Religion

Five Harmful Religious Ideas I Had to Unlearn about Sex

This post originally appeared two years ago on Removing the Fig Leaf. I was born a Pentecostal. My background was not as extreme as Kim Davis’s Pentecostalism, but I did grow up on Jimmy Swaggart and “That Thing” and homophobia and overt misogyny and stories of demon sex spirits imprinting pornographic images on my mind […]

The Turn That Saved My Life

“But I come here today to look across this world of threats to a world of peace. In that search we cannot expect any final triumph—for new problems will always arise. We cannot expect that all nations will adopt like systems—for conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. Nor can we […]

3 Romantic Bible Stories

Around Valentine’s Day, Facebook thought I might enjoy this HuffPost article, entitled “Romance in the Bible?”. (Question mark in original.) I once knew its author, back when I myself also worshipped the One True God. This is why Facebook thought I wanted to read it. As it turns out, I was interested, but not in […]

Living as Genuine Me

Two years ago, on August 1, 2014, I wrote a page-long statement in my private journal, “Who Am I Today?” It contained paragraphs on religion, politics, personal values, sexuality, and personality. I was trying to sort through what I believed, how I identified, what I valued, what I felt and thought, to put this all […]

The “Good” about Friday

I grew up in a shame-and-blame religion. The so-called Good News, as taught to me, is that we humans are fundamentally evil, unholy, sinners, distant from God. And so to save us, God needed to execute the perfect blood sacrifice. And there was only one person perfect enough to serve as that sacrifice, God himself. […]

Mourning My Faith

Last night began the Jewish holiday of Purim. This is a celebration of the book of Esther. The last time I celebrated it was when I was still a member of a Messianic Jewish congregation two years ago, before I came out as an atheist, long before I came out as polyamorous. It was even […]

On the Anniversary of Losing My Religion

I was born into a Pentecostal family. My dad was the pastor. All versions of my story start the same way, with that line. For decades, I was stepping further and further away from the faith I was taught as a kid. But the emotional core of my faith was still fundamentalist, and I still […]

An Atheist in an Airplane

No one raised in a religious environment wants to come out atheist. Few people who grew up in the US would want to use that word. And when I finally told one of my close friends that I was an atheist, she said, “Oh no! You lost your faith?!” But after I explained exactly what […]

A Born Again Unbeliever

The last time I wrote to you, I was a Christian fundamentalist. Now, I’m not. That’s not quite true. The last time I wrote to you, I still gave a nod to Christian fundamentalism. Now, I do not. In April, that house of cards collapsed. And while the fundamentalist dogma runs deep, I think you’ll […]

3 Best Things Being a Gentile in a Jewish Home at Passover

Tomorrow is a very special Sabbath, Shabbat Pesach. I spent almost two whole days this week wrestling over which songs to play in service. I probably overdid it, yes. As a result, however, this is my excuse for a Friday post this week. The three best things about being a Gentile living in a Jewish […]