Joe Simonetta: Seven Words

Atheism, Authors, Deconversion, Dones, Humanism, Podcast
Joe Simonetta
Listen on Apple Podcasts

Humanist author and speaker, Joe Simonetta, grew up in a Catholic home with good values. He and his brothers “did well,” and he is thankful for the foundation his parents gave him. As a young man, affected by all the suffering in the world, he vowed to be part of the solution. He has lived a fascinating life, holding degrees from multiple universities, traveling extensively and enjoying all kinds of professions. His full bio is available here

Joe is hopeful about the future and has three basic rules that he believes can change the future for humanity: Be healthy. Be kind. Respect the environment. 

Links

Website and books
https://joesimonetta.com/

Quotes

“What triggered me was ‘suffering.’ When I observed the suffering in the world, it really disturbed me.”

“All the while I had this in the back of my mind; this concern about the state of humanity…”

“I said to myself, Do I really have to read all these books? [Metaphysics and religion] could not be this complicated.

“As I studied all the world religions, it just hit me: There’s nothing here…This is old stuff…the products of our infancy of our intelligence.”

“Everything is connected to everything else. We exist, not separately, but in communion with all other living things…Everything’s in relationship. That’s the nature of the universe.”

“What level of thinking are we at? What level of thinking do we need to get to? And how do we get there?”

“These primitive instincts and emotions which are a biological reality and these antiquated and divisive and dysfunctional supernatural religious beliefs…are a lethal combination of behaviors…and they must be overcome.”

“Religion is clearly an obstacle to human progress.”

“The current great extinction is caused by…us! It’s caused by humanity.”

“Be healthy. Be kind. Respect the environment.”

Books

#AmazonPaidLinks

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
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gracefulatheist
Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Arline Interviews Boundless and Free

Adverse Religious Experiences, Autonomy, Deconstruction, ExVangelical, Hell Anxiety, Podcast, Religious Trauma
Boundless and Free
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is the content creator, @boundless_and_free. Boundless grew up in a good Christian home, attended a PCA church and believed all was well in her life. She