The Graceful Atheist Podcast

Matt Cook: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous

An episode of The Graceful Atheist Podcast

By Graceful Atheist
My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist.
Join me as I interview people who have experienced faith transitions from doubt, to deconstruction, to deconversion.
We will talk about Secular Grace and Humanism. We will explore how to thrive as a human being on the other side of faith.
And finally, we will grapple with the big questions even when easy answers are not forthcoming.
More places to listen

More places to listen

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/
1:23:41
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/
1:00:28
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/
1:08:09
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/
1:24:35
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
1:11:30
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/
1:29:12
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/
1:27:04
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/
1:17:21
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/
1:24:55
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/
1:06:46
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/
1:12:05
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/
1:35:19
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/
1:06:21
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-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
1:23:10
May 16, 2019
Kathleen B. Shannon: Religious Trauma
We throw around the term religious trauma but what exactly does the term actually mean? On today's show, my guest is Kathleen B. Shannon. Kathleen is a physiotherapist. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington state and a Listened Professional Counselor in North Carolina. I asked Kathleen to be on the show to talk about religious trauma from an expert's perspective. What does psychology have to say on the subject and what does she sees in her practice? We discuss Kathleen's experience in bible college, religious trauma, outrage exhaustion and what Kathleen calls equanimity. Kathleen's advice for those deconstructing: "Find a space that is safe to ask the questions, preferably one where they will not give you the answers." -- Kathleen B. Shannon Links: Connect with Kathleen B. Shannon: http://kbshannon.com/ http://spiritualtraumarecovery.com/ https://www.facebook.com/spiritualtraumarecovery/ Shout outs: I want to give Mandy Nicole (@ThatMandyNicole) credit for coining the term "Prayer Reflex." Mandy coined the term after the recording of the show but it eloquently describes a feeling I was attempting to articulate in the episode. https://twitter.com/ThatMandyNicole/status/1123629084733349888 Ryan Bell (@ryanjbell) for pointing me to the A Great Big World's song, "Say Something," as perfectly describing the deconversion experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2U0Ivkn2Ds RHE: The intro points out that we recorded the conversation with today's guest, Kathleen B. Shannon, before the passing of Rachel Held Evans on May 4th, 2019. The absence of mention of Rachel and her work would have felt awkward. So, I make a few statements about Rachel's impact on the world of progressive Christianity and I read a statement from Kathleen about Rachel's impact on her. Rachel Held Evans' family's Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-rachel-held-evans
1:10:07
May 9, 2019
Kimberly Stover: Losing Religion Recovery
On today's episode my guest is Kimberly Stover. Kimberly works in the space of losing religion recovery. She describes this process as as having three phases: Reflect, Recover then Rise. Kimberly and I discuss religious trauma syndrome, the #EmptyThePews movement, how narcissism relates to Evangelicalism and rising up out of recovery. On Kimberly's site she has resources for those in the process of losing their religion. If you are in the process of losing your religion, you don't have to do it alone. Reach out to Kimberly and the resources she has available. Links: kimberlystover.com facebook.com/realkimberlystover twitter.com/realkimstover instagram.com/kimberly_stover_writer Kimberly's book recommendation: Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion by Dr. Marlene Winell https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933993235/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1933993235&linkCode=as2&tag=kimberlystove-20&linkId=a6f03da1054ca490dcb844408377e3e0 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/
1:15:12
May 2, 2019
Amanda Holloway: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous
Today's show is a Deconversion (not so) Anonymous episode.  In these episodes, people like you who have gone through a faith transition can tell your story either anonymously or in all your glory. It is your choice. If you would like to tell your faith transition story anonymously or otherwise get in touch with me at gracefulatheist@gmail.com or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter. On today's episode, Amanda Holloway is on the show. Amanda is months into her deconversion. Things began to unravel watching the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh hearings. This brought up her #MeToo past and she bravely reached out for help in a time of crisis. Ultimately this process led to her deconversion. She tells her story with exceptional honesty and forthrightness. She describes finally being accepted for who she is and continues to discover things about herself without the constraints of Christianity.  This episode deals with serious adult topics including sexual abuse, childhood neglect and thoughts of suicide. Please plan accordingly. Links: Get in touch with Amanda: https://twitter.com/shesamandamanda Amanda's Blog: http://www.amandamanda.blog/ Resources: If you need help, reach out. 1-800-273-8255 http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Recovering From Religion https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ Deconversion: How To https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Shout outs for those working in the Deconversion space: Steve Hilliker and Voices of Deconversion Podcast http://voicesofdeconversion.com/ @ExodusDoc https://exodusdoc.com/ 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/
53:53
April 25, 2019
Andrew McLeod The Practice Of Insight Meditation
Have you noticed on this side of faith, you cannot escape references to meditation? I have to admit I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to mediation. So I decided to have my friend and colleague, Andrew McLeod, on the podcast to help me understand what the practice of insight meditation is all about. Andrew has been practicing meditation for 20 years, he has been on multiple silent retreats and he has had the unfortunate task of trying to teach me meditation. Andrew makes compelling arguments for the usefulness of mediation. It helps one become more accepting of oneself and not mired by emotional reactions. It encourages one to live in the moment. It helps jump start loving kindness for others. Links: Get in touch with Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcleodent Learn more about insight meditation: Insight meditation society: https://www.dharma.org Jack Kornfield: https://jackkornfield.com Sharon Salzburg: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com 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/
1:38:31
April 18, 2019
Jim Palmer on Humanism
