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Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists
Minister-turned-atheist Jerry DeWitt speaks at ReasonFest in Kansas earlier this year.
June 13th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Jerry DeWitt entered the ministry when he was 17, launching a 25-year career as a Pentecostal preacher. He traveled all around his home state of Louisiana, preaching and ministering wherever he could.

All these years later, DeWitt, 42, is still on the road, and now takes his message all over the United States. But the nature of that message, along with his audience, has changed dramatically.

DeWitt is now an avowed atheist, and his audiences are made up of religious “nones,” the growing number of Americans who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or just plain disinterested in identifying with a religion. Today, DeWitt preaches a gospel of disbelief.

During his speeches, he talks about the process of leaving his preacher job. “If you don’t believe, then you will be like me - you’ll suddenly find yourself where you only have two choices,” DeWitt told a group in Johnson County, Kansas, earlier this year.

“You can either be honest that you don’t believe ... or you can pretend that you do,” he said. “Which is what so many people are doing and that is called faith.”

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The transition from preacher to outspoken atheist has not been easy, and DeWitt is trying to smooth the way for other former believers. He is executive director of Recovering from Religion, an organization founded in 2009. Its slogan: “Thousands of organizations will help you get INTO religion, but we’re the only one helping you OUT.”

But a relatively new effort goes a step further than his own group by focusing on helping clergy in particular. In March 2011, a coalition that includes national groups such as American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation helped launch the Clergy Project, which is aimed at giving doubting and atheist preachers a community in which they can talk about their disbelief.

The program's ultimate goal: to help unbelieving preachers to “come out” in real life.

A safe online community

The Clergy Project’s key component is a private online community of active and former pastors discussing their conversions to lives of active disbelief. It lets congregational leaders come out anonymously, using an alias.

“It is important to focus on any group of people who are in a lot of pain,” said Linda LaScola, a co-founder of the Clergy Project. “That is why the Clergy Project exists, and it wouldn’t be growing if there wasn’t a need for it.”

When it launched last year, 52 clergy signed up for the online community, according to LaScola. A little more than a year later, 270 members are contributing to the message boards and connecting anonymously with one another.

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According to LaScola, the community includes some rabbis, imams and Catholic priests, but the majority are Protestants.

Members are barred from disclosing what is discussed on the boards, but DeWitt said it’s a blend of humor, advice and encouragement. DeWitt, who left his congregation just over a year ago, is considered the group’s first graduate.

“It gave me confidence to come out,” DeWitt said of the Clergy Project. “Knowing that I was not alone, that I was not a fluke, that I was not a freak of religious nature, but that this is a process; it most definitely gave me confidence and a purpose.”

Jerry DeWitt, far right, in his days as a minister.

DeWitt said that after connecting with people on the message boards, he realized he faced fewer obstacles than some others who are trying to leave the ministry. For example, DeWitt's wife and son already knew about his disbelief, while other questioning preachers had not yet told their families.

“I think it is important when you are struggling that you talk it out, that you write about it, that you find support,” said Teresa MacBain, acting executive director of the Clergy Project. “I still try to reach out to people who are questioning, who are doubting, clergy people and laypeople alike, and let them know they are not alone, that there are people who care.”

How does he feed his family?

For 44 years, MacBain was involved in some sort of ministry, from organizing worship music to being a senior pastor at a Methodist church in Florida.

At a recent American Atheists convention in North Bethesda, Maryland, MacBain first publicly announced her atheism, inspiring a roaring round of applause. American Atheists President David Silverman walked onstage and hugged her as MacBain began to cry.

"I was the one on the right track, and you were the ones that were going to burn in hell," MacBain told the crowd. "And I'm happy to say as I stand before you right now, I'm going to burn with you."

She said she sees plenty of growth potential in the Clergy Project. In the near future, she said she hopes to incorporate it as a nonprofit and begin raising funds for clergy who have decided to leave ministry jobs. She also wants to compile a group of employment recruiters to help former clergy find new jobs.

DeWitt, for his part, is struggling financially and said his house could be foreclosed on in the next few months.

For former preachers in search of work, their old skills can be hard to translate into new fields. What references do former ministers use if they have disappointed their congregants by leaving the pulpit?

MacBain said that some “formers,” as she calls ex-clergy, have left their hometowns for new jobs in fields ranging from radio to counseling.

