After I Deconverted: I Was Deeply Ambivalent; What Was I to Make of Sex, Love, Alcohol, Bisexuality, Abortion, 9/11, Religious Violence, Marxism, or the Yankees?

This is a long installment of my ongoing series covering my journey before, during, and after my deconversion from Christianity. Since I think it is interesting how all the ambivalences, contradictions, anxieties, and displacements that I was experiencing parallel and inform each other, I am deciding to post it all as one episode in the series, rather than break each easily isolatable vignette into its own post. For the busy or the short attention spanned, I have made it easier to read in multiple sittings or to skim by breaking it into subsections according to themes. [Read more…]

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I Debate My Friend, an Openly Gay Benedictine Monk, about the Catholic Church and its Views on Gays

Bede Hazlet, an openly gay Benedictine monk, and I vigorously debate the moral and intellectual value of Roman Catholic authoritarianism and the Church’s views on gays. We also talk about Bede’s struggles with depression, the monastic life of celibacy, and whether celibacy infantilizing priests contributed to the child rape scandals in the Catholic church. [Read more…]

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How I Deconverted: My Closeted Gay Best Friend Became A Nihilist and Turned Suicidal

The most decisive chapter in my process of deconversion explained. [Read more…]

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How I Deconverted: My Closest and Seemingly “Holiest” Friend Came Out As Gay

As a 20 year old conservative Evangelical at one of America’s most conservative Evangelical colleges, I was stunned when my best and most seemingly “holy” friend came out as gay. [Read more…]

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Sally Field on Her Gay Son Sam

Sally Field received the Ally for Equality Award at the 2012 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, DC. Her speech is very good. It starts at 1:23 and the highlight is 6:50-7:10. [Read more…]

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“Find Your Understanding”

In this heartwarming video, a man overcomes his qualms in order to appreciate and celebrate his daughter’s happiness in marrying another woman. [Read more…]

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Marginalized Groups, Civility, Privilege, and What Replaces Religion: An Interview with James Croft

I just finished having a great conversation with James Croft of the blog Temple of the Future for this week’s episode of The Camels With Hammers Show. There is a special announcement related to James’s blog at the end of the interview. We had some technical difficulties so the interview took the form of two parts.

In the first video we talked primarily about my stance in favor of civility. I have in recent months controversially argued that members of marginalized groups shouldn’t embrace using abusive language as a routine method of fighting oppression. I decided to run these views by James, who is himself gay and a vigorous activist for both atheist and gay causes.

In the second video, James answers my questions about whether people with social privilege can ever learn enough about out-group experiences in order to offer critical suggestions to members of marginalized groups or whether an epistemic privilege stemming from marginalization can be absolute. Then the rest of the video is spent discussing questions about controversies in the atheist community related to how to relate to religious people and how atheists can go about meeting people’s needs that most people presently turn to religion for–without turning atheism into a religion itself.

Click on the title of this post to see the videos! [Read more…]

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James Croft on Humanist Values, Opposing Religion, and Supporting Gay Marriage as Sacred

James Croft will be on the Camels With Hammers Show on Sunday morning at 10am EST. In this post, I put up two excellent speeches he gave this year. In one he explains how Humanists historically have, and in the future can, play a special role as moral reformers. In another he attempts to give a morally and politically influential speech–and succeeds. Along with the videos, I quote an illuminating section of an interview I conducted with him last summer. [Read more…]

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Chances to Learn Empathy–or Bigotry

What could inspire church kids to try to bully a man in a wheelchair? [Read more…]

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