Last week I wrote about Jerry DeWitt, the first “graduate” of The Clergy Project–an online community for non-believing preachers who are trying to figure out how to go about coming out as atheists and getting on with their post-religious lives. This fascinating looking documentary, currently in production, interviews Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola, who began the research on closeted pastors which lead to the creation of The Clergy Project, and members of The Clergy Project themselves (some still in the closet, others already out, including Jerry, Teresa McBain, Mike Aus, and others). Also a wide range of familiar religious and irreligious pundits offer commentary as well. The project needs a lot of help with funding, so please consider donating to its Indie Gogo page.
The stories of ex-clergy are a tremendous vehicle for educating people about the reasons for atheism, the process of deconversion, the cruelty that believers subject apostates to, the strength to be found in coming out, and the hope that can exist on the atheist side of the fence. This documentary, in my estimation, has the real potential to influence the public dialogue and to change some lives. The least we can do is chip in to help it get made.
On a lighter note, here is footage of one Clergy Project pastor’s farewell sermon to his congregation:
And, seriously again, below is a video with pastor-turned-atheist and Clergy Project graduate Mike Aus on MSNBC, the day after the Reason Rally:
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