To aid those transitions, Recovering from Religion has started the Clergy Professional Relief Fund, dedicated to “helping ex-ministers have a soft landing after coming out of the ministry.” Though little money has been collected so far, the hope is to help former ministers with job training and relocation expenses.

“Even if you have a degree in divinity, that doesn’t really mean anything,” DeWitt said. “That is the biggest fear that a nonbelieving clergy member has. How does he feed his family?”

Losing faith, losing friends

As a young fresh-faced minister, DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said. “I really loved the people I preached to, I loved them like family. So imagine preaching that if you don’t do this, you are going to burn in hell. That wasn’t easy for me.”

After doubt about hell, DeWitt began to research other schools of thought about God and belief. He began to develop other doubts, about certain biblical translations and about healing.

“The next big issue was the failure of prayer,” DeWitt said. “People are passing away, whenever we pray for them to live. People aren’t getting jobs, whenever we pray for them to have jobs.

“The harder we tried to alleviate suffering within our church, it seemed like the worse things got,” he said. “It didn’t seem like prayer made any difference. It just continually crushed my heart.”

When DeWitt decided to come out as an atheist, some in his congregation appeared shocked.

“I was very heartbroken actually because his family means so much to me; they are actually like family,” said Natosha Davis, 30, who attended DeWitt’s church for four years. “I was very heartbroken for him that he had to go through that and struggle.”

Many congregants were less charitable. “Some people where he lives just totally turned their backs on him,” Davis said. “He was ostracized, excommunicated. It is like he has a disease, but he doesn’t.”

When DeWitt runs into people he used to preach to, he still averts his eyes. Going to the post office and to Walmart, he said, can be stressful because of the possibility of running into a former congregant.

“It is because places in which you were once admired now you are suddenly scorned or pitied,” DeWitt said, who admits not having many friends anymore. “It makes for an extremely uncomfortable life.”

And yet DeWitt said his atheist life mirrors his old religious one in some key respects. In some ways, he said, he’s still a minister.

“The origin of the symmetry is me, is my personality, my love for people, my love for ministering,” DeWitt said. “What I have always tried to do is to minster from where I personally am at.

“When I was 17, I preached what I believed was best for people at the time; when I was 20, it was a little different; at 25 it was different, too,” he said. “And now at 42, I am still the same guy preaching what I see is best for people.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity

soundoff (5,298 Responses)
  1. RealityChecker

    CNN is trying really hard to increase the number of atheists from their miniscule 3% of the population. But considering that CNN is dead last in the ratings, right at the bottom with MSNBC, it's no wonder that 97% of the American people continue to reject the lunacy of the irrelevant 3%.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • mickey1313

      um only 40% are religious check your lieing facts again

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Poll after poll shows the decline of christianity and the rise of the 'non religious'. If you choose to keep your head in the sand, knock yourself out.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • us_1776

      I think you'll find the number is quite a bit higher than the 3% who openly admit to being atheist.

      I'd put it closer to 20%.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Fact:
      97.62% of statistics cited by RealityChecker are pulled straight from their @$$.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      what is funny realitychecker is those that do apparently believe do not agree with each other either so i guess those that are wrong must also be delusional right? hmm, i wonder who the delusion relgious lot are and who are the sane ones.....i bet you will claim its whatever god you follow that is the true one right?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  2. ttyl

    The problem is he is all about himself and HIS feelings, not what God requires!! All of us who deperately tryto walk holy before God learn that how we feel does not matter when it comes to God, His work and souls that need to be saved!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Martin

      The real problem is reality didn't match all the ridiculous things he read in the bible. As a minister he was forced to actually study what was in it instead of letting the minister do it all for him.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  3. Wheelie

    It's hard to go from believer to non-believer because the still-believers will hound you nearly to death and insist on praying with you, for you, etc. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to go from preacher to atheist.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  4. us_1776

    Atheist Proud !!

    God was a concept that allowed ancient rulers to use fear at a distance in order to control their populations.

    .

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  5. glennrobert

    One side says there is a God the other side says no. Neither position is testable so I am Agnostic. A life long Atheist friend says I am wishy washy!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      One can easily be an agnostic (I don't know) atheist (I have no belief). Nearly all atheists I know fall into this category since there is no way to know conclusively if there is a deity.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Agnosticism is NOT a position between atheism and theism, it is simply a position on whether or not deities exist or not is knowable. (A)gnosticism deals with knowledge, (a)theism with belief – and they are not mutually exclusive.

