I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

This is a guest post by John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister.

“How can you call yourself a Christian, let alone a minister?!”

I get asked that question frequently and the questioner is hostile more often than not. Still, I like to answer it if I believe the questioner is sincere.

Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.

For example, I believe that:

  • religion is a human construct
  • the symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
  • Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
  • God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
  • The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
  • Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife

In short, I regard the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.

And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian.

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Arabic Billboard Goes Up in Memphis to Promote Atheist Conference

American Atheists has its annual convention this Easter weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. They’ve already purchased a couple of billboards to advertise the gathering, leading to controversy after the initial billboards were rejected for including the words “Easter” and “church.”

But their latest billboard, aimed at ex-Muslims (who can read Arabic), should receive a whole different kind of reaction:



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Rick Santorum Wants the Bible Back in Public Schools (Not That Anyone Removed It in the First Place)

Over the weekend, ever-hopeful presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a conservative audience at Liberty Counsel’s The Awakening conference that the Supreme Court could be ignored; if they wanted Bibles in public schools, dammit, they could have them!



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A Free Online Course About Religious Conflicts

This sounds neat: The University of Groningen (in the Netherlands) is going to run a free online course called “Religion and Conflict“:



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 46: Nancy French, Best-selling Author and Ghostwriter for Bristol & Sarah Palin

Our latest podcast guest is Nancy French, a four-time New York Times best-selling author who has written books with Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, The Bachelor star Sean Lowe, and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

We spoke with Nancy about whether liberals misunderstand Sarah Palin, why she came to support Mitt Romney (who doesn’t share her faith), and how all of her collaborations have the same starting point.

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