An Ex-Muslim and Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Discuss Their Journeys Out of Faith

It’s always fun to see some of your favorite internet personalities come together, and these are two people I have enormous respect for.

Imtiaz Shams is an ex-Muslim whose videos helping people leave the faith have been posted on this site before. And Lloyd Evans is the Jehovah’s Witness watchdog who is a wonderful thorn in the side of the Watchtower Society.

They recently met in London to talk about their own journeys out of religion and the concept of shunning.

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An Atheist Planted a Seed of Doubt in His Mind in 2014; Now, a Christian Explains Why He Deconverted

Anthony Magnabosco, someone familiar to regular readers, is a “street epistemologist.” He’s like a preacher you might run across on your college campus, except he’s not trying to convert you. He just wants to ask you questions about religion and get you to think. He then posts videos of these interactions on YouTube and they’re fascinating to watch, in part because he deconstructs what went right and wrong each time.

In September of 2014, on the campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Anthony ran into a guy named Ryan. He was a strong Christian who claimed to believe in God 100%. “No doubt,” he said.

A funny thing happened recently; Ryan got in touch with Anthony to tell him he had become an atheist. Anthony, in true form, picked up his camera and asked Ryan to walk through the video of their initial encounter and explain what changed in his mind since then. It’s a fascinating conversation:

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Podcast Ep. 106: Jeremy Runnells, Ex-Mormon and Author of the CES Letter

Our latest podcast guest is Jeremy Runnells, author of the infamous CES Letter which debunks the lies of the Mormon Church.

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Jeremy was raised in the Church of Latter Day Saints as a 6th generation Mormon. He went on his two year mission. He graduated from BYU. He was an Eagle Scout. But in 2012, he began doubting some of his beliefs. He was asked by a Church Educational System (or CES) director to share his concerns. Jeremy did that in what became known as the Letter to a CES Director, or the CES letter. It is a damning document that exposes so many holes in the Mormon faith and it quickly went viral online, giving a lot of people reason to leave the Church themselves. And then, earlier this year, wouldn’t you know it, Church officials began a process to kick him out. Before they could excommunicate him for good in April, Jeremy announced he was resigning from the Mormon Church himself. He wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of kicking him out.

We spoke with Jeremy about what led him to start doubting his faith, how the “Mormon moment” from a few years ago has come to an end, and why he left the Church before it could get rid of him.

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Ex-Mormon Explains What She Learned by Leaving the Church: “I Discovered I Had Wings”

Julienna Viegas-Haws was raised in the Mormon faith and graduated from BYU, but she eventually left the religion. Now, in a piece for the Salt Lake Tribune, she writes about what she learned by leaving the Church.

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“Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick Comes Out as Openly Secular

When I think of bluegrass music and banjos, the New Atheists don’t exactly come to mind. But musician Pete Wernick, known as “Dr. Banjo,” just made a video for the Openly Secular campaign in which he talks about how he stopped believing in an “invisible father figure” when he was a teenager:

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