      I'm an agnostic atheist, and I suspect you are too.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      you are not wishy washy. you have determined you cannot prove either. ethics come from us. we can and should choose to live by them religion or not. should make no difference at all

      June 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  6. richunix

    For those who believe "Thank God you do" and for those who do not "Thank God you don't" (I'm in the latter group). End of story.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Ran

    Good for them. Life is too short to live under a false belief.
    Reason and science hold no promises of an after life, or of all the goodies that await you in heaven–and to me that feels more honest.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Rich

    what? No Santa either?

    June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Wheelie

      Don't worry! Santa really exists. I see him at the malls all the time in December.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  9. LB Colorado

    Wow, I read about the preachers like this. Good luck. Hang on to your shirt tales. To be a recipient of God's gifts, is absolutely the very best EVER. I hope and pray that I don't fall into disbelief, times have been tough, but I have been a recipient of God's grace and mercy – it is without a doubt second to none. Will all your prayers be answered? Yes, but not your will be done – remember it is not about YOU. Takes some getting used to, but it what it is.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  10. Ricky L

    One thing is sure!

    There are as many ignorant and intolerant atheists as there are ignorant and intolerant Christians.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      When was the last time atheists got together and tried to limit the rights of people who were different than them?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      To tolerate the unbelievers is to allow the workings of Satan. I cannot stand by and allow such. We will return to a Christian Nation as we should be.

      Amen.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ignorance and stupidity cross all social, cultural and religious divides.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ricky L

      And just what "rights" are atheists being denied???

      June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      the forefathers of this country would disagree with your "we started Christian nation" notion...

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • glennrobert

      There are really not that many Atheists ignorant or other wise! True belief is comforting when we grieve. Many beliefs do not talk of God.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Ricky L – let me spell it out for you. I never claimed atheists were being denied any rights. What I am claiming is that christians (at least some of them) are denying secular marriage rights to those that are different them. Just like when white christians did the same thing with interracial marriages a few decades ago. Stop using your ancient book of questionable morals to justify hate, intolerance, and bigotry.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  11. TJX

    I love how all the religious people (whether the hypocrites of Christianity or the terrorists of Islam) posting here are all butthurt by a person that just came to his senses.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ricky L

      You know them all?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • brian

      I love that too!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  12. Rich

    At last...Someone educated form down south...amen

    June 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    Now if only this guy could get rid of his annoying habit of prosthelytizing.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      +1

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  14. unbiased direction

    everyone believes in something, and to take that away would be to take away our humanity. why fight it out on the internet? does anyone here really think they are going to change any of these other peoples decisions? we all are different, and we all fundamentally understand the world differently. if you really want to 'convert' others, lead by example, not words.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      Some people take comfort in that there arent set answers and some people like the idea that things have a reason and there are expected outcomes. I dont think one is worse than the other.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Michael

    I've said it numerous times and I'll say it again.

    I'd rather believe there is a God and die and find out He doesn't exist, than to live believing there's no God and die only to find out He's REAL. What would you do then?

    June 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Well, you'd better hope that you believe the right way and in the right god. There's hundreds of thousands of ways in which you could get this wrong.

      Or you could google 'pascal's wager' and see what an amazingly lame argument this is.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • cilia

      If god is truly "love", then it would not matter.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Pick a God, any God!
      Eenie, meenie, miney ..... Quetzlcoatl!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • courtneyjhall

      What if you die and find out that God/Yahweh/Allah doesn't exist, but Krishna does? Or Mithra? Or Zeus? Take your pick, there are hundreds of them...

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Martin

      If the god of the bible actually exists I'd curse him to his face for being the sack of crap he is. The old testament stories of god are absolutely disgusting. He was a petty tyrant who killed people on a whim, was racist against anyone who wasn't a Jew and wanted people to bow down and tell him how awesome he was all the time. Oh and he made a bet with the devil that he could make Job his play toy and Job would still be brainwashed even after being tortured and members of his family dying for no reason.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      This is Pascal's wager, it is utter crap – refuted long ago.

      “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
      ― Marcus Aurelius

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      how about live your life ethically and you dont have to worry either way

      June 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Folish unbelievers going to perish in the end.

      Amen.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      HeavenSent: we will all perish eventually

      June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Derek

      HeavenSent umm, "Folish unbelievers going to perish in the end. " -as will the believers too. We all die.

