Dogmatic People Hurt People

The pain inflicted on others is the more obvious suffering, but those who wield dogma are also experiencing disconnection at the hand of their beliefs. When you hold a belief so tightly you cannot see another’s humanity, it will eventually obscure your own.

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Grieving the Living

A Post-Belief Reflection on the Losses of Deconversion.

When someone dies, Americans know what to do. We don’t like to grieve publicly, but we know what to do, and we are good at doing those things. We bake casseroles. We fly home—real home—the middle of the middle of South Carolina. We hug cousins. We mingle at a musty funeral home. We console. Sometimes we look. We bury. (Or we burn. We scatter.) We cry. We eat. We tell stories. We watch filmstrips. We sing.

In the Southern Baptist tradition, funerals are often… [read more]

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How and Why We Believe - Part 2

“So you don’t believe in Jesus?”

I said, “I believe he was probably a person. There’s some evidence that yes, there was a person named Jesus but I don’t believe he was born of a virgin. No, I don’t, mom.” And her question was,

“Are you still a good person?”

And because I’m me, I said, “I’m not really clear what good means but yes, I want to help people, I care about people, I like people. And I really love you.” That worked enough for her. 

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There's No Love in An Empty Tomb

“How do you deal with death now that you don’t believe in God or an afterlife?”

As a believer, I celebrated the story of Christ's partial victory over death. I recognize now my belief in an actual resurrection dulled the pain of loss but also numbed the experience of love. Moments of human connection became insignificant against a backdrop of infinite moments. Love became cheap and empty when the value was diminished by an endless supply. The empty tomb became a void—an aching shell of human experience where we refused to pay the price for love.

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How and Why We Believe - Part 1

We care a great deal about WHAT we believe but we're often unaware of HOW we believe—the underlying processes and conditions that give rise to our beliefs.

An ex-Catholic, a former-Mormon, and a post-Evangelical walk into a bar…

*not a joke, just 3 friends geeking out about the psychology of belief.*

The following is a transcript of a conversation between Brian Peck, LCSW, Carolyn Golden, Psy.D. and James Connelly, Psy.D. recorded for the Life After God podcast on March 13, 2018.

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Help, My Therapist Thinks I'm Spiritual!

The insistence that all humans are spiritual...

...and therefore professional counselors should address the spiritual component of their humanity, is about as useful as claiming, “All humans have a concept of the sun going down, therefore we should look for ways to strengthen and incorporate this geocentric concept into our experience.”

In the therapeutic relationship, it’s important to meet clients inside their own concepts and provide a context to explore new ways of understanding their experience without unduly imposing our own concepts on them. As therapists, this calls for holding our own concepts lightly and having enough humility and awareness to recognize that much of what we consider to be universal human experiences are socially constructed realities--concepts we’ve collectively bought into.

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Introducing The Healthy Deconversion Project

You were curious about your faith so you began to examine it more closely.

Doubts gave way to basic questions which led you on a quest for knowledge. Before you knew it, you began to ask the big questions and to follow the evidence wherever it led. You tried your best to keep your faith intact as you discovered new information and you created space for uncertainty but despite your best effort…

…your faith failed you.

Initially, you thought there must be something wrong with you, but you came to understand it wasn’t so much a personal crisis of faith as it was...

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