On today's episode I am finally getting the opportunity to discuss the topic I am most interested in: Humanism or what I call Secular Grace. It is ultimately about answering the question, "how do we live life well post deconversion?" Rather than looking backwards, it is looking forward to learning to thrive as a human being. My guest today is Jim Palmer. Jim is an ordained minister, receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Divinity School in Chicago. After serving several years as the Senior Pastor of a non-denominational church, Jim left professional ministerial life on a quest for more authentic spirituality and has authored five books about his journey. In addition to writing, speaking and his spiritual direction practice, Jim is an adjunct professor in the areas of Ethics and Comparative Religion. He is the Co-Founder of the Nashville Humanist Association and is a certified Humanist Chaplain with the American Humanist Association.  Links: Jim's Website http://www.jimpalmerauthor.com/ Jim's Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Palmer/e/B001JSBR04 Jim's Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/jimpalmercommunity/ Jim's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimpalmerauthor Jim's Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jimpalmer_12/ Jim's Twitter  https://twitter.com/jimpalmer Jim's Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862801.Jim_Palmer Human beings having a human experience quote: https://twitter.com/jimpalmer/status/1109421270444240897 Clergy Project http://clergyproject.org/ The Humanist Society https://www.thehumanistsociety.org/ "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
1:22:47
April 11, 2019
Matt Cook: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous
Today's show is a Deconversion (not so) Anonymous episode. In these episodes, people who have gone through deconversion or faith transitions tell their stories anonymously or otherwise. On today's episode, my guest is Matt Cook from Toronto Canada. Matt was a former evangelical missionary to Pakistan and a preacher who lost his faith about six years ago. Matt is not your typical deconvert. He calls himself religious but not spiritual. Several years after deconversion, Matt chose to live a year "Christianly." During that year he prayed, he read the bible daily, he went to church and practiced other spiritual disciplines. Although, it did not change his mind he has found continued value in these disciplines and practices some of them to this day.  You can learn more about Matt and his year of living Christianly at his blog mwcook.com, on his YouTube channel and @matt_the_cook on Twitter. In the show we discuss the possibility of becoming a humanist chaplain (or celebrant or officiant), if you are interested in exploring that role or if you are looking for a humanist celebrant to officiate a wedding, dedication or funeral find the humanist organization for your country. In the US, it is the American Humanist Society. In Canada, it is Humanist Canada. Wikipedia lists more organizations. "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
1:17:07
April 4, 2019
Reverend David Hellsten Interviews the Graceful Atheist
This is the first "A Believer Interviews the Graceful Atheist" episode.  In these episodes, I will have believers on who I have grown to trust interview me. Rather than try to argue with them I’ll see if I can get them to understand why I no longer believe. The idea is to reverse the roles and have the believer in the skeptics seat asking the questions. As deconverts, we may find ourselves in the odd position of defending our former faith when believers want to suggest that we must never have been a "True Christian" or that our faith must not have been real. This episode was prompted by a discussion on Twitter on this topic and the genuine and open response from David Hellsten. In this episode, Reverend David Hellsten, a Baptist pastor from Milford on Sea in the UK, will be in the skeptics seat asking the questions. The Twitter conversation that prompted the show. In the show I mention the Clergy Project, which is a great resource for current and former religious professions who find themselves no longer believing. You can find them at: http://clergyproject.org/ "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
1:29:59
March 28, 2019
Susan: Deconversion Anonymous
This is the first of the Deconversion Anonymous episodes. In these episodes, people who have gone through deconversion or faith transitions tell their stories. On this episode, Susan from Scotland tells us how she grew up Presbyterian but began to ask hard questions at a very early age. She felt empathy for those who were different from herself and recognized a lack of empathy in the church leaders. Ultimately, she deconverted in her twenties and now lives with intellectual honesty, empathy and compassion on the other side of faith. If you want to tell your story about your faith transition, get in touch with me at gracefulatheist@gmail.com or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter. "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
46:13
March 21, 2019
Welcome to the Graceful Atheist Podcast
Welcome to the Graceful Atheist Podcast My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist. I am a humanist. And I believe that human connection is the most profound experience one can have. It is this human connection that will be the focus of the podcast. There are three main themes that I want to explore: Faith Transitions, Secular Grace and Self Honesty. Faith Transitions The first theme is faith transitions from doubt to deconstruction to deconversion. If you are anything like me, the process of deconversion feels lonely and one of the first things you want to do is tell your story. But who are you going to tell? It is possible that your friends and family are still believers and they will be unlikely to appreciate your story. Even the non-believers in your life may be non-pulsed if they have never gone through a deconversion experience. Telling your story is a cathartic part of the deconversion process. If you want to tell your story for the podcast, you can remain anonymous, use a pseudonym, or if you are out as a non-believer, you can tell the world. The message of the podcast is that if you are going through a faith transition, you are not alone. Secular Grace The second major theme is Secular Grace. Secular Grace is a proactive acceptance, love and caring for our fellow human beings person to person. Think of it as humanism plus. Where humanism has tended to focus on the rational for ethics and human rights, Secular Grace focuses on human connection, belonging, awe and love. Rather than be defined by what I don't believe. I want to be defined by what I do believe. I believe in people. Self Honesty The final theme, self honesty, will be an aspirational goal and the ethos of the podcast. One of the plans I am most excited about for the podcast is a role reversal interview called “A Believer Interviews the Graceful Atheist.” In these episodes, I will have friends of mine who are believers who I trust interview me. I’ll allow them to ask the hard questions and rather than try to argue with them I’ll see if I can get them to understand why I no longer believe. If, and only if, they are interested they can come back for a second episode where I will ask them some tough questions about their faith. Join me Please join me on this journey. If you want to tell your story about your faith transition, get in touch with me at gracefulatheist@gmail.com or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter. Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
11:47
March 14, 2019
Make your own podcast for free with Anchor!