This Atheist Ex-Pastor has More Questions and Insights than Guilt

Editor’s Note: This writer is an example of someone who left his pastorate while still in the doubting stage (that is, the stage that’s supposed to return to faith but didn’t in the case of the 800 members of The Clergy Project – and countless lay people – who no longer believe in the supernatural.) [Read More…]

Seminary Professor Handles the Guilt of Non-Belief

Editor’s Note: Unlike those who have responded so far to the “guilt” questions, this Clergy Project member was a seminary professor, not a pastor. It hasn’t been easy since he left his faculty position, but he feels sure he’s done the right thing by being open about his change in beliefs. Confiding in an understanding [Read More…]

Categorically Shedding Decades of Clergy Guilt

Editor’s Note: I first met this poster as “Adam Mann” in 2009 when I interviewed him for the Dennett-LaScola Study pilot study of non-believing clergy. He was closeted then and so fearful of being exposed that we met in a town 30 miles from his home. To say he’s changed is an understatement, as you [Read More…]

The Curious Guilt of a Formerly Fundamentalist, now Progressive Pastor

Editor’s Note: The following responses to my “Guilt” questions come from the somewhat unique perspective of a very fundamentalist pastor who switched to being a pastor in one of the most liberal Protestant denominations – the United Church of Christ (UCC), sometimes jokingly referred to as “Unitarians Considering Christ.”  He’s happy and fulfilled there and [Read More…]

Scenes from “Caught in the Pulpit”, Play-in-Development

I’m excited to tell you about a recent program “Caught in the Pulpit: Exploring 
the Journey from Religion to Reason” presented by the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). My colleague Dan Dennett participated in it, along with his colleague, Michael Gazzaniga and Marin Gazzaniga, the playwright. The program was moderated by SFI president, David Krakaur and [Read More…]

Feeling Lots of Guilt; Moving On

Editor’s Note: I met “Stan” a couple of years ago shortly after he joined The Clergy Project. He was angst ridden and feeling desperate about his situation. Well, it hasn’t been easy, but since then, he’s made many changes and things are definitely looking up for him. Still, he carries a lot of guilt about [Read More…]

Guilt #2 – Deep Regret for Teaching Heaven’s Eternal Reward

Editor’s Note: Continuing the “clergy guilt” theme, we take a look at how guilt at becoming a non-believer played out for a missionary who was far, far from home. ==================== By John Lombard What are some of the things you regret, if any, about staying a member of the clergy after you no longer believed? [Read More…]

Feelings of Guilt among Non-believing Clergy – Part One

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on non-believing clergy guilt, inspired by a question put to blog contributor Bruce Gerenscer who had listed the many Christian organizations he had formed during his years as a fundamentalist minister. The commenter “PoFarmer” said: “Don’t really know how to politely ask but… Do you ever feel [Read More…]

Gerencser – Dear Dax, Words Have Meanings

Editor’s Note: Here’s a chance to vicariously enjoy the schooling an evangelical pastor-turned-atheist gives to practicing pastor he has clearly has minimal respect for. This is an excerpt from a lengthy blog post (reposted with permission) in which the pastor is thoroughly chastised for his portrayal of people who have not accepted Christ. ===================== By [Read More…]


Editor’s Note: This was originally written this past February and unfortunately it’s just as timely several months later. I guess I vainly hoped that things would have improved by now, but I’m afraid they’ve gotten worse. Still, as our naturalized American writer says, we should keep on fighting. This post, which has been lightly edited, [Read More…]