: debate culture, the burden of proof, lacktheism, the rationality of faith, values vs facts and how difficult it is to make a compelling argument when the two sides may have differing values and presuppositions. "I threw myself into apologetics to try and salvage my faith." Links: John's Blog: http://counterapologist.blogspot.com/ John on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CounterApologis John on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CounterApologist RealAtheology Podcast https://twitter.com/RealAtheology/ https://www.facebook.com/RealAtheology/ For further study: Kalam Cosmological Argument: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument Falsifiability: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability A and B Theory of Time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_series_and_B_series Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:27:05
July 12, 2019
Andrew Knight: Still Unbelievable
My guest today is Andrew Knight. Andrew is the host of the Still Unbelievable podcast and co-host of the Ask an Atheist Anything podcast. He is a contributing author to the book Still Unbelievable. Andrew has been a Recovering From Religion peer support agent helping others through their questioning. He promotes the message: "Let's talk about human problems from a human perspective. Human problems have human solutions." Andrew states flatly the faith tradition he was raised in, Church of Christ, is a cult. After attending bible college and working for an apologetics publishing company he began to be disillusioned with apologetics. He came to recognize the foundational claims of Christianity were not true. Andrew takes it a step further, even if the miracles of the bible were true this would not be proof of the core claims of Christianity: an infinite, all knowing, all powerful god. My conversation with Andrew is wide ranging as we cover his deconversion story and the work he now does. He talks about his disfellowship from the Church of Christ. He describes the difficulty in telling a friend who turned out to be going through the same deconversion process. We talk about deconverts being the most dangerous counter-apologetic of all. "Truth is a process of successive approximations" "Changing the notion of truth to something that can be investigated and that we can get better at." Note: Both the Still Unbelievable book and podcast are responses to Justin Brierley's Unbelievable podcast and book. Justin's podcast brings atheists and theists together for debate. Justin is considered an honest moderator. His book's subtitle is Why After Ten Years of Talking with Atheists, I'm Still a Christian. Matthew's and his colleagues' responses take aim at those reasons. Links: Reason Press: https://reasonpress.net/ "Still Unbelievalbe" the book: https://reasonpress.net/SU1E Podcasts: Still Unbelievable https://anchor.fm/still-unbelievable Ask An Atheist Anything https://anchor.fm/reasonpress Recovering From Religion https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:17:22
June 27, 2019
Matthew Taylor: Confessions of a Young Earth Creationist
My guest today is Matthew Taylor. Matthew is the host of the Ask an Atheist Anything podcast and the co-host of the Still Unbelievable podcast. He is the primary editor and contributing author of the book Still Unbelievable. His blog is entitled Confessions of a Young Earth Creationist. Matthew's deconversion story includes growing up in the mission fields in Zambia, a young Earth creationist education, the divorce of his parents and dramatic spiritual experiences. Friends began to challenge his rejection of evolution and podcasts began to give him natural explanations for his spiritual experiences. He began to be disappointed in the apologetic arguments as compared to scientific explanations. Deconversion was challenging and Matthew took a long time to tell his wife of his loss of faith. Matthew wants to help others through the deconversion process. He recognizes that it is a lonely process and that what we need most is another human being who has been through it too. "Suddenly I realized I could no longer be a Christian. The suddenly doesn't describe my journey, the suddenly describes my awareness." "If I am there when you deconvert, my response is not 'hallelujah,' my response is 'how are you? Do you need a hug? Do you need a friend?'" Note: Both the Still Unbelievable book and podcast are responses to Justin Brierley's Unbelievable podcast and book. Justin's podcast brings atheists and theists together for debate. Justin is considered an honest moderator. His book's subtitle is Why After Ten Years of Talking with Atheists, I'm Still a Christian. Matthew's and his colleagues' responses take aim at those reasons. Links: Matthew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vteclimey Confessions of a YEC blog: https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/ "God takes the good people early" post: https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/god-takes-the-good-people-early/ Reason Press: https://reasonpress.net/ "Still Unbelievable" the book: https://reasonpress.net/SU1E Podcasts: Still Unbelievable https://anchor.fm/still-unbelievable Ask An Atheist Anything https://anchor.fm/reasonpress Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:24:56
June 20, 2019
Erik Carlson: Deconversion (Not So) Anonymous
My guest today is Erik Carlson. Erik is a secular humanist and an atheist. His background in the sciences and biology led him to question his young Earth creationist and Calvinist faith tradition. Discovering his sexuality led him to question the morality of his John Piper inspired Christianity. All of which culminated in deconversion. Erik's humanism is evident in his focus on loving people over ideology. He is hopeful for his generation's ability to make positive change in the world from the secular, scientific and political perspectives. And he has good advice for those in the process of coming out: "Protect yourself, do it in your own timing." Erik's book recommendation: Velvet Rage by Alan Downs https://www.amazon.com/Velvet-Rage-Overcoming-Growing-Straight/dp/1611746450 Help for coming out: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/ https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Just for fun: Erik mentions Lady Gaga's song Born This Way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw I mention Sam Smith's Lay Me Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaMq2nn5ac0 Interact: Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Deconversion Anonymous episodes: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/ Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:06:47
