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Pastors Who Don't Believe - The Clergy Project - Comments

PrivatizeEducaton's Avatar Comment 1 by PrivatizeEducaton

Christians needs to read the bible before declaring their belief in a religion that they know nothing about. they need to wake up and read instead of listening to corrupted interpretations of the meaning of the clear text. religious books contains arguments against religion that are as good as any, our strategy should be to encourage more people to read them. and this is interview is eye opening

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:53:58 UTC | #907792

Daryl 's Avatar Comment 2 by Daryl

I guess my biggest issue with religion, any religion, is that it's so intellectually lazy. Tough issue with what makes the universe? Why bother exploring quantum physics, or fluctuations or the tough math that Einstein spent 15 years on? It's already in this one book that really explains nothing, but I don't have to really know then. Where did our species come from? Why do the digging the Leakeys did, or understand the DNA ramifications, or knowing what evolution is? That's hard. No need, it's all in this book that really doesn't have it. But it does make it easy. So when a Clergy person spends the time to do some REAL thinking, and they discover that they've been selling a product that is an empty box, the honest ones don't want to sell anymore.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:12:26 UTC | #907817

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 3 by Premiseless

Comment 2 by Daryl :

I guess my biggest issue with religion, any religion, is that it's so intellectually lazy.

Intellectually corrupt grafted as an emotional violence. It perpetuates a deeply psychological abuse cycle that leaves people as carrion to the criminal minded. The individual is caught betwixt the violences of real crime over virtual crime and seeking a place that in most circumstances simply does not exist.

"Lord won't you fuck off and leave me some friends?" "Stick all your fictions up your material benz." "I just want trust and reason, upon which I can depend."

Cue the organ music of the natural world.... and all it's players....

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:28:10 UTC | #907819

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 4 by Rich Wiltshir

I didn't count the time listening to this. The preacher's tone is still in most of their voices, but the words and the lives behind them are still touching.

I'd be prepared to be a part of the escapee's life if there's one near me.

This is good work, work that will is changing the world for the better. Thank you.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:36:43 UTC | #907824

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 5 by potteryshard

It would nice if we could give such people a plaque or award for having the courage to disbelieve. And then of course, to help them find new jobs so they are not tempted to continue to tout religion just because it is the only job they know.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:58:56 UTC | #907829

Finch's Avatar Comment 6 by Finch

Comment 1 by PrivatizeEducaton :

Christians needs to read the bible before declaring their belief in a religion that they know nothing about. they need to wake up and read instead of listening to corrupted interpretations of the meaning of the clear text. religious books contains arguments against religion that are as good as any, our strategy should be to encourage more people to read them. and this is interview is eye opening

Christians should be encouraged to not only read the Bible...but to also read literature about Christianity that is not written by Christians and is not from a Christian perspective. Hitchens and Dawkins opened my eyes widely about the realities of religious fallacies.

During my conservative Christian days, our pastors and teachers taught us to interpret and filter what we heard and read, in our daily lives, through the Biblical principles that we were taught...and that the goal of "faith" was its increase...not its decrease (i.e., the label "Oh, ye of little faith" was no accolade, for which to strive).

So, if a non-believer wrote a scathing book about Christianity, there was no intelligent discussion as to whether any of that person's views were worthy of debating because, according to the bible, an unbeliever can not interpret scripture accurately because, "[t]he man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1Cor2:14). Likewise, if a believer wrote such a book, they were labeled a "liberal" and a "heretic" because "Satan can transform himself into an angel of light" to deceive other believers (2Cor11:14).

Problem: If the Church encouraged believers to read and discuss non-Christian viewpoints like Hitchens and Dawkins, the pews would empty and many churches would close.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 02:48:37 UTC | #907841

Quine's Avatar Comment 7 by Quine

This was a good podcast. I enjoyed several parts and wish I could get all my Christian friends to sit still long enough to listen to the initial segment with Dan Barker. I particularly enjoyed the call from the preacher's daughter who described the special difficulties of her situation.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 03:40:25 UTC | #907843

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 8 by susanlatimer

My favourite part was when Dan Barker talked about the four months when he admitted to himself that he was an atheist but continued to fulfill his bookings as an evangelist and as a christian songwriter because "how do you stop a lifetime on a dime?" He compared it to a marriage breaking up. "When do you say enough's enough?"

