Editor’s Note: Today I’m pleased to welcome a new writer to the blog. I learned about Kenn Nilsen from Clergy Project board member and Rational Doubt blog stalwart, Mason Lane. Mason got to know him on The Clergy Project’s private forum. Kenn is a former Lutheran minister and a natural storyteller. Enjoy.   /Linda LaScola, editor ====================== By Kenn Nilsen About a year after my retirement as a Lutheran minister, I had a near-fatal accident. I was dismantling an old building to use… Read more

Editor’s Note: One of the many Clergy Project members who was raised as a fundamentalist Christian gives us a inside look at how Bible stories are taught to young children. It makes me feel grateful that I didn’t go to Sunday school until I was six — old enough to study catechism in preparation for First Holy Communion. The only place I heard Bible stories was on TV. True, they were watered down there, just as in Protestant Sunday school,… Read more

Editor’s Note: Here’s another Jacobsen interview reposted* with great pleasure. It’s with Leslea Mair, of Zoot Pictures, the only person besides me who has done extensive in-person interviews non-believing clergy. Many of her subjects also participated in the Dennett-LaScola study. A major difference is that Leslea did her work on camera and made a documentary out of it! She was also able to do something I couldn’t — capture a wife’s reaction to a de-converting pastor husband. Fascinating. /Linda LaScola,… Read more

Editor’s Note: I think you’ll enjoy this update in the ongoing saga of Clergy Project member and United Church of Canada minister, Gretta Vosper. In a recent interview with Scott Douglas Jacobsen, she tells us about her thoughts on preserving and propagating the values (not the supernatural beliefs) that progressive religious communities have provided up until now. I think she has an important point.This interview is lightly edited and reposted with permission from Canadian Atheist. We thank Scott, who has… Read more

Editor’s Note: I am very pleased to tell readers that “Stan Bennett” – who has written for the blog several times – is finally out of the ministry and living a much longed for secular life. He’s looking forward to a time in the near future, for a formal “coming out” when he will write here under his real name. For now, he was kind enough to answer this question: Now that you’re out of the ministry and have withdrawn… Read more

Editor’s Note: This “out” gay atheist laments and castigates former friends who loved him until he left the Christian fold.  Reposted and lightly edited, with permission, from his blog.  / Linda LaScola, Editor ============================ By Fernando Alcántar Facebook keeps making friend suggestions of people who de-friended me when I came out of the closet as both gay and atheist, when To the Cross and Back was published. Understanding how the Christian mind works, I get it—they are afraid of my… Read more

Editor’s Note: New Testament scholar and Clergy Project member, Bart Ehrman, shares another of his public blog posts with us here at the Rational Doubt blog. This one originally appeared on May 14, 2012. He addresses a very human failing – ability to keep the facts straight. We have a problem with it, even when we’re not actively trying to purvey fake news. Read on as Bart tries to set us straight. I suppose many readers here already accept that… Read more

Editor’s Note: While preparing the blog post The Acid Test of Final Farewells, by Roger Elsinger, I contacted Carter Warden about sharing the video and song he created about Roger shortly before he died. Carter’s immediate response was to offer to write about his memories of Roger’s last days. Here they are, along with direct quotes from Roger’s writings and  links to Carter’s video and song.   /Linda LaScola By Carter Warden After nearly 25 years in ministry, I happily discovered… Read more

Editor’s Note: I think of this post as an antidote to its immediate predecessor about Evangelical Christians view of the afterlife. Roger Elsinger, a former Catholic priest, originally wrote these reflections on his life on The Clergy Project private forum, a few weeks before he died, nearly five years ago. It’s reposted here with permission from Clergy Project members who knew Roger and Roger’s family, who were aware of his desire to express his humanistic views publicly. I originally received… Read more

Editor’s Note: Frequent poster and Clergy Project member Bruce Gerencser criticizes Evangelical Christians’ approach to death. Having once been an evangelical preacher, he knows from whence he speaks. This post originally appeared on his blog titled “Evangelicals Talk a Good Line When it Comes to Death, but Change Their Tune When They Are Dying.” /Linda LaScola ====================== By Bruce Gerencser “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and… Read more

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