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…]

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…]

Are We All Born Atheists?

During an interview last night for an upcoming documentary on atheism in America, I was asked to tell the story of my deconversion. I get that question a lot, so I’m pretty accustomed to explaining how I got here. Only this time there was a bit of a polemical twist to the wording of the [Read More…]

Why the Gospel Doesn’t Work on Deconverts

People like me are like flies in the ointment of evangelical theology. We did all the things they told us to do, we gave our hearts and our lives entirely over to Jesus, yet in the end we still found their belief system lacking. It’s not supposed to happen that way. Evangelists and defenders of [Read More…]

Five Times When Jesus Sounded Like a Humanist

I’ve said before that I’m not much of a fan of Jesus. If the reports of what he taught his followers have any truth to them, he said a number of things to which I object (and I don’t mean just the parts about believing in invisible spirits). The Jesus I Don’t Like For one thing, [Read More…]

When Neither Atheists Nor Christians Offer You a Safe Space

Despite what many atheists would say, a lot of problems within Christian and other religious groups are mirrored in atheist groups. Both groups claim to be open minded, but there’s a reluctance to explore certain kinds of ideas within each camp. When exploring your beliefs while in a Christian group, they are certain that the [Read More…]

Genesis Three and the Dangers of Thinking Too Much

I really meant it last week when I said that going quickly through the first three chapters of Genesis is like sprinting through a museum. We could spend hours in front of each passage, picking apart all the influences and nuances of meaning, the historical settings and the authorial intent(s). I suppose we could also create [Read More…]

When Your Christian Friends Give You Reconversion Homework

I have several well-meaning believers in my life. These people, for good or for ill, often come to me with requests: “Will you come to church with me?” “Will you read the book of John for me?” “Will you listen to this song for me?” So far, I’ve only said no to one of these [Read More…]

How Important Is the Pursuit of Happiness?

A friend who is similarly “post-Christian” wrote me this week to ask me what place happiness plays in my life now that I’m past my “spiritual” days. I haven’t actually addressed that before in this space, so I figured I should share that response here so that others could respond and add to it. I [Read More…]

The Predatory Side of Religion

Those of us who used to be devout face a tricky challenge when we go through trying times. There used to be easier ways for us to share our pains and losses with others and receive support. Church has its drawbacks, to be sure, but after we leave it behind we find we are giving up a source of community [Read More…]