February 17, 2020

Editor’s Note:  When I read an article on hunting in The Washington Post, I immediately thought of my experience with hunters growing up in Pennsylvania deer country. I also thought of Chris Highland – The Clergy Project’s resident naturalist.  So I sent it to him, which inspired this reflection that I’m delighted to share with you here.  Thanks, Chris. /Linda LaScola, Editor ========================= By Chris Highland This is a personal reflection in response to a recent article on hunting in… Read more

February 13, 2020

Editor’s Note: I was angry about religion’s treatment of women even before reading this essay.  Now that I’ve read it, I’m incensed! Thanks to quotes from Annie Laurie Gaylor’s extensive biblical research, I’m also much more educated about the many ways that the Bible has denigrated women through the centuries.  Talk about insecure! /Linda LaScola, Editor ================================== By David Madison Why do women stay in the church? How do you walk away from a group that promises eternal life as a… Read more

February 10, 2020

Editor’s Note:  What a delight it is when people tell you how they have benefited by something you’ve written!  I know the feeling well after hearing from so many current and former clergy after the research with non-believing clergy that my colleague, Daniel Dennett and I conducted.  And The Clergy Project! How wonderful that these good people now have a venue to talk openly with each other about their shift from faith to reason. Happily, “Scott” who wrote the most… Read more

February 6, 2020

Editor’s Note:  This blog  – and the US –  can seem so Christianity-focused, that sometimes it’s easy to forget that other spiritual practices can have also have negative effects on their practitioners.  In this post, Clergy Project member, “Scott,” a former monk in the Self-Realization Fellowship, reveals the limited relationship he had with his family during his time at the ashram.  At first, he reveled in this independence, but that soon changed. /Linda LaScola, Editor ============================== By “Scott” When I… Read more

February 3, 2020

Editor’s Note: This essay about how people change as their religious beliefs change certainly got me thinking about the deeper effects of believing and changing religious beliefs.  While I noticed many changes in the non-believing clergy that I interviewed during my research with them, this essay speaks to more integral, slowly forming and long lasting changes – the kind of changes an attentive, empathetic person would notice over time and would want to share, despite any personal embarrassment it might… Read more

January 30, 2020

Editor’s Note: Having just seen the 1960 movie Spartacus, I’m suddenly interested in crucifixion.  Spartacus was a Roman slave who staged an uprising, which ended with him and 6,000 other slaves being crucified by the Roman victors. This diminishes the impact of Jesus getting crucified, because others suffered just as much, without the opportunity to “rise again.”  I, and millions of other Catholics, don’t remember the first time we saw the depiction of Christ’s crucifixion, because there it was, front… Read more

January 27, 2020

By Mark Rutledge and Linda LaScola Editor’s Note: After I wrote about the comforting Episcopal funeral service I recently attended, TCP member Mark Rutledge sent me a service he wrote for a funeral of a young woman who had taken her own life. He was friendly with the young woman’s father, who was not a regular churchgoer, but wanted a church service to commemorate his daughter, so asked Mark to do the service. Mark, who has not been on the… Read more

January 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: OK, so readers here are already well versed in this issue. Still, it’s good to be reminded of the history of Evangelical political influence in the US, and to resist making assumptions about positive or negative outcomes. Also, don’t give up, as I and the author of this piece have sometimes been tempted to do.  /Linda LaScola, Editor ============================ By Bruce Gerencser In the late 1970s, Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, birthed a Christian… Read more

January 20, 2020

By Linda LaScola, Editor This past Saturday I attended the “Celebration of Life” of the brother of an old friend of mine.  I’d only met the brother once, but I’d heard about him often from my friend and more recently as he suffered multiple setbacks with various forms of cancer. I always intended to go to the funeral.  It was a no-brainer.  The family lived locally and I knew my friend would appreciate the support.  What I didn’t expect was… Read more

January 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: I believed in miracles when I was a kid, but I never saw one and never expected to. It seemed like they were only supposed to happen in Bible stories or to peasant children in other countries. This meant people like me were definitely not in the running. I do recall not being impressed with the Doubting Thomas story, mentioned below. It didn’t seem like asking too much to see the risen Christ’s wounds. I think we’d be… Read more

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