June 28, 2018

From Pastor to Atheist

Good jobIt is not a secret that many atheists in the U.S. are ex-Christians. Some came to Christianity in adolescence or adulthood, but many of us were indoctrinated into Christianity during our early childhood years and were eventually able to overcome it. This process of transitioning from believing Christian to atheist can be difficult and time-consuming.

Thanks to efforts like The Clergy Project, it is becoming clearer that some ex-Christian atheists were (or are) members of the clergy, continuing to serve this role even after they realized that they no longer believed in gods. As hard as the process might have been for those of us outside the clergy, I think it is safe to say that it probably pales in comparison to what it was like for them.

We don't hear enough about those who have had (or are still having) this experience. And for reasons too obvious to mention, we don't hear nearly enough from them. Fortunately, Rational Doubt is trying to change that with posts like this one where a former pastor who is still involved with a religious organization describes his journey away from god-belief.

I think it is great that people in this situation have a platform where they can express themselves anonymously and interact with those who have been through similar situations. With all the recent talk of political polarization, tribalism, incivility, and the like, I thought it was time to highlight something positive. When atheists put our minds to it and are willing to set aside our differences, we can do some good. I think that groups like The Clergy Project are a nice example of that.