Emily: Deconversion Anonymous


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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, but she struggled with severe fear of hell and the rapture from a young age.

The youth group setting was horribly unsuited to a sensitive introvert like. She was miserable being forced to attend churches where she didn’t know anyone except her parents.This discomfort in Christian circles continued through college.

After college, Emily spent a year in London doing a master’s degree. She immersed myself in the city’s amazing performing arts scene and met a lot of people with totally different backgrounds and beliefs to hers. That year really expanded her horizons, and when she moved back to the US, she pursued a career in performing arts administration.

For the first few years after grad school, Emily wasn’t ready to reject everything and say that she didn’t believe in God, but she had no interest in going to church, praying, reading the Bible, etc. Then the 2016 election happened, and she watched with horror as Christians whom she loved and admired went all-in for Trump. At that point, her indifference turned to disgust, and she wanted nothing to do with Christianity at all.

In the past 2-3 years Emily has really done the hard work of figuring out what she believes now and addressing the harm that her Christian background has caused. Emily has had to work through the baggage of purity culture as she is in her first long term relationship.

Therapy with a focus on religious trauma has been helpful. Emily is discovering who she is, relish the arts and experiencing the joy of being a human being.


We are very excited to announce the new private Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group. The group will be administered by Arline from episode 71. Please join us in building a community of graceful human beings.

Deconversion Anonymous Facebook Group

Full show notes


Secular Grace


"Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Thanks to Logan Thomas for the new Graceful Atheist Podcast art work

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