About Ryan Bell

For 19 years Ryan Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics.
Currently he is a researcher, writer and speaker on the topic of religion and irreligion in America. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey exploring the limits of theism and the atheist landscape in the United States and blogs about that experience here at Year Without God.

“Mommy, can I draw Muhammad?”

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Fellow Patheos Atheist Channel blogger, Wendy Thomas Russell, invited a group of people to participate in a group blogging project. As she writes, "Occasionally this blog features a series called “Mommy, What’s That?” — aimed at giving secular parents some simple, straightforward and open-minded ways to describe religious concepts. We’ve covered Satan, souls, the Bible — you know, run-of-the-mill Judeo-Christian stuff.But a couple of months ago, I began thinking about a particularly tricky ( … [Read more...]

Being an atheist in Bangladesh

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The world was horrified again when third secular blogger - Ananta Bijoy Das - was murdered in a machete attack earlier this week. For the past month I have been corresponding with a courageous young atheist man in Bangladesh named Dean. He sent me his story and his appeal for tolerance and a return to the democratic ideals upon which his nation was founded. I and others are deeply concerned by what seems to be an organized "hit list" of secular bloggers. I am currently researching ways that the … [Read more...]

American Christians scramble for silver lining in Pew religion poll

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Pew Research report shows Catholics and Evangelicals both declining, but it’s still good news, they say. Or at least okay.by Ryan Bell and Dan ArelAmericans are losing their religion. At least that is what a new study released this week by Pew Research has shown. The study polled more than 35,000 Americans from all 50 states and mapped changes to the country’s religious diversity over the past eight years.The study found, to many people’s surprise, that religiously unaffiliated adults … [Read more...]

Adventist “Holy Sexuality Conference” cancelled

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UPDATE: Further clarification from the South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists below----My former denomination continues to make headlines, though not in the way they'd like, I think. Ben Carson has been saying things like homosexuality "absolutely" is a choice. Though he later apologized I don't think he suddenly changed his mind. It's more like the apology I used to offer my parents: I'm sorry I got caught. Or worse, I'm sorry some people were offended. The classic … [Read more...]

Different era, same injustice

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I'm completely geeking out right now! I'm sitting at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT (actually, in the Carriage House next door) where I'm speaking tonight at 7 pm about my Year Without God. I've spent a fair bit of time with some of Mark Twain's writings about religion over the past year. A few days ago I posted a link on my Facebook page to a piece entitled "Bible Teaching and Religious Practice" from Europe and Elsewhere."The Christian Bible is a drug store," he writes. "Its contents … [Read more...]

Are atheists the most hated group in America?

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So, I started a bit of a kerfuffle over on my Year Without God Facebook page last night when I posted this image above with the caption, Can we cut the martyrdom complex? It's not a competition.By the way, I'm doing just fine compared to the poor, the homeless and the immigrants in my community. I know David. He's a wonderful person and I know he's just doing his job, but this is imprecise and, more importantly, unhelpful.Let me start by saying that I have been the target of a great deal … [Read more...]


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