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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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show series
 
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 …
 
My returning guest this week is Jimmy. Jimmy and I review Julia Galef’s book Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t. We explore the book from two lenses: Deconversion and Secular Grace. Jimmy brings an intense focus on humility, self-honesty and truth seeking to the conversation. The perfect complement to Julia’s book. J…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Sara. Sara is “a musician from a home of musicians.” She grew up in an Assemblies of God church in a “vibrantly faithful home.” She spent her teen years in a “cool” Southern Baptist Church. She then spent some time in Acts 29 churches and Reformed theology. To round things …
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Joel. Joel grew up in the WELS Lutheran church. He met his wife at a Christian group during college. They attended a few churches, one of which was Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll’s church. Joel began to question what he had been taught. He began noticing discrepancies in scriptur…
 
My guest this week is Stephanie, the host of the StephUp Podcast where she “delve[s] into different topics to learn more about the world and more about ourselves.” Stephanie had me on her podcast to delve into atheism. In this episode, Stephanie describes her journey of deconstruction of Christianity, politics and conservative culture. She is focus…
 
My guest this week is Eli Fuhrmler-Wheeler. Eli grew up going to Awanas at an Evangelical Free church. Eventually, he attended an Assemblies of God church and spoke in tongues. His parents forbade him from going to that church and “of course I felt they were keeping me from the gates of heaven and pulling me into hell.” Eli’s childhood was traumati…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Jason, the son of a pastor. He grew up in the independent Christian Churches, an offshoot of the Church of Christ that allows music. He grew up doing “sword drills” and was a devout teenage believer. He participated in Bible memorization contests. He became a musician and p…
 
My guest this week is Geoffrey Wallis, author of A Voice From Inside: Notes on Religious Trauma in a Captive Organization. Geoffrey is Physically In but Mentally Out (PIMO) of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After recognizing the religious trauma and the cognitive dissonance he was experiencing he found help through therapy. He remains within the Watchtow…
 
My guest this week is David. David is the son and grandson of pastors. He does has have good memories of growing up in the church and he credits his parents with restraint. As an adult, he became more fundamentalist. He was a Southern Baptist and went through a very strong Calvinist phase. David taught apologetics classes. He delved into apologetic…
 
My guest this week is Daniel Kelly, the new co-host of When Belief Dies. Daniel began as a Charismatic Christian, moved to an Orthodox Christian church, and eventually was at a Bible church that preached through every verse in the bible. Daniel was a dedicated Christian working in a Christian non-profit helping those with disabilities. His mother h…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Thomas. Thomas is a Missionary Kid. He was very close to his mother who passed away in her 40s when he was in middle school. Thomas went through real depression for years after losing his mother and losing his faith. We discuss the hardships of grieving a loved one without …
 
My guest this week is Vanessa. She describes herself as “born into a large family of fire and brimstone preaching, bible beating, in-tongues-speaking Christians in the Pentecostal Church of God faith tradition.” Her father, her grandfather, and her great grandfather all were pastors of her home church. She began to doubt at a fairly young age and d…
 
My guest this week is Chris Highland. Chris is an author of over a dozen books, he was a Protestant minister for 14 years and an Interfaith (collaborative, open-minded, inclusive) chaplain for 25 years. Currently a Humanist celebrant, he has a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Seattle Pacific University and an M.Div. from San Francisco Theologic…
 
My guest this week is Travis. Travis documented his deconstruction on the blog measureoffaith.blog. There Travis has documented his journey from a questioning but dedicated Christian to a doubting agnostic. He delves into the apologetics that was supposed to give him comfort but ultimately led to the loss of faith. This is one of the more emotional…
 
My guest this week is Amy Rath, the host of the NoneLife podcast. NoneLife is dedicated to all those who check “None of the above” for a religious category and who do not feel comfortable being categorized any other way. The podcast is inspiring us all to do good in the world and to live an ethical life. I’m Amy, and I’m a “none.” A what? Well, it …
 
My guest this week is Michael, AKA Reverend Bones. Michael is an Australian singer/songwriter whose latest album Escape From Heaven is about his faith transition out of Evangelicalism. Michael talks openly and honestly about how purity culture affected him and the religious trauma it produced. Michael is now a climate activist and anti-purity cultu…
 
This week I am being interviewed by Sam and Daniel from the When Belief Dies podcast. The focus is on what I have changed my mind about since beginning work in the secular community. We discuss the following topics: The deconversion process https://gracefulatheist.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/?gaid=gap74 https://gracefulatheist.com/2020/11/23…
 
I begin every streaming interview with a question, “Hi, can you hear me?” Never has an affirmative answer to such a mundane question been so profound as it was with this week’s guest, Caroline Schwabe. Caroline had progressive hearing loss and eventually could no longer speak on the phone even with hearing aids. Almost by accident, she was referred…
 
This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode. My guest this week is Brette. Brette was so serious about her Christianity in junior high her goal was martyrdom. In her young adulthood, she followed her pastor’s advice and attended Master’s Commission, similar to a discipleship training program. Her experience there was nothing short of psych…
 
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