      And you win the award for the 10001st spew of Pascal's Wager today. Your prize: nothing but the ridicule you deserve, stupid.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Nate

      Its one thing to believe in God. Its another to significantly change your behavior in this world because of a belief in God in the next. You've got to not only believe in the existence, you've got to get the details right.

      So what if you limit your social circle, spend hours every week unproductively worshiping, and adopt a world view that makes you badly misunderstand THIS world, then death brings oblivion or you were badly wrong about God? Then you've handicapped or messed up THIS life for no reason!

      Given the odds on getting God wrong even if God exists I'll take my chances focusing on this world.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • objectiveobserver

      your logic breaks down when you consider that there are thousands of gods from which to choose so choose wisely. [Fe] that's irony.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Nine

      Well, I'd be happily dead, knowing that I had lived a peaceful and moral life, just one that didn't include god. If he/she/it wanted to be a part of my life, they should have been a bit more present, because all the faith I had told me that I didn't need an invisible sky Hebrew to tell me what was the proper way to live in harmony with the world around me.

      Honestly, I think it's really sad how so many people seem to follow a doctrine just because "what if I die and I didn't follow the words of Jesus". What if you die and you find out that the right path was following Hinduism? I hope you're ready to be reborn as a lower life form, you karmic casual.

      Right now you're following a tenant of faith not because you have faith, but because you are scared of the possible consequences. That's the worse reason to be a part of a church and it plays to all of the most negative aspects of religion. To have FAITH you need to BELIEVE. There's a pretty significant difference between being afraid and actually believing.

      Here's the kicker. God doesn't care about fear. He cares about actual belief. So if you follow the ten commandments and everything just because you're afraid of going to hell, then you'll be just as ill-off as the rest of us non-believers.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Luposian

      Amen!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • glennrobert

      There is so little information from the here after. The two testaments were written by men for political reasons and power!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      so you believe just in case then, you dont think a god would know that?

      and, like so many others, you ignore the 3rd option......there is a god but he isnt the one you are praying to so you are just as screwed as the rest of us. You had better start praying to them all just to edge your bets.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Frank

      What difference would it make? Do you expect the God that you imagine and then choose not to believe in to say "See? In your soul's face, unbeliever! Now I'm gonna give you a cosmic wedgie because I'm God and ou're not, then send you to hell! Bwahaha!" If God exists, then God exists whether you believe or not, and it's only a construct of our own imagination to believe that He/She/It would be upset that we didn't believe because we had no way of knowing at the time of our death (or because we were 3 years old and born in Afghanistan at the time of our death or whatever) whether God existed or not. In the end, what you believe makes no difference. What you do throughout your life, however, will make a huge difference in whether, on your deathbed, you will look back and feel good about yourself or feel bad about yourself. That's what you'll take with you. That's what heaven or hell is.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Robert

      So you don't really believe but are hedging your bets. If there were an omniscient god then don't you think it would see through your ruse?
      It's also called Pascal's wager.
      The good news is you're really an atheists covering your butt.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • 4thand26

      @ Michael...so, your religious beliefs are based in fear, nice! It appears that the only reason for your "faith" is to be rewarded...seems selfish and self-centered...just saying.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • pwnagepimp

      I've always hated the whole "but what if God's real" line...

      I believe in a higher power but do not believe in the Christian god.

      I'm not afraid of death because the higher power that I believe exists wouldn't burn and torture and cause eternal suffering for anything in the universe. The higher power that I believe exists is the REAL "all loving god". Claiming that the Christian god is "all loving" but then discovering that this same "all loving god" is perfectly accepting of slavery, subjugation of women, crushing the skull and bones of a small child until they finally die because they talked back to their parents (politely called stoning), torturing and burning for eternity anybody who doubts his existence even though there is zero evidence for his existence since he magically stopped appearing in the modern world, murdering the ENTIRE earth's population but saving only a few people, etc etc.

      By reading the Bible and discovering the actions, beliefs, and commandments of the Christian god, I've learned that he is not only childishly petulant when it comes to our beliefs, but he has also committed mass murder on a global scale and almost eradicated every single living breathing creature on our planet.

      Of course none of that actually happened but my point to you is this: Why oh why would you EVER wish to spend eternity in the presence of a "higher" being whose morals are reflected in some of the most evil men in history?

