Our Biggest Mistake: We Did As We Were Told

Those of us who broke up with Jesus (he wouldn’t return our calls) are accustomed to having our motives and our sincerity questioned by those still happy with their faith. We get it all the time. We hear that we weren’t authentic enough, or we weren’t fully surrendered to the will of God, or we had some [Read More…]

Note From a Pastor: Finding Meaning in Our Myths

This past weekend I got an email from a Presbyterian pastor (PCUSA) asking some really good questions, and I’d like to share them with you here in abbreviated form (with permission, of course). I think they’re good appetizers for a better-than-usual discussion about how faith and religion function in the world, and about the consequences [Read More…]

Can You Choose NOT to Believe?

I try not to get sucked into too many arguments about religion in my friends’ social media spaces because I never know how personally their friends and relatives will take the discussion. Arguing in the comment section of a blog or on Reddit is one thing, but when you’re on people’s Facebook walls you may be crossing [Read More…]

Losing Your Religion and Finding Yourself Again

I’m gonna level with you. I’ve been struggling lately. Most days I do my best to look at the big picture, to take the high road, and to find the longest view of religion I can manage despite the baggage I’ve accumulated from my years within the walls of the church (plus the years that [Read More…]

Is It Loving to Warn People About Hell?

Fritz is an odd fellow. Patriotism runs deep in his family but he takes it to the next level, enjoining his children to faithfully recite the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem once a day every day of their lives. Loyalty to the United States of America is extremely important to him, and [Read More…]

Faith and the Power of a Magic Feather

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13 Growing up evangelical, no message featured more prominently in my understanding of the Christian life than this verse. After John 3:16, this verse tops just about everybody’s list of favorite Bible passages, rivaled only by the verse in Jeremiah that says “I know the [Read More…]

Camp Quest Is Coming to Mississippi!

If you know anything about camps in the region of the country where I live, you know that they’re almost uniformly religious in nature. Even the ones which conceal their religious affiliations tend to recruit from among the devout from whichever tradition the directors inhabit…which is fine, if that’s what you’re looking for. But what [Read More…]

I Drew the Line at Canaan

I quit attending church nearly six years ago, at which point I had already been an atheist for two. And let me tell you, it’s not easy attending church as an atheist, much less teaching Sunday School as one (interesting story I’ll tell you about another time). Today I’d like to tell you about the last [Read More…]

Making Your Faith Impossible to Disprove

A few days ago I reshared an article entitled “Why I Broke Up with Jesus” which always inspires a predictable set of rationalizations from people defending their tradition using the same time-tested tools I learned to use when I was a Christian. I’m always glad they do it, too, because it brings into such stark relief [Read More…]

How Do You Measure the Worth of a Man?

How do you measure the worth of a man? I know you’re supposed to say that all human life is valuable, and I’m not disputing that. Human life, indeed all life from where I sit, is inherently valuable because life is fleeting and therefore precious. In fact, life itself is a “natural miracle” in the [Read More…]