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A secular humanist podcast about Secular Grace after deconstruction and deconversion. The podcast takes an honest look at stories of faith transition from a life-altering faith, to doubt and deconstruction, to deconversion, and finally, to a thriving graceful life post-deconversion. My name is David, and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist. Join me and be graceful human beings. https://gracefulatheist.com/?gaid=gapdsc Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support
 
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Content Warning: miscarriage; traumatic birth; mental health problems; hell anxiety This week’s guest is Julia. Julia is the clever mind behind @painfulpostchristianprayers on Instagram. Julia grew up in a German mostly-atheist environment. The hostility, however, she saw for religion made it all the morning appealing. As she came of age, she found…
 
Stay skeptical? This week’s guest is Thom Krystofiak. He’s the author of Tempted to Believe: The Seductive Power of Claims About “The Truth.” Thom grew up Catholic but as an adult began practicing TM, Transcendental Meditation. He followed gurus and groups for decades, even though he was never quite convinced of the more spectacular claims of TM. T…
 
This week’s guest is Doug. Doug became interested in church when he was in junior high, and when Doug is in, he’s all in. He was a believer throughout high school, college and into the military. But then books and magazines happened. Doug began reading more “skeptical literature,” and the questions began. Doug’s faith unraveled while he was “an ath…
 
This week’s guest is Cooper. Cooper grew up deeply immersed in church world. From the time she was a little girl, she was devoted to God and obedient to her family. In high school, life threw her a curve ball, but she continued faithfully loving Jesus and doing what she believed to be best. Parenthood, marriage, church life and military life all, i…
 
This week’s guest is Jack Robertson. Jack is a returning guest and an integral part of the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group. Earlier this year, Jack’s youngest daughter, Emily, was in an accident, suffering severe burns on her body. Jack discusses how his online community and IRL friends stepped in to support his family. He also discusses the …
 
Content Warning: This week’s story includes references to physical and emotional abuse, mental illness and suicidal ideation. Listener discretion is advised. This week’s guest is Jan. Jan grew up in a strict fundamentalist household which made church safer, and that disconnect planted the first seeds of doubt. She went off to a Christian university…
 
This week’s guest is Matthew. Matthew grew up in the Pentacostal tradition and went from being a youth leader in high school to a full-time international missionary as an adult. He had all the right answers to all the important questions. The missionary life, however, didn’t turn out as he’d expected. He and his team did everything in their power t…
 
This week’s guest is Drew. Drew grew up as a Missionary Kid and has traveled to nearly every continent and all across the United States. Drew spent years of his life evangelizing and serving others through construction, farming and carpentry. Drew has since left mainstream evangelicalism, with its exclusivity and supremacy culture, but he is using …
 
This week’s guest is Adria. Adria is a sociologist working in international development. Adria grew up in various multiethnic churches but each one seemed to worship whiteness alongside Jesus. By the end of college, Adria was done with church. Years later, in atheist spaces, she would find racism to be just as prevalent. Her experience with the Chr…
 
This week’s guest is Jenny McGrath. Jenny is a licensed mental health counselor, a somatic psychotherapist, and a movement educator specializing in religious trauma and sexual abuse. She believes “in the power of story and the wisdom of the body.” Jenny’s work stems partly from her evangelical upbringing in Colorado Springs. She was steeped in the …
 
This week’s guest is B. B grew up homeschooled in a large evangelical household and spent nearly thirty years in the church, trying to fit in. He had felt like leaving for a while, never having belonged, and then in 2016, he knew it was the end for him. He hit the door running. One of the most destructive forces within his Christian upbringing was …
 
This week’s guest is Bob Barnes. Bob is an organizer with BAHA, Bluewater Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics. BAHA “is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the image of Freethinkers and Atheists and to give back to our communities.” BAHA is hosting its annual conference, BAHACon, this year with speakers and events you won’t want to miss! A…
 
After years in the mission field and in pastoral ministry Paul is done. Paul is Deb's (last week's guest) husband. Deb's episode https://gracefulatheist.com/2022/06/26/deb-is-done/ Interact For quotes, recommendation and more see the full episode show notes https://gracefulatheist.com/2022/07/03/pual-is-done/ Join the Deconversion Anonymous Faceboo…
 
This week’s guest is Deb. Deb “asked Jesus into her heart” at six years old and remained a devoted follower of Jesus for decades. She married her high school sweetheart, started a family and found herself living the missionary life on the continent of Africa. As the years passed, Deb’s faith was tested—praying and watching children die on two conti…
 
This week’s guest is Ruby. Ruby is an author, blogger and YouTuber, living her journey out loud for the benefit of her followers. Lutheran to her core, Ruby spent her life committed to the institution of the Church. It took multiple heartbreaks and difficulties in life before she began to wonder, “Is any of this true? Is any of this real?” She thre…
 
Community manager, Arline, guest hosts. This week’s guests are a couple of fabulous black women who’ve come a long way in their journeys away from white evangelicalism. They’ve known one another for over a decade and their conversation is both information and so much fun. Marissa grew up in church and loved it as a kid. As a college student, howeve…
 
