My Family After Losing My Faith

Editor’s Note: This is Matthew’s second Rational Doubt post since he recently joined The Clergy Project. The first time, he discussed his experiences giving up fundamentalism. This time, he approaches an aspect of leaving religion that is a huge issue among fundamentalists, clergy or not. As you will see, being clergy – especially one with [Read More…]

No Clergy Guilt for Naturalist/Secular Chaplain

Editor’s Note: With input from 12 current or former non-believing clergy, we’ve discussed guilt from the perspective of various types of fundamentalists, liberal Christians, a seminary professor and Orthodox and secular Rabbis. We’ve seen how clergy suffer, handle and assuage guilt and how some of them have left guilt behind. In the final essay of [Read More…]

The End of Jewish Guilt

Editor’s Note: The third and last Rabbi featured in the series on non-believing clergy guilt doesn’t feel any guilt! How did he manage to avoid it? By becoming a Rabbi at a humanistic Jewish congregation, a subject he wrote about earlier here. While he didn’t respond to my series of questions, he did respond with [Read More…]

Non-Belief Begets Humanistic Approach

Editor’s Note: The second Rabbi in the “Jewish guilt” series, Shlomo Levin, served for 15 years as an Orthodox Rabbi, before leaving 3 years ago to make a new career for himself, which he wrote about here. Although there are many differences between him and “Sherm,” the first Orthodox Rabbi, who has no intention of [Read More…]

Tradition and Responsibility Outweigh Jewish Guilt

Editor’s Note: Now on to Jewish guilt – or to be more precise, responses to the non-believing clergy “guilt” question from three of The Clergy Project’s 14 Jewish members, who have written for the Rational Doubt blog before. As I pondered about the best order in which to present these essays, it seemed logical to [Read More…]

Happy 3rd and FOURTH of JULY

Let’s take a break from the guilt of non-believing clergy to celebrate the 241st anniversary of the founding of the United States of America. We’re not perfect, but we have much to be proud of: Freedom of religion The peaceful transition of power Freeing of the slaves Public education for all Women’s suffrage Saving the [Read More…]

Complicated Seventh-day Adventist Guilt Story

Editor’s Note: In the non-believing clergy study that Dan Dennett and I conducted, I interviewed “Michael” because we wanted to include a Seventh-day Adventist. They live in a very tight community, which we thought would involve unique and possibly dire consequences if a member of their clergy stopped believing in God. We were right. ======================= [Read More…]

Quick but not Painless Way to Dodge Clergy Guilt

Editor’s Note: Like recent poster Bob Ripley, this former minister managed to avoid guilt by leaving the clergy before he stopped believing in God. Ending his 30-year career wasn’t his idea, though, and he wasn’t even having doubts when his time as a man of the cloth abruptly ended. ====================== By Dave Warnock Questions 1 [Read More…]

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…]