September 29, 2014

Editor’s Note: “Dave,” our atheist ex-pastor has come out publicly as a non-believer in a newspaper column he’s been writing for 25 years for IFP (special to QMI Agency) in Ontario, Canada. He is really Bob Ripley, former pastor of Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario. As he told us in his original Rational Doubt post on July 14th, he has written a book about his deconversion. It is coming out on October 1st (more on that later). Today, “Dave,”… Read more

September 25, 2014

Editor’s Note: Clergy Project member John Lombard expresses his personal views on the“Atheist Movement.” It’s a relatively new term and a subject of hot debate within “the Movement.” ========================= By John Lombard One of the more interesting discussions in the private Clergy Project forums recently has been over the issue of identifying as an atheist; and while I can’t share what others said, I’d like to share my own perspectives. Let me begin by exploring one of the most common… Read more

September 22, 2014

Editor’s Note: It’s encouraging that there are so many new humanist communities around the world, but troubling that one of them faces intimidation from so-called religious people. This post is includes an interim report on a new humanist community in the American South. We hope this story has a happy ending. ==================== By Catherine Dunphy Community! We humans are a social species, so community is something we all have a need for in varying degrees. Some people like the familiarity… Read more

September 18, 2014

Editor’s Note: Now for a more philosophical look at religion, from a religious scholar, turned non-believer.  Professor Shults compares having  “the talk” about the origins of religion to parents having “the talk” with their children about where babies really come from. ==================== By F. LeRon Shults Most of my life I found it relatively easy to ignore the message of Nietzsche’s madman. The claim that “God is dead – and we have killed him!” is just not that convincing when your mental… Read more

September 15, 2014

Editor’s Note:  This is a follow-up to the very stimulating conversation in the last post, prompted by Maine Skeptic’s question to Dave, the Atheist Ex-Pastor, about how pastors can teach things that they have learned in seminary are not factual.  This is the very question I asked myself before setting off with Dan Dennett on a study of non-believing clergy. ========================= By Linda LaScola Here is a summary of findings, excerpted from page 113 of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving… Read more

September 11, 2014

Editor’s Note: Our Atheist ex-pastor answers a question posed by one of our frequent commenters, Maine Skeptic, about the supposed divine origins of the Bible.  ========================= Dear Dave: I’ve been listening and reading works by Bart Ehrman, who is often criticized by professors and authors at Dallas Theological Seminary. While they paint Ehrman as attacking Christianity, it sounds like all he’s really doing is revealing what is actually taught at mainstream seminaries about the inaccuracies and contradictions in the bible…. Read more

September 8, 2014

Editor’s Note: In the last of our Rabbi series, we hear again from Jeff Falick. This time he tells us in some detail how the Humanistic Judaism movement got started and how he got involved with it. ===========================  By Jeff Falick What’s an atheist rabbi to do? That was the dilemma that confronted me when I finally admitted to myself that I did not believe in a deity – or anything supernatural – and that my decades of effort to… Read more

September 5, 2014

Editor’s Note: Former Rabbi Levin reflects on his life as an observant Jew via his experiences with and without a “Kippah.”   We hope to hear more from him as he continues to adapt to secular life.  He left his congregation earlier this summer. ========================== A kippah is a head covering worn by Orthodox Jewish males at all times. Kippahs vary by religious sub group. For some, their kippah is a black hat. For others, a circle of fabric held on… Read more

September 2, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on Rabbis. We’re starting with “Sherm” an active Orthodox Rabbi who muses on belief and non-belief. Then we’ll meet Shlomo Levin, an Orthodox Rabbi who recently resigned and we’ll hear again from Jeff Falick, the Humanist Rabbi who recently wrote about the Exodus myth.  All are members of The Clergy Project. ========================= By “Sherm” I cannot pinpoint an exact moment when I became an atheist. I do know the first time… Read more

August 29, 2014

Editor’s Note: Mary Johnson, Clergy Project member and former nun with Mother Teresa’s order, gave Rational Doubt permission to reprint this post from her website. Thank you, Mary, and thanks for the enticing offer to readers to write their own variant of the creed. =================== By Mary Johnson I don’t believe in God, an imaginary father with almighty power. I don’t believe in heaven; I do believe in earth. I believe that a man called Jesus of Nazareth lived in… Read more

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