      Who shares the same company when it comes to mass murdering human beings?? 1. Hitler 2. Stalin 3. Pol Pot 4. the Christian God

      Who shares the same company when it comes to murdering young children due to their unruly behavior? 1. the Christian God 2. insane people on Earth

      If the Christian God is "all knowing" then logically is can be presumed that he knew from the beginning of time the way his creation would act and think. Therefore we were never given free will and god created humans who he knew would doubt his existence which he would then use as a reason to "lovingly" burn them alive in torturous agony for all eternity.

      I wish you the best Michael, and I know this will NEVER cause you to doubt your beliefs but you really ought to reconsider your understanding of your supposed creator. Just ask yourself: Do you really want to spend eternity with a being capable of inflicting such widespread hatred, violence, and anger?

      I'm thankful to my god for blessing me with the capability to think rationally and reject the idea that a being as f#!ked up as the christian god created the beautiful universe we inhabit. My god is pure loving energy that radiates through everything in the univese. Your god only loves those who praise him – while he tortures anybody who doesn't. I'll say it again, an All Loving Being would not be capable of inflicting torture onto it's children/creation.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  16. bones1918

    Athiest: i don't believe in god and i HATE him (stomps foot)

    June 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      i dont hate god. neither you or I can prove he does or doesnt exist. what is there to hate? except if your limited mind needs a reason

      June 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Devil made me do it

      Christians: God is real! (has no proof whatsoever)

      June 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Do you hate the easter bunny? Probably not. Now, if people wanted to have mandatory lessons about the easter bunny in public schools that you pay for, and if people wanted to discriminate against others because of what they think the easter bunny would have wanted, would you sit silently by?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Martin

      I hate Santa Claus. I always got a lump of coal.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • richardmachine

      Always amused by the arrogant assumption that non-belief is always an emotional decision. I hate to break it to you, but for most of us who don't buy into religion, the conclusion is an objective, calculated one that results from having the courage to examine all of the facts (or lack thereof) and then make the call. Put it this way: If I said that the reason you don't believe in unicorns was that you were simply made at them, would that not be absurd? Exactly.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      i would say that if god was real then he is no god because hes screwed up this creation big time.
      but its a touch hard to hate something you dont think exists.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • bones1918

      The courage to explore the facts? Really? You've done a thorough investigation where you have separated out organized religion from true theology and explored the relationship between neuroscience and unquantifiable things like morality and you arrived at the conclusion that there can't possibly be a god because in your exhaustive, all-knowing examination of the entire universe, you have found scientific proof that life can spontaneously create itself and somehow humans developed morality apart from all other living creatures that have no moral or ethical code of conduct? Even Plato and Aristotle in the end arrived at the idea that there must be some kind of creator.

      believe or don't believe, I don't care. That's between you and God or the easter bunny or whoever you chose to give credit for creating life to. But don't automatically assume that all believers are 1, narrow minded; 2, judgmental; 3, anti-science; and 4, stupid.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Frank

      Lol! Person with small hippocampus's concept of what skepticism is: "I don't believe in God and I hate him! *stomps foot*"

      June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "humans developed morality apart from all other living creatures that have no moral or ethical code of conduct?"

      This is patently, completely, false.

      But yeah, talking snakes make much more sense.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Recovering From Religion

      Non-believers don't hate god anymore than someone hates Santa 🙂 Can't hate something that doesn't exist...

      June 14, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  17. 111Dave111

    He has the free will to chose.
    Every person should have the fee will to chose.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Montello

    I have known 2 clergy who were admitted atheists. The first, a Catholic priest in Ireland, admitted after a few strong drinks that he had never believed, but entered the priesthood because he liked the power it gave him over people (he was a real _____ when he was sober). The second, an Episcopalian, lost his faith well into his career, but stayed with it as he genuinely wanted to help people. Both acknowledged that they were hypocrites, but at least the Episcopalian wasn't in it for himself.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  19. St. Xavier

    For me there is a GOD my GOD is priviet to me, I do not try to force my GOD on any one. You must remember your soul is your to do as you wish. Do be your self in GOOD works helping other an not expect any rewards. It's all ways best to be friendly help where is can do some good an be happy in your self that you didn't not use anger in stead. An if there is a HEAVEN your on your way.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Derek

      St. X, google Pascal's Wager. You might have made the wrong bet.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  20. bluemax77

    Hell, I might even start going to church now...

    June 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Which God??

      Good play on words there.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.