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.

The Story of God

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Variety announced today that Morgan Freeman will narrate a new TV series scheduled to air in 2016 on the National Geographic Channel, called "The Story of God."From the story: “God is arguably the most important topic of our time,” said Lori McCreary, Freeman’s producing partner at Revelations Entertainment and an executive producer on the series. “National Geographic’s unprecedented inside access will allow us to explore the global mystery behind God and religion. With Morgan as our storyte … [Read more...]

Evangelicals revise their way to LGBTQ acceptance

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Today, well-known and widely traveled Christian social activist, Tony Campolo, released a statement saying he is now calling for the full acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the church. While this will certainly seems like a very belated and insubstantial concession to many, Campolo's stature in the evangelical community makes this a significant move.Tony Campolo, father of the post-theist, USC Humanist Chaplain, Bart Campolo, has long been a champion for the oppressed and marginalized, … [Read more...]

Caitlyn Jenner calls the question on Christian anthropology

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Emma Green at The Atlantic published an excellent summary of the negative--and revolting--reactions from conservative Christians that we have have become familiar with over the past few days, from the hateful rhetoric of Matt Walsh* to the disturbingly rapey comments of Presidential candidate (I know!) Mike Huckabee who said in February that he wished he could have identified as a female when he was in high school so he could shower with the girls.Green then puts her finger on the core … [Read more...]

“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...]


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