44 episodes

My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist.
Join me as I interview people who have experienced faith transitions from doubt, to deconstruction, to deconversion.
We will talk about Secular Grace and Humanism. We will explore how to thrive as a human being on the other side of faith.
And finally, we will grapple with the big questions even when easy answers are not forthcoming. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support

The Graceful Atheist Podcast Graceful Atheist

    • Religion
    • 4.8, 30 Ratings

My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist.
Join me as I interview people who have experienced faith transitions from doubt, to deconstruction, to deconversion.
We will talk about Secular Grace and Humanism. We will explore how to thrive as a human being on the other side of faith.
And finally, we will grapple with the big questions even when easy answers are not forthcoming. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support

    Joel Furches: Why Christians Become Atheists

    Joel Furches: Why Christians Become Atheists

    My guest this week is Joel Furches. Joel is a psychologist researching topics of religion. He has a BA in psychology an MA in education, and he is working on his PhD in Behavioral Analysis. He he has focused on conversions and deconversions and has written a well researched article entitled: Why Do Christians Become Atheists? A Case Study.

    Joel and I discuss his research and walk through his model of deconversion. We discuss the “Market place of ideas” and “The Christian Bubble.” We define the terms disaffiliation, deconstruction and deconversion.

    Joel’s advice for Christians who are seeing more deconversions:

    [What] I would say to Christians in general is that it is not their responsibility to re-covert [the deconvert].
    They have not failed because this person deconverted and they will probably not succeed in re-converting them.
    It is to respect the person who has deconverted, respect their experience. Give them the right that any other human being would have which is to defend their views. And interact or engage in those views as important.

    Links
    Joel’s Website:
    https://joelfurches.com/

    Switching Sides
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/416964269222311
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SidesSwitching

    Why Do Christians Become Atheists? A Case Study
    https://hubpages.com/politics/Why-do-Christians-Become-Atheists-A-Case-Study

    Perez, S. and Vallières, F., 2019. How Do Religious People Become Atheists? Applying a Grounded Theory Approach to Propose a Model of Deconversion.Secularism and Nonreligion
    http://doi.org/10.5334/snr.108

    Interact
    Deconversion How To
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

    Attribution
    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


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    • 1 hr 37 min
    Leighann Lord: Very Funny Lady

    Leighann Lord: Very Funny Lady

    My guest this week is Leighann Lord, comedian, author and podcast host. She has traveled the world doing comedy and has been on VH1, Comedy Central and HBO. She has co-hosted on Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Start Talk Radio and on CFI’s podcast, Point of Inquiry. She hosts her own podcast, People With Parents. She has written two books: Dict Jokes and Real Women Do It Standing Up.

    Leighann went to Catholic school growing up and is now a humanist activist. Leighann was awarded the 2019 Humanist Arts Award for her work as the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry.

    We talk about humanism and what it can add to the conversation about race in America. Leighann handles my naivete with grace and elegance while still pointing out the world is a complicated place and racism is a persistent problem in America.

    "[This] is humanism.
    Human beings trying to be better humans.
    Actually doing the work."

    Leighann’s podcast, People With Parents, deals with the role reversal of taking care of elderly parents. It is also a raw and real look at grieving the death of parent. We discuss secular grief and the need to be more public about grief as non-believers.

    We geek out about comedy and how it can let truth sneak past our defense mechanisms. Leighann shares her top five comedic influences. She talks about first seeing Marsha Warfield on stage, “I didn’t know we did this. Which tells you the power of role models.”

    Leighann’s comedy specials which are available on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Prime have much to say about living in 2020 though they were recorded a few years ago. They cover race, religion, sexism, sex, wealth disparity, and the lack of education in the current administration.


    Links
    Website
    http://www.VeryFunnyLady.com

    Instagram
    https://www.instagram.com/leighannlord/

    Twitter
    https://twitter.com/leighannlord

    People With Parents Podcast
    http://www.veryfunnylady.com/people-with-parents-podcast

    YouTube
    http://youtube.com/c/LeighannLordComedy

    Books
    http://tinyurl.com/LeighannsBooks



    Interact
    Secular Grace
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/secular-grace/



    Attribution

    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


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    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Bart Campolo: Humanize Me

    Bart Campolo: Humanize Me

    My guest this week is Bart Campolo. Bart is the host of the Humanize Me Podcast. He is the author of “Why I Left, Why I Stayed.” Along with his famous Evangelical father, Tony Campolo, Bart is the subject of John Wright’s documentary: Leaving my Father’s Faith. If that is not enough, Bart is also the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Cincinnati.

    Bart and I discuss graceful ways of talking with people with whom we disagree, having conversations that are difficult that touch on religion, race and politics and changing one’s mind. I point out that Bart has been particularly public with some of these conversations, including a book and documentary with his dad, Tony Campolo, a podcast episode with his son, Roman, where they disagree on the hope or lack thereof for our species and a recent podcast episode on race. In short, Bart wears his heart on his sleeve and lives his life out loud with humility, honesty and grace.

    We discuss humanism and the burden of being hopeful. Bart pushes back on my assertion that everyone needs awe, belonging and community. According to Bart different people need different amounts of each of those things. At the same time, Bart is facilitating a healthy secular community in Cincinnati providing just those things for the lucky few who attend. They put it this way:


    Commitment to loving relationships
    Making things better for other people
    Cultivating gratitude and wonder in life
    Worldview humility

    I normally have a few quotes from the episode, but as I was writing them down it became a transcript. Bart is eminently quotable. Listen to the show to find out. I will leave you with just one which you will need to listen to the show to understand:

    Show your work!

