November 25, 2014

[Today’s guest post is written by Dani Kelly, who does lots of things] Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concepts of agency1 and autonomy, how necessary they are for a fulfilling life…and how impossible they are when consent is ignored. I’ve been realizing with a growing sense of anger and frustration that I had no grasp of those concepts as a Christian. Really, as I came to understand what basic respect, prioritizing consent, and honoring the autonomy of… Read more

November 24, 2014

One day in the early 90s not long after my marriage to my then-husband Biff, he was invited to give his testimony at a major revival meeting. He spoke at great length about just how bad his life had been as a non-Christian. I sat up front in my nicest church dress, surrounded by other earnest, eager evangelists’ wives, and listened to him lie for a solid hour. Read more

November 21, 2014

“I just wondered what your thoughts were of Jesus the man,” read the recent message to me from a Christian. I wasn’t fooled. Read more

November 21, 2014

After reading Deanna M. Boudov’s article, “The Narcissism of Preaching”, I posted the message below to my good friend and fellow EXCOMM (Yes, we’ve already started referring to Ex-Communications with initials) writer, Neil Carter. (Before I continue, let me just say that I was not, and am not, upset with Deanna. So why am I writing this article? Because, when I read the post the first time, I was offended.) The first message- “Neil, I liked Deanna’s post for the most part. But I must admit that many parts offended me personally…. Read more

November 20, 2014

His name was Wayne and he was a shockingly handsome young man. He was one of my best friends in college and one of the large circle of evangelical and fundamentalist friends I had. A Southern Baptist preacher’s kid, he seemed friendly and approachable. One summer night as we walked through a courtyard back to the dormitory buildings after a library jaunt, he suddenly asked if he could talk to me. It was obvious to me that he had something really big on his mind, something he’d been dying to talk about all night if not for days, so naturally I was concerned. We stopped under a courtyard lamp and he looked at it for a long time before blurting out his big secret. Read more

November 20, 2014

The first time I experienced a friend coming out to me as an openly transgender woman, I was stunned. I hadn’t ever known anyone “like that” and didn’t know what to think, or how to process such a bizarre (to me) and abrupt (to me) change in someone I’d always known as a man. I had known a couple of out and proud gay men as dear friends on my long path away from religious fundamentalism, and those relationships sparked… Read more

November 20, 2014

Atheist Church. Secular Gathering. Sunday Assembly. Communities like these are  cropping up all across the country.  Within the freethought movement, many people are talking about the need for secular community. The idea of establishing an intentional gathering for nonbelievers draws supporters and critics alike. Yet, even with the ongoing debate, the question remains… Can atheists have this kind of community without religion? During my recent trip to Seattle, I spoke on this very subject. Hopefully my talk will open the door for a broader conversation on building Secular… Read more

November 18, 2014

You can tell how fresh a person’s deconversion is by how easily he is offended by blasphemy. I remember how religious mockery bothered me when I joined my first atheist group on Facebook.  It was a shock to my system.  Here were all these people, openly mocking beliefs which were sacrosanct to me only a few months before.  They were posting memes, jokes, and parodies of Christian teachings that felt unfair and unrepresentative of the faith that I had once held… Read more

November 15, 2014

Sitting on a hard, cold pew I waited nervously as the reel-to-reel projector hummed to life. For weeks, event flyers were handed out in churches and classrooms throughout the area inviting parents to bring their children to see… The Burning 20,000 Degrees and not a Drop of Water! Save Your Children from Eternal Torment! Bring everyone you know to see The Burning Hell. As the lights dimmed, flames appeared on the scream followed by horrifying screams rising up from hell. Quickly, I clamped my… Read more

November 14, 2014

By now, you have probably seen the viral video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman”. The video has 36 million views on YouTube so far. A lot has happened in the weeks since the original video was posted online. It has spawned a number of parodies and tributes/copycat videos,  with some clearly hilarious entries, like the one called ‘10 Hours of Princess Leia Walking in NYC’. At the same time, the woman featured in the original video,… Read more

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