I'm kind of glad I went through that short period of hypocrisy... even though I was hating myself... I was standing up there saying things I did not believe and I knew they were not true. .One woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and she said to me, "Reverend Barker, I really felt the spirit of god in your ministry tonight"... and I was thinking... you did?

You know, that tells you something about this huge drama that's being played out within religion. It's not just the minister in the pulpit but the people in the pews. They're coming to play along with this big game. They're coming to get what they want to get and they're going to GET it.

Religion is not the only thing that manipulates this very common human tendency. But it sure puts on a clinic. So does showbiz. And lots of other things.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:58:20 UTC | #907855

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 9 by Vorlund

He compared it to a marriage breaking up. "When do you say enough's enough?"

In some ways I can see why he draws this comparison and having experienced the one but not the other I can't stand in his shoes but I think I would put it more akin to having to resign or retire from any other vocation or job.

Most of us (maybe all of us) are atheists because we have completed a journey which might be allegorised by throwing off of chains. Some marriages are certainly oppresive and moving on is like a bid for freedom but in becoming atheists have we suffered any particular emotional turmoil or sadness for what we have given up and which is common in relationship breakdowns? I have to say I didn't and the feeling of happiness and relief was remarkable even though I have never been devout in any sense.

I think a big fear for clergy is how they are going to make a living and that is a very real worry and a perfectly reasonable one. Many of them don't have a career profile which would lend themselves to another career and so they hang on and compromise themselves and inevitably feel guilt about that.

I do know of a monk who left orders and enlisted in the military (not as a chaplain), he also married and raised children which is purely an aside but the whole process couldn't be more removed from being a monk. There are interesting parallels however, both of these vocations have very structured lifestyles where you are told what to do from dawn to dusk and there is a fair amount of menace in the instruction to do as you are told. It is well known that many pepole need their lives ordering for them and it is most noticeable when people who have been in a particular post for many years are forced into retirement. It is almost as if they have to go through a grieving process to readjust.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:47:35 UTC | #907875

Finch's Avatar Comment 10 by Finch

Comment 9 by Vorlund :

I think a big fear for clergy is how they are going to make a living and that is a very real worry and a perfectly reasonable one. Many of them don't have a career profile which would lend themselves to another career and so they hang on and compromise themselves and inevitably feel guilt about that.

Good point about career profile.

If career constraints weren't enough to make a person in the clergy hesitate to go public with their disbelief, here are two other factors that are likely realities for the individual (and their family, if applicable):

(1) Lack of equity (i.e., the likelihood that the individual served in churches that provided housing for them as part of their benefits package, which, on the surface, looks inviting. However, in reality, salary is usually adjusted accordingly and the arrangement does not allow the individual the opportunity to build equity in a house, which they could recuperate when the house is sold).

(2) Lack of networking (i.e., the likelihood that the individual developed an extensive network of friends and acquaintances throughout the years who are disproportionately believers--perhaps, exclusively, believers--and the likelihood that a large portion of those believers--save the genuine friends--would, at best, think less of them...and, at worst, shun them, altogether).

Very, very tough spot to experience, no doubt.

However, here are two very practical resources, for career choices, for ex-clergy (USA):

O-Net Online: "Clergy"...Check out "Related Career Occupations" (near the bottom of the page). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Check out related fields from drop-menu on left of page.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 13:58:27 UTC | #907907

edwords's Avatar Comment 11 by edwords

 x-priest's resume' 



 1. accomplishments - - -I spent 20 years telling little kids they bear the curse of the
                                    Original Sin, but Jesus can save them from eternal hellfire.

 2. talents or skills  - - -  I can turn wine into the blood of a god.


 3. personal goals  - - -   Some day I'd like to marry a non Catholic gentl---,
                                    I mean, woman.

Sun, 22 Jan 2012 17:07:44 UTC | #910738

loganuva's Avatar Comment 12 by loganuva

perhaps the problem of restriction of education seems to be worse in the states then hear in the UK.thanks to the dawkins foundation i realized that i myself have not been thought about natural selection something that seems so important.in modern day schooling seems that schools are silently withholding such basic biology depriving them the Knowledge to even compare and question the too to them selfs.

Wed, 23 May 2012 11:30:49 UTC | #943086