Clergy Project Founders – Together at Last at FFRF Conference

I have exciting news for anyone who knows about The Clergy Project or who has followed it since its inception in 2011. This October, at the annual Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) Convention in Pittsburgh, four of its founders will be meeting together in person for the first time.  They are Dan Barker, co-president of FFRF, [Read More…]

Nastiness Dressed Up As Patriotism

Editor’s Note: I was thinking that as a Canadian, our current writer is somewhat removed from the current political chaos in the US and Britain. However, as she points out in prose and poetry, we’re really all in this together. ======================== By Catherine Dunphy I hate adages, but still, you can’t escape the feeling that [Read More…]

Donald Trump’s “Good News” for Atheists

Editor’s Note: When frequent contributor “RJ Twain” asked me what I’d like him to write about next, I said, “How about something on Donald Trump.” After all, he’s the man of the hour (and hopefully for not too much longer than that). RJ tried, but soon confessed, “I’m having a hard time writing anything about [Read More…]

The “Devil of the Gaps” Lives – And He Speaks Latin!

On July 1st, The Washington Post, published an article by Richard Gallagher titled, “As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession.” As if that were not provocative enough, it had the subtitle, “How a scientist learned to work with exorcists.” Naturally, I couldn’t resist reading it and I bet a [Read More…]

Eraser In Someone Else’s Hand

Editor’s Note: In the final essay of the “Eraser” series, we are asked to think about forgiveness as an innate human need.  There is no biblical reference here. ====================== By Bob Ripley I depend on the forgiveness of other people to keep from drowning in guilt.  I let people down. We all need to experience [Read More…]


Editor’s Note: Part II of the “Eraser” series explores the idea of wiping ourselves clean of pain and resentment. It’s terribly timely in light of the recent police shootings (by and of the police) in Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas. ================== By Bob Ripley Christian writer C. S. Lewis said that forgiveness is a beautiful [Read More…]

The Big Eraser

Editor’s Note: Have you ever wished you could just get an eraser and rub out the latest dumb thing you did? In this three-part “secular sermon” series, former pastor Bob Ripley explores the concept – with some biblical verses and allusions thrown in. They do come in handy. ===================== By Bob Ripley The city where [Read More…]

Celebrating Independence – Religious Leaders Freed From Belief

There is more than one kind of Independence. As I look back over the last few years, I think of all the clergy I met in the course of the Dennett-LaScola study and through the Clergy Project (TCP) and how so many of them have broken free from their religious constraints since I met them. [Read More…]

How Many Pastors Have Been Forced to Marry Same-Sex Couples?

Editor’s Note: Here is a well-documented, scathing and even humorous look at certain Christians’ attempts to demonize the liberal turn that US laws have taken. Reprinted with permission from the blog “The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser.” ========================= By Bruce Genecser A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, invalidating federal and state [Read More…]

Believe It Or Not – Noah’s Ark Not Suitable for Children

Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new “Believe It Or Not” series, written by Clergy Project member Bob Ripley. (Get it?) It is occasional commentary on the strange notions of religion and religious culture as viewed by a pastor turned atheist.  This is a piece on Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, which is opening soon in Williamstown, [Read More…]