Our guest this week is Dave. Dave grew up in the Mennonite Brethren faith and followed all the rules until at age 50, a gift from his son made him begin to ask questions. Dave’s love for his family and a desire for truth are equally apparent in his story. He asked hard questions and was never given satisfying answers. Knowing he had to tell his wif…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. This week’s guest is Elizabeth. Elizabeth grew up in what she calls a “Methodist Baptist” church, mostly Methodist but with more conservatism and even some charisma thrown in. Elizabeth loved church as a kid, but as a teen, things were harder: purity culture demands, a youth pastor leaving abrup…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. This week’s guest is Shannon. Shannon’ story delves into the emotional experience of deconversion. Shannon grew up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church, where the teachings were pernicious. As a teen and into adulthood, Shannon knew her own beliefs and convictions did not always align wi…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. This week’s guest is Seth. Seth was the oldest child in a large homeschooling family who attended attended mostly non-denominational churches. He was always studious and had read through the Bible multiple times before adulthood. In high school, Seth made his faith his own and dove deeply into Y…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. This week’s guest is Anne. Anne grew up in a loving and happy Christian home in a large city where her father pastored a small reformed church. As a teen, her faith was very real to her, and a few years later, she attended a Christian college, but struggled mentally and physically. Anne left tha…
 
This week’s guest is artist Ursula Schneider. As a child, neither her charismatic church nor her unstable home were safe for her. There was a lot of mental illness at home and Ursula often felt abandoned by the church. Their family was simply “too much.” Ursula grew up, married young and began going to church again. As an adult, she needed somethin…
 
CW Mental health and depression This week’s guest is Andrew Pledger. Andrew has spent nearly his entire life in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church—where the KJV rules and women do not. Andrew was homeschooled K-12 with a mildly white Christian nationalist curriculum, no sex education and no diverse friendships. For years, Andrew’s mental…
 
This week’s guest is Robert Peoples of Affinis Humanity. Robert grew up in a Black Baptist church in New Jersey. When he was young, he enjoyed church but was an inquisitive child with many questions and no satisfying answers. As a teenager, Robert looked for answers outside the church—from Thomas Paine to Allah to the Buddha. By 18 years old, Rober…
 
This week’s guest is Luke J. Janssen, M.Sc., Ph.D., M.T.S., Professor Emeritus, Dept. Medicine, McMaster University, and co-host of the Recovering Evangelicals podcast. He is a scientist in medical research. During a faith crisis he began taking courses on theology which turned into an M.T.S degree. Luke tells his story in four 15 year phases: his …
 
This week’s Deconversion Anonymous guest is Bethany. Bethany grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attending an Assemblies of God church. It was an insular experience of their brand of Christianity against the world. The older Bethany got, the scarier the church doctrines—eternal torment, losing one’s salvation, the Apocalypse, faith healing that doesn…
 
This week’s guest is April Ajoy, viral Tiktok’r, youTuber and podcaster. She is a “recovering conservative humorously detoxing religion.” April had a unique childhood. She was homeschooled and spent half of each year in Pentacostal spaces and the other half traveling the US with her family, singing and evangelizing. Her parents were evangelists and…
 
This is the three year anniversary of the Graceful Atheist Podcast. Thank you to everyone who has listened and participated. Special thanks to Mike T and Arline for their work on the podcast over the past year. This week’s guest is Ryan Mulkowsky. Ryan grew up Independent Fundamentalist Baptist. He made a “profession of faith” when he was nine year…
 
This week’s guest is Marla Taviano, author of Unbelieve: Poems on the Journey to Becoming a Heretic. Marla grew up in Middle America and moved across the globe and back, searching for God’s will for her life. She grew up in a loving home and didn’t realize she was in a “white Christian bubble.” Her church was almost all-white, her hometown was almo…
 
This week’s guest is Meghan Crozier, the writer behind The Pursuing Life blog and co-host of Thereafter Podcast. Meghan grew up in an Evangelical Free church and she was all in. After high school, she went to a christian university, signing a pledge to become a missionary. Her life turned out differently, and though it took years to be okay with th…
 
This week’s guest is the Nigerian podcaster, The Ranting Atheist. He grew up in a strict Pentacostal church where his parents were ministers. At home, his parents were tough on him and his brothers, and made sure they attended Christian schools, even into university. While TRA was in university, following all the rules, his parents parents were ris…
 
This week’s guest is Jeffrey Caldwell. Jeffrey grew up in Lancaster county, PA in a liberal denomination set in a conservative area. As a child, church was okay; it was filled with the usual things—bible crafts in Sunday school and singing in the choir. His family was “quasi-religious.” It was good for children to have morals, but no one was pressu…
 
This week’s episode is Natalie. Natalie grew up in a traditional Christian household, one of six kids. Living in the South and attending a Southern Baptist church most of her childhood and adolescence, however, left a bad taste in her mouth. One place she found solace? Books. Natalie was an avid reader from a young age and reading authors like Judy…
 
"Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/ "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats https://makaihbeats.net/ This week’s episode is Matt Oxley. Matt has what he calls a “Bapti-costal” background—mainstream Southern Baptist with “some extra flair and drama.” At six, he was saved, by thirteen he was “hardcor…
 
This week’s guest is Judah. Judah grew up “Church of God, Pentecostal adjacent,” where Judah’s father was convinced, “God is alive in these people.” By eight years old, Judah was speaking in tongues and absorbed into eschatology—the study of the end times. Around ten, at a more “separatist” church, the family started homeschooling. His church and f…
 
This week’s guest is Will from Heretical Theology. Will grew up in a Methodist church until high school, when he began attending youth group in what he now calls the, “cult church.” Years later, will he and his wife were still at that church, he would have a seemingly supernatural experience at his brother’s church in Florida. The decide to move, a…
 
This week’s returning guest is Carlene! She grew up in the Independent Church of Christ—a cappella music, wholly male leadership, baptism before heaven and Biblical inerrancy. One church teaching that took up too much emotional energy was the constant push to be baptized. She was told, “you’ll feel so much better when you do it. You’ll feel so clea…
 
This week’s guest is Derek Webb, musician, song writer and public deconstructor. For 10 years, Derek was a member of the Christian rock band, Caedmon’s Call. He then went on to a solo career where he focused on self reflection in his art. During that time, Derek began to desconstruct. He did so publicly in his music and on social media. For Derek’s…
 
Ask Me Anything 2021. Questions from Sheila, Emily, Rick and Mark, Jimmy, Arline, Judah, and Matt. Links Deconversion How To https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/ Still Unbelievable https://anchor.fm/still-unbelievable/episodes/Episode-39—Deconstructing-a-Deconstruction-Deconstruction-els542 https://anchor.fm/still-unbelievabl…
 
The Holidays: The Big White Elephant in the Room When one has deconverted, the holidays may look completely different, reexamining everything from family traditions to singing carols to dealing with those extended family members. On today’s episode, two returning guests, Arline and Lars and a new guest, Carlene, share how the holidays have and have…
 
This week’s guest is Jose Ramos, Hannah’s husband from her episode two weeks ago. Jose’s family converted to Independent Fundamentalist Baptist and his father became a pastor. They were taught that the IFB had the “pure word of God,” and it was their purpose to evangelize and change the world. Throughout his teens, Jose’s only rebellion was, “like …
 
“Good afternoon. Good evening. And good night.” This week’s episode is a compelling discussion between David and past podcast guests Jimmy and Colin. They take a deep dive into how The Truman Show mirrors the long, painful journey of deconstruction—realizing the story you’ve been told isn’t quite what it seems, pushing back little by little, and th…
 
My guest this week is Hannah Ramos. Hannah grew up in an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist family, one of ten homeschooled children. Dissuaded from going to bible college, she waited for her Prince Charming. When Jose showed up to speak at her church, she knew he was “God’s choice” for her as a husband. Very early in their marriage, Jose took over…
 
My guest this week is Phil Quagliariello who blogs at Phil Q Musings. Phil grew up as a PK in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Churches which, of course, were the one true Church. He moved around often as a kids and saw the dark side of ministry when his father was removed from a church by the board for being too “new fangled.” He went through th…
 
My guest this week is Jack Robertson, host of the Musings of an ADD mind podcast. He grew up with a super Evangelical Southern Baptist mother and always went to church. As a teenager he became super religious himself until a confidant let the whole youth group know he was having sex with his girlfriend. Then he stopped going to church for a while. …
 
My guest this week is Mark Landes, a former Army officer who is working toward becoming a humanist chaplain. Mark grew up in the United Methodist tradition. He went to West Point and became an officer in the Army. He wanted to become an Army chaplain. Mark’s army career is a fascinating tale in itself. He was stationed in West Berlin shortly before…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Emily. Emily grew up in an Evangelical Free Church in the rural Midwest. She was on the Cubbies-Sparks-AWANA track. Around age 10, she became a pastor’s kid when her dad switched careers and went into ministry. Her early childhood experiences of church were fairly positive,…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Ginna. Ginna is a software developer in her 30’s. She went through deconversion in her 20’s after suffering depression during her college years. Even though there were Christians around her who were on medication for their depressions no one was public about it. The implied…
 
My guest this week is Monique. Monique grew up a cultural Christian until the family of her boyfriend “made it known they were Southern Baptists.” She married that boyfriend and had kids. He became abusive. First psychologically, then spiritually and eventually physically. He gas lit her, told her she was not worthy and that she was not following g…
 
My guests this week are Lars, Christie, Teddy, Amy and Eleanor, a whole family who deconverted around the same time. Lars felt a sense of duty to be a Christian all his life because he believed it was true. Christie felt there was “good evidence” for parts of the Bible and accepted that the rest was true. This worked until both of them came to the …
 
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