A Famous Pastor’s Son Becomes an Atheist and Explains the Power of Community

Bart Campolo grew up the son of a famous Christian pastor but, like Rachael Slick and many others, he turned out to be an atheist. In fact, he’s now the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California, a position that took some people by surprise.

When he told his father he didn’t believe in God anymore, the reaction also came as a bit of a shock:

Following the family dinner, Bart sat his parents down and explained that he was now an agnostic humanist. His father’s response was surprising.

“You know me. I am not afraid you’re going to hell because the God I believe in doesn’t send people to hell for eternity for having the wrong theology,” Tony responded, according to Bart. “I’m sad because Christianity is my tribe, and I liked having you in my tribe.”

At the Secular Student Alliance 2014 conference in Columbus, Ohio, Campolo shared his story and explained the power of building community:



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After Three Decades as an Ordained Minister, Syndicated Columnist Bob Ripley Comes Out as an Atheist

Rev. Bob Ripley was a minister for more than three decades, including 15 years spent as Senior Minister at Metropolitan United Church, a major Canadian congregation. He also wrote a syndicated column discussing religion for the past 25 years.

His most recent column, however, may raise a lot of eyebrows, because Ripley talks about how he no longer believes in God.

It’s a prelude to his forthcoming book Life Beyond Belief (not yet available online for some reason) explaining his deconversion:



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Becoming an Atheist Has Health Benefits

We’ve all heard the studies that show religion is good for your health.

Among other things, church-goers have less stress, are less likely to smoke or drink, have more self-esteem, and have stronger social support. The problem with these results is that it’s not necessarily church itself (or belief in the supernatural) that’s the key — it’s just being part of a tight-knit community. An atheist group that meets regularly, in other words, may provide many of the same benefits.

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Atheism: Just a Phase?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses the problem with saying atheism is “just a phase”:



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Former NFL Punter Chris Kluwe and Congressman Barney Frank Among Those Coming Out as “Openly Secular” in New Campaign

Earlier this year, a coalition of four secular organizations banded together to highlight and hopefully prevent cases of anti-atheist discrimination.

They called it Openly Secular:

Today, that campaign is getting a major boost with the launch of dozens of videos of secular activists talking about why they’re open about their (non-)beliefs. Two of those videos, featuring former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and former Congressman Barney Frank:

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