Jack: Emily’s Story

Atheism, Deconversion, Podcast, Podcasters, Religious Trauma, Secular Grace, secular grief
Emily, Jack and Duncan

Content Warning: graphic wound details, surgical processes, PTSD, emotional trauma, religious trauma and dark humor.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Jack Robertson. Jack is a returning guest and an integral part of the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group. Earlier this year, Jack’s youngest daughter, Emily, was in an accident, suffering severe burns on her body.

Jack explains how his online community and IRL friends stepped in to support his family but also recounts the platitudes and clichés given by the Christians in their lives. 

Emily’s clearheadedness, dark sense of humor and incredible resilience has brought her a long way in the healing process—mentally, physically and emotionally. Jack and the rest of their family are also healing in their own ways, supporting one another and seeking professional help. 

We are Human. We are social beings whose needs are not met by “a guy in the sky.” Our needs are met through our relationships with one another, especially those who are closest to us. 

Quotes

“It is heart wrenching to see someone you love go through that much pain…[and] there’s not anything else that you can do, other than hold their hand.”

“Do NOT, while people are still in ICU or a burn unit…message them and say, ‘You know? God only gives you what you can handle.’” 

“If I have to be caught on fire, so you can look super to heal me, I want nothing to do with you.” —Emily

“You’re going to have to talk to a professional…You can get through it, no matter how difficult it seems in that moment…”

“You don’t need the clutching of a Bible or a rosary. You don’t need that. You and your family are what are going to get you through it. Not some guy in the sky…Talk to a professional.”

“I’m going to make the fire my Bitch.”—Emily

Links

Go Fund Me
https://gofund.me/bba4d01e

Jack’s Deconversion episode
https://gracefulatheist.com/2021/10/31/jack-robertson-deconversion-story/

Kenyetta and Jack Save the World
https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/kenyetta-jack-save-the-world-4099553
Graceful Atheist on Kenetta and Jack Save the World
https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/kenyetta-jack-save-the-world-4099553/episodes/the-abcs-of-grace-127398471

Musings of an ADD Mind
https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/musings-of-an-add-mind-2160439

Interact

Join the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group!

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

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

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

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Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Jan: Mental Health and Deconstruction

Adverse Religious Experiences, Deconstruction, Dones, ExVangelical, Missionary, Podcast, Religious Trauma
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts

Content Warning: This week’s story includes references to physical and emotional abuse, mental illness and suicidal ideation. Listener discretion is advised.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Jan. Jan grew up in a strict fundamentalist household but attended a loving church. That disconnect planted the first seeds of doubt. 

She went off to a Christian university where she was told to expect “signs and wonders”, but they didn’t happen. Becoming a missionary wife was supposed to satisfy her “need to serve God” but it didn’t happen. Again and again, as she pursued God, she was let down.

Trauma, depression and unfulfilled promises slowly broke her, and even then, God didn’t show up. She had been doing it all on her own, and it would take a divorce and leaving the Church completely, for her to see that.

After finding care and support in therapy and “spiritual but not religious” communities, Jan now supports others struggling with mental illness. She is living a life filled with grace both for herself and others. 

Banksy: London. There is always hope

Quotes

“I just kept believing it, because that’s the subtly of brainwashing…even though it has positive aspects, the problem is you’re not getting any other influences, not developing any critical thinking skills.”

“I kept putting doubts on the shelf…but the shelf kept getting heavier.”

“…[thinking] ‘Wow, something’s wrong with me. Nobody else is talking about [depression], so I must be the only one.’ That’s a hallmark for problems in mental health, when you think you’re the only one.”

“I got divorced and left the church. It was like jumping off a cliff with no parachute.”

“One of my quests is to just have adventure and have fun.”

“Find a compassionate person. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable…know that it is not hopeless, you have choices and there are people waiting to point you in the right direction…”

Links

National Association on Mental Illness
https://www.nami.org/Home

Secular Therapy Project
https://www.seculartherapy.org/

Recovering From Religion
https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/

Interact

Join the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group!

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

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

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Matt: Deconversion of a Missionary

Deconstruction, Deconversion, Deconversion Anonymous, Dones, ExVangelical, Missionary, Podcast, Secular Community
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Matthew. Matthew grew up in the Pentacostal tradition and went from being a youth leader in high school to a full-time international missionary as an adult. He had all the right answers to all the important questions. 

The missionary life, however, didn’t turn out as he’d expected. He and his team did everything in their power to tell people about Jesus but nothing supernatural was happening. Year after year, “the hiddenness of God” became too much for Matthew. 

It hasn’t been easy for Matthew to arrive where he is now—living a freer life, not having to have all the answers, not having to wait for the supernatural to happen. He loves the people closest to him, enjoys his friends and acquaintances without judgment, and those small things are what can slowly change the world.

Tweet-worth Quotes

“For a long time, I was doing mental gymnastics to make things work…”

“I was asking everybody, ‘How do you know?!’ And all of the answers were so unsatisfying.” 

“I’m trying really hard [to communicate clearly with my kids] and I’m not able. But God, by definition, is able but doesn’t seem to be trying very hard.” 

Recommendations

YouTube

Religion for Breakfast
https://www.youtube.com/c/ReligionForBreakfast

Digital Hammurabi
https://www.youtube.com/c/DigitalHammurabi

Esoterica
https://www.youtube.com/c/ESOTERICAchannel

Paulogia
https://www.youtube.com/c/Paulogia

Organizations

The Clergy Project
https://clergyproject.org/

Books

Interact

Join the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group!

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

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

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Drew: Community and Consciousness

Deconstruction, ExVangelical, Podcast, Secular Community
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Drew. Drew grew up as a Missionary Kid and has traveled to nearly every continent and all across the United States. Drew spent years of his life evangelizing and serving others through construction, farming and carpentry. 

Drew has since left mainstream evangelicalism, with its exclusivity and supremacy culture, but he is still using the tools he developed. He and his family serve their local community right in the Bible Belt with a market, concerts, a community center and so much more!

Humans don’t need a supernatural being to come to our rescue. We need one another. We need each other’s abilities and companionship. Drew and his family are changing the future by building intentional community right where they are.  

Quotes

“Everybody who doesn’t know Christ is going to hell? That didn’t sit right with me from a very early age…”

“I was growing more and more uncertain about my certainty.”

“Here was someone I knew…and here they’d had this radical transformation that didn’t involve Jesus at all.”

“I had a lot of hope for this [Christian community], that they were a group of people who had avoided the exclusivist issues within Christianity and were able to do the ‘love your neighbor’ thing.”

“…supremacy thinking is endemic. It’s part of the whole thing.”

“This gigantic ship of Christianity—it’s going down. You can rearrange the deck chairs, but it’s sinking.”

Recommendations

  • Rumi
  • Hafiz
  • Voices of Deconversion Podcast

Links

NOTE: Not an endorsement

The Perch
https://www.theperchcomer.com/

Rupert Spira Podcast Episode 47: The Weekend University
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rupert-spira-podcast/id1494564673?i=1000571203239

Interact

Graceful Atheist YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/c/GracefulAtheist

Join the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group!

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

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

Support the podcast
Via Anchor.fm and Stripe
Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats