Humanist Communities – We Can’t Tolerate Intimidation

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Editor’s Note: It’s encouraging that there are so many new humanist communities around the world, but troubling that one of them faces intimidation from so-called religious people. This post is includes an interim report on a new humanist community in the American South. We hope this story has happy ending. ==================== By Catherine Dunphy Community! [Read More...]

My Weekend at the World Humanist Congress, Oxford, UK

Editor’s Note:  Catherine Dunphy, Clergy Project member and operations manager of this blog, shares her enthusiasm about her recent experience with humanists from around the world.                                                           [Read More...]

Unbelieving Pastor Justifies Staying in the Pulpit

Editor’s Note:  In his second post, Andy, a UCC pastor committed to a social justice ministry, asks himself if he is a con man because he makes a living, in part, by pretending to believe in “…the metaphysics some people find necessary to ground them.”   What do you think?  ================================  By “Andy” Steve Martin plays a [Read More...]

Presbyterian Minister and TCP Member Speaks up for Evolution

Michael Zimmerman, head of The Clergy Letter Project, reports that active Presbyterian minister, John Shuck, was unsuccessful in his recent attempt to influence the Presbyterian Church, USA (the progressive branch) to endorse Evolution Sunday.  This is a part of Evolution Weekend observed by many progressive churches. The Clergy Letter Project (not to be confused with [Read More...]

Why Study Non-Believing Clergy?

Editor’s Note: In this post, I explain what instigated the unlikely, oxymoronic study of non-believing clergy that Dan Dennett and I set off on a few years ago.  The post is derived from the “Linda’s Personal Story” section of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind and is the first of an occasional series about [Read More...]

How to Reach Believers about Atheism: Through their Hearts

Editor’s Note: This post is derived, with permission, from a letter Dennis Augustine wrote to Sean Faircloth thanking him for guiding him to The Clergy Project.  Augustine describes how he came to atheism via emotion, not reason. ============================ By Dennis Augustine It’s been a few months since Sean Faircloth put me in contact with a screener [Read More...]

From Secret Meetings to Public Events: It’s Good to be “Out”

On Sunday, June 15th, Jerry Dewitt and I had a reunion in Washington, DC that we never foresaw back when we first met.  That auspicious and surreptitious event took place in the summer of 2011, down in Lake Charles, Louisiana when Jerry took part in the Dennett-LaScola study of non-believing clergy.  Back then, Jerry was [Read More...]

Practicing Secular Chaplaincy – Naturally

Editor’s Note: Chris Highland, like several other Clergy Project members, has made a career transition that allows him to keep the valuable, natural elements of his ministerial training while jettisoning the supernatural.  By Chris Highland  When I left my ordination after 14 years in the Presbyterian church in the fall of 2001, my silent and [Read More...]

True Stories from Divinity School, Part I

Editor’s Note: John Figdor’s original reason for attending divinity school was to learn theology so he could effectively debate Christian apologists. Instead, he went a new pastoral route, becoming a humanist Chaplain.  The following essay is the last in the “student” series and the first in an occasional series about the academic study of religion. [Read More...]

Myths from the Past, Hope for the Future

Editor’s Note: In the second of three “student” posts, Catherine, a former Catholic chaplain student, discusses losing her faith during seminary and her concerns about Pope Francis’ criticism of seminary studies. By Catherine Dunphy It’s been nearly ten years since I graduated from seminary.  In that time I have done what I can to distance [Read More...]


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