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← FFRF announces fund to aid nonbelieving clergy

FFRF announces fund to aid nonbelieving clergy - Comments

ganggan's Avatar Comment 1 by ganggan

Why do we care about a few nonbelieving clergy? Try to strike some points? Would the money be better spent on educating children? Prevention vs. treatment.

Mon, 07 May 2012 17:33:54 UTC | #940340

Quine's Avatar Comment 2 by Quine

I will be contributing to this fund, and want to make a pitch for it to all of you. One of the things you hear, again and again, from the religious side is that atheists don't understand "sophisticated theology" and argue against things that all religious leaders know are non-issues. Having clergy come out and talk about how they moved from believing, sophisticated theology, to a position of waking up to why it can't really be true, strikes directly against that old canard. We need these stories of coming to greater understanding. We need to support this brilliant effort, the Clergy Project.

Mon, 07 May 2012 17:48:39 UTC | #940343

Michael Fisher's Avatar Comment 3 by Michael Fisher

Comment 1 by ganggan :

Why do we care about a few nonbelieving clergy? Try to strike some points? Would the money be better spent on educating children? Prevention vs. treatment.

We can do both prevention & treatment. Clergy "coming out" is a good story that will be picked up by other clergy still on the fence ~ and by their congregations.

Another reason: it's wonderful to watch the remaining clergy at the effected churches having to do a bit of fire fighting & lying for Jesus to keep the show on the road. Fun to watch these buggers wriggle on the hook.

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:40:15 UTC | #940360

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 4 by AtheistEgbert

Well, this is great news, and I do remember suggesting this idea on this very website! Well, I won't take credit for it! I'm just happy it happened.

And of course we should care, as compassionate people. But it's obviously very much in our interest to get as many non-believing clergy to drop out as possible, especially with the great wealth of experience and leadership that they can provide.

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:58:44 UTC | #940367

Galactor's Avatar Comment 5 by Galactor

"It is hard to think of any other profession which it is so near to impossible to leave," writes Richard Dawkins.

I can think of one.

The mafia.

Mon, 07 May 2012 20:27:34 UTC | #940392

Sample's Avatar Comment 6 by Sample

I know the members of the Clergy Project face difficulties on multiple fronts, but this is also an exciting time to be an atheist. I almost wish I was ordained so I could come out just to be part of this amazing group. :-j

Mike

Mon, 07 May 2012 20:52:43 UTC | #940406

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 7 by strangebrew

Comment 1 by ganggan

Why do we care about a few nonbelieving clergy?

Because these people desperately need help...!

Mon, 07 May 2012 21:11:53 UTC | #940416

RobertJames's Avatar Comment 8 by RobertJames

I didn't think this Clergy Project site would work when I first heard about it but it looks like I was wrong. Now it seems like a great little idea, the impact of Atheists offering clergy a "way out" has quite a powerful resonance.

Mon, 07 May 2012 21:56:46 UTC | #940433

alberto93's Avatar Comment 9 by alberto93

When I was a teenager, I was seriously considering to become a catholic priest. Fortunately, I didn't. This people need our help to become free again. We won't have a real idea of how many they are if we don't provide them some support.

Tue, 08 May 2012 00:28:55 UTC | #940460

Sara's Avatar Comment 10 by Sara

Comment 2 by Quine :

I will be contributing to this fund, and want to make a pitch for it to all of you. One of the things you hear, again and again, from the religious side is that atheists don't understand "sophisticated theology" and argue against things that all religious leaders know are non-issues. Having clergy come out and talk about how they moved from believing, sophisticated theology, to a position of waking up to why it can't really be true, strikes directly against that old canard. We need these stories of coming to greater understanding. We need to support this brilliant effort, the Clergy Project.

Ditto. I think the clergy voices are extremely important. I bet lots of "believing" clergy are hearing them too and are more likely to respond to the journey and logic of their colleagues than to the so-called "angry atheists."

These clergy don't seem angry at all, do they? They seem incredibly relieved.

Tue, 08 May 2012 00:35:34 UTC | #940462

GregGorey's Avatar Comment 11 by GregGorey

Comment 1 by ganggan :

Why do we care about a few nonbelieving clergy? Try to strike some points? Would the money be better spent on educating children? Prevention vs. treatment.

Because they are people who are in a tight spot. Also, you don't see how helping clergy safely deconvert is a great leap forward?

Tue, 08 May 2012 05:12:56 UTC | #940485

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 12 by QuestioningKat

Comment 1 by ganggan :

Why do we care about a few nonbelieving clergy? Try to strike some points? Would the money be better spent on educating children? Prevention vs. treatment.

Clergy are people who generally like people, sincerely want to help people, excel at speaking in front of large groups, and are passionate about what they do. If you remove the religion, many keep doing what they love in a different forum. Listen to the podcast "Living without Faith" the host is a former minister. Listen to Austin Atheists podcast/cable TV show, Matt was studying to be a minister (IMO, he is one of the best debaters around.) Not everyone will become activists, but they bring a unique perspective to the movement. They should be helped either way....and why not try to help everyone. Why think that the pot is too small to help former ministers and educating children.

Tue, 08 May 2012 11:38:40 UTC | #940520

Son of Mathonwy's Avatar Comment 13 by Son of Mathonwy

This is a great idea. Some of these people are in a very difficult position, so could do with some support.

And of course this helps us fight the spread of the religion meme.

I guess there's a slight danger that the various churches threatened by this will claim that atheists are bribing priests to leave. So any grants should not exceed the priest's salary....

Wed, 09 May 2012 17:08:20 UTC | #940750

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 14 by Steven Mading

I'm of a bit of a mixed mind on this. On the one hand from a purely tactical point of view this is very useful. Ex-preachers are an excellent bulwark against the "you're only an atheist because you don't understand theology" bullshit like of argument, and getting a preacher to come out can affect more than one person because it can make their "flock" think twice about the next preacher they hear who, on the surface, seems just as certain as the one that lost the faith seemed.

But on the other hand I just don't have as much sympathy for their personal situation as I'm being told I should have. If you've gone through the schooling to be a proper preacher - if you're very well informed about the bible and its history - then your decision to spread the word anyway is more than mere delusion or gullibility - its deliberate deception. Every preacher who studies that evil book and pretends it's all sweetness and light is outright lying to his flock, and does NOT have the excuse of ignorance.

I support this ONLY because of its efficacy, NOT because of any sympathy for those who chose, on purpose, a career of deception.

Sat, 12 May 2012 04:16:09 UTC | #941126