    Be sure to listen to the end for a funny story I tell that relates to Bart’s father, Tony Campolo, during my time at bible college.

    Links
    Website
    https://bartcampolo.org/

    Podcast
    https://bartcampolo.org/humanizeme

    Documentary
    https://campolofilm.com/

    Book
    https://bartcampolo.org/why-i-left-why-i-stayed

    Interact
    Secular Grace
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/

    Deconversion
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

    Attribution

    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


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    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message
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    • 1 hr
    Bryce Harrington interviews the Graceful Atheist

    Bryce Harrington interviews the Graceful Atheist

    My guest this week is Bryce Harrington. Bryce and I have been colleagues off and on at a couple of different companies over the years. But most importantly he and I had a seminal discussion back in 2012 while killing time in an airport. At the time I was a dedicated Evangelical Christian and Bryce has been a life long atheist. Even though I had an ulterior motive at the time Bryce was kind, gracious and genuinely curious as he wanted to understand how and why I believed. As you will hear, ironically, my former believing self changed Bryce’s view of religious people.

    Fast forward to today, I told Bryce I had deconverted last year. He was shocked and amazed and wanted to understand how I had changed my mind and why I was doing the podcast. This turned out to be a really fun and interesting conversation that I am glad to be able to share with you. We did not pre-plan the questions. What you hear is Bryce’s genuine curiosity. He may have a career in podcast interviews.

    We also get to hear Bryce’s story. The isolation and loneliness he felt growing up the only non-believer in his community. That sense of isolation lasted for much of Bryce’s life. I think many of you who are life long atheists or who have just recently deconverted will be able to relate.

    Interact
    Hell is the Absence of God (thought experiment)
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/review-hell-is-the-absence-of-god/

    Secular Grace
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/

    Deconversion
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/

    Attribution

    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


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    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support

    • 1 hr 29 min
    John Marriott: A Recipe For Disaster

    John Marriott: A Recipe For Disaster

    My guest this week is John Marriott. We are talking about deconversion from the Christian perspective. John is the Director of Global Learning and teaches in the department of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Biola University. John did his PhD dissertation focused on deconversion from Christianity to atheism. He has written a book on deconversion called “A Recipe For Disaster,” which is directed to the Church on the ways they are setting up believers to lose their faith.

    I define [faith] as having enough reasons for a hope worth acting on.
    I think there enough reasons for me to act on this [faith].

    I first came across John’s work in an interview he did with Randal Rauser. I was struck by the honesty and clarity that he had in describing deconversion. In particular this quote:

    Something similar underwrites a significant percentage of deconversions. The biblical narrative that once easily fit within their childlike understanding of reality began to get squeezed out as they matured in their understanding of reality. The stories in the Bible about miracles, witches, giants, demons, etc. began to feel as out of place as Santa. To resolve the problems they may seek answers that will allow them to continue to believe in such things as adults in the 21st century. This is the experience not just of those who deconvert but all educated, reflective Christians today. I suspect that even for those that do remain Christians, the cognitive dissonance never completely goes away, it just has been reduced to a level that allows them to continue to believe. For deconverts however, the cognitive dissonance is not sufficiently assuaged by apologetics. It grows despite their efforts and reaches a tipping point. As in the case with Santa, the only way to resolve the tension is to admit what they know is true. God does not exist.

    John proved to be as honest in person as he is in his writing. He met me in an honesty contest and we found points of agreement on what it is like to deconvert. Even though we disagree on the conclusions we were able to have a vital conversation.

    Links
    Website
    https://www.johnmarriott.org/

    A Recipe For Disaster book
    https://www.johnmarriott.org/a-recipe-for-disaster

    Randal Rauser interview
    https://www.christianpost.com/voice/the-problem-of-christians-becoming-atheists.html

    Interact
    Deconversion and How to Deconvert
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

    Attribution

    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


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    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Richard Swan: London City Voices

    Richard Swan: London City Voices

    My guest this week is Richard Swan. Richard grew up Catholic, became an Anglican and then moved on to Pentecostalism. He was a worship leader and an active member of the Christian music scene including touring as Graham Kendrick‘s choir director.

    He began to notice that regardless of his person life the people responded in worship under his leadership. This began his questioning which eventually led to his deconversion.

    Post-deconversion, Richard is now the director of London City Voices, a non-religious community choir. Richard has figured out how to use his passion for music to build a secular community. In our conversation, we talk about the power of music to bring people together, how it can be manipulated and what it takes to be a community builder.


    Links
    Website
    https://www.londoncityvoices.co.uk/

    YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCE7166Y1HBO7_lh7_yjE4g

    Twitter
    https://twitter.com/LondonCityVoice

    Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/412432238841455/

    Interact
    Deconversion How To
    https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/deconversion-how-to/

    Attribution
    "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats
    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message
    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/support

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Marie56 ,

I’m learning a lot. Thank you!

I am learning so much from listening to this podcast. It has given me a deeper understanding of my experience of losing my faith. The podcast has given me greater insight into what I believe and how to communicate that to others.

SusanBell ,

Excellent Poscast

I look forward to these episodes so much. David is such a great podcast host and I can relate to so many of the guests and their stories. I highly recommend this podcast!!

BradyHardin ,

Great Podcast

I love what Dave is doing! He has a great attitude and is a skillful host at navigating people's stories gracefully.

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