Hi and welcome back! Of late, some of you have heard some rumblings about Roll to Disbelieve making a platform move in the near future. These rumblings are true. So here, now, let’s have the second-to-last entry in our long-running off-topic weekly series — to look back at how this blog started, and then look ahead to what comes next. Today, Lord Snow Presides over the inevitable nature of change.
(THIS IS NOT THE LAST ROLL TO DISBELIEVE POST.)
Change Log: Set Your Wayback Machine for 2011.
I deconverted from Christianity around 1994. But for many years, I didn’t really unpack what had happened to me while involved with the religion. I was kinda busy, ya know?
It wasn’t until my life had calmed down, giving me some breathing room, that I began to think about all the false beliefs I’d held as a Christian. While many of those beliefs involved supernatural blahblah and dissipated almost immediately, others involved social beliefs — and these took a lot longer to examine, unpack, untangle, and dismantle.
One night in bed in the summer of 2011, I tippy-tapped a fateful search into my device. I can’t remember what my query was, but the first thing I landed on was a forum full of people who’d also discarded belief in Christianity.
I realized that they had had the same experiences and thoughts I had. For many years, I’d thought I was literally the only person who’d 100% believed and yet lost belief. But they all talked about the same kind of faith and fervor that I’d once had. Some had even belonged to very similar denominations to mine.
They called this process deconversion, and referred to themselves as ex-Christians.
These two words thrilled me. They rang all through my body like a bell, like a cosmic shouted YES from a million throats.
From Forum to Blog.
For more than six months, I lurked on that forum. I read the deconversion stories — ex-timonies, the group called them.
In early 2012, I finally made an account and joined them. I submitted my ex-timony with trepidation, and was pleased and happy and thankful to see the group resonate with it and share their own similar stories in turn.
To my surprise, people seemed to appreciate my ideas when I participated in the forum itself. A few friends I made there encouraged me to do more formal writing about those ideas — like on a blog. Back then, blogging was really taking off. It seemed like everyone and their dog was writing one. And where comments on a forum can get kinda lost, a blog puts its topics front and center.
I flirted briefly with the idea of a blog exploring the history of food. However, my husband (Mr. Captain) asked if I’d be able to do that for years and years. Then he said something that also rang with truth: “You know, you never run out of things to talk about with religion.”
I mean, he wasn’t wrong. I’m still like that. The hard part was coming up with a name. I mean, “Rocket Surgery” was already taken several times over.
Then, I remembered an old tabletop gaming term. It was so perfect that it set the stage for the blog’s theme forever more: Roll to Disbelieve. That’s a gaming term for seeing through illusions.
Thus, a blog was born.
And Now, Here We Are.
As these things usually go, the blog picked up steam very slowly. I was fortunate in gaining some vocal early supporters who spread the word. (The day someone linked the blog favorably on RationalWiki, I was a gibbering wreck in the best way as I watched my page hits climb into the stratosphere. I was useless that whole day. Whoever did that, thank you.)
By 2014, I had a decent small following and had settled into a rhythm on a basic WordPress site. Eventually, an editor for Patheos noticed I’d written a slew of posts about mixed-faith marriages (The Unequally Yoked Club), and he wanted me to write for Patheos. So he got me in touch with a new blog that’d just started up on Patheos that needed writers. They signed me up. For a while, I was writing one or two blog posts a day for my own WordPress blog and this other Patheos blog, Ex-Communications.
Then, in 2015, I was invited to move my entire WordPress blog over to Patheos and begin writing for them. Twist my arm!
Very quickly, this blog’s following and community grew — and grew — and grew. I loved being able to write about whatever I wanted, loved being left alone to flail at my keyboard about whatever mattered to me right then. I still do.
And Soon, There We’ll Be.
I’ve no regrets about working with Patheos for this long. I’m probably not an easy writer to love for Christian site owners, and yet they’ve never interfered with me or caused me any grief. I appreciate that more than I can ever possibly say.
However, it’s finally time for us to part ways, and that crossroads is approaching at great speed.
My last post on Patheos will appear on December 14, 2021.
We’ll still be able to hang out via Disqus after that, and I’ll make sure a bunch of older posts have open comments so we can move to the new commboxes as needed. (I don’t know how the filter will operate yet or what mod powers we’ll retain, sorry.)
And then, my next post will appear shortly thereafter, January 4, 2022, in our new home. You can sign up for early notification here.
I’m just thrilled with this new project. From the people involved to the management to the overall attitude and vibe, this is beyond perfect for us. As if it was made just for us.
I hope you’ll like it as much as I already do.
Change, Change, Change.
When I think about this blog’s success and the amazing community that’s grown up around it, I am just awestruck. I don’t even know what to say. It brings happy tears to my eyes.
Everything about our lives is about change. Right now, as you read these words, change flows all around you. When you finish this blog post, you will continue to change. Ideally, we want change to be a good force. Then, we can capitalize upon it to learn and grow and move forward in life.
That’s what’s most important in life, and that’s a topic I will continue to explore no matter where I find myself.
I truly hope you can join me at our new home.
NEXT UP: Tim Keller’s recent Twitter blathering about Original Christianity wasn’t actually new. He’s been pushing the idea for at least a couple of years — thanks to his equally-willfully-ignorant pals at The Gospel Coalition. We’ll check out why these lies matter so much — see you soon!
About Lord Snow Presides (LSP)
Lord Snow Presides is our off-topic weekly chat series. Lord Snow was my very sweet white cat. He actually knew quite a bit. Though he’s passed on, he now presides over a suggested topic for the day. Of course, please feel free to chime in with anything on your mind: there’s no official topic on these days. I’m just starting us off with something, but consider the sky the limit here. We especially welcome pet pictures!
Please Support What I Do!
Publishing schedule: M/LSP, W, F, Su. If Disqus comments hit about 450 and there’s a full day to go before the next post, I’ll do my best to get us an overflow off-topic post written and up so we can move our discussions there.
Also please check out our Graceful Atheist podcast interview!
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