June 13, 2019
Lisa: Secular Sobriety
Lisa: Secular Sobriety My guest today is Lisa. Lisa runs a YouTube channel where she shares from her life experience, recovery from substance abuse and humanistic values. Shortly after getting into recovery, Lisa also deconverted. We discuss what it was like to go through recovery and deconversion almost simultaneously. Lisa shares about secular alternatives to the 12 steps like SOS and SMART Recovery. We try to draw out the secular humanistic values that are embedded in the 12 steps while jettisoning the religious ones. In the final thoughts section at the end of the podcast, I share my personal story of being a family member in a drug and alcohol addicted family and how the 12 steps influenced both my Christianity and now my Secular Humanism. Links: Lisa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HPNCAnonymous https://twitter.com/ionamoxie Youtube: How not to be an a**hole https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWEmS-qN-qkKgu3ifxzm7VA Video on Honesty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXynA-IAPeI Video on Secular perspective on 12 steps as they apply to life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmPdMDccMHw Secular Alternatives to 12 Steps: Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) http://www.sossobriety.org/ SMART Recovery https://www.smartrecovery.org/ Interact: Leave a voice mail https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:12:05
June 6, 2019
Tom: Hiding In Plain Sight
My guest today is the producer and subject of the podcast, Hiding in Plain Sight. Tom is a non-believer living in the UK. He decided to explore the hidden things that surround him that he has so far left unexplored. He takes on the task of a search for meaning within the Christian framework. The Hiding In Plain Sight podcast is very well produced, it has its own original music and it takes an honest and sincere look at Christianity in its first series. Ultimately, the podcast is about the search for meaning and the examination of one's life. Tom does this with humility and sincerity. It is a riveting story that you must hear. Tom's reason for doing the podcast: "For most of my adult life, I have spent a few hours a day on one of London's busy commuter trains. It has given me time to think. I have often stared out of the window and felt like I was missing something, some meaning. This podcast is a search for that meaning and in each series, we will explore something new, I will try on new ways of living and thinking like a new pair of shoes, and let you know how it feels, the comfortable and uncomfortable parts." Links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tomhipspodcast Hiding In Plain Sight https://hipspodcast.com/ Original Music: https://hipspodcast.com/the-soundtrack/ Recommendations: Henri Nouwen's Return of the Prodigal Son: https://www.amazon.com/Return-Prodigal-Son-Story-Homecoming/dp/0385473079/ Les Miserables in the US on PBS: https://www.pbs.org/show/les-miserables/episodes/season/2019/ Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:35:19
May 30, 2019
Sassy Atheist: Deconversion Anonymous
Today's show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. Sassy Atheist is on the show. Sassy has a YouTube channel where she honestly describes her deconversion and her earnest desire to help others through the process. Hear her heart breaking story of a broken relationship with a loved one because of her deconversion. Sassy's search for truth included Episcopalianism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism and eventually atheism. She also was on a search for community which she is now finding in the atheist community. Sassy exemplifies the themes of the podcast: deconversion, Secular Grace and self honesty.  [To god] "Just do something to tell me that you are here and that you know that I am in pain." -- Sassy Atheist Links: Get in touch with Sassy Atheist: Twitter: https://twitter.com/SassyAtheist19 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf7XYBo2Lp54h4VU_lcfZXg Deconversion Anonymous episodes: https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/ Send in a voice message to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
01:06:22
May 23, 2019
Jennifer Michael Hecht: Doubt A History
My guest today is Jennifer Michael Hecht. Jennifer is a poet, an author, an award winning academic and an intellectual historian. She has written numerous books from a secular perspective. I asked Jennifer to come on the show to discuss her book Doubt: A History and its profound effect on me post-deconversion. She is one of my intellectual heroes. It is hard to express how much this book has influenced other secular writers and thinkers. This book has strongly influenced my other two favorite books Greg Epstein's Good Without God and Katherine Ozment's Grace Without God. Both of which quote Doubt throughout. Jennifer proved to be as profound a thinker as her reputation makes her out to be. It was my privilege to attempt to keep up with her in this interview. I am indebted to Jennifer for coining the term "graceful life philosophy." My concept of Secular Grace is an attempt to live a graceful life philosophy.  "Great believers and great doubters seem like opposites, but they are more similar to each other than to the mass of relatively disinterested or acquiescent men and women. This is because they are both awake to the fact that we live between two divergent realities: On one side, there is a world in our heads— and in our lives, so long as we are not contradicted by death and disaster— and that is a world of reason and plans, love, and purpose. On the other side, there is the world beyond our human life—an equally real world in which there is no sign of caring or value, planning or judgment, love, or joy. We live in a meaning-rupture because we are human and the universe is not." -- Jennifer Michael Hecht Links: Jennifer Michael Hecht's website: http://www.jennifermichaelhecht.com/ Books: Doubt: A History https://www.amazon.com/Doubt-Doubters-Innovation-Jefferson-Dickinson/dp/0060097957/ The Happiness Myth https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Myth-Expose-Jennifer-Hecht-ebook/dp/B000PDZFTS/ Stay: A history of suicide and the philosophies against it https://www.amazon.com/Stay-History-Suicide-Philosophies-Against/dp/0300186088/ Review: My review of Doubt: A History https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/review-doubt-a-history/ Recommendation: My story on the Deconversion Therapy Podcast https://deconversiontherapypodcast.com/2019/05/09/15-remembering-the-humor-of-rachel-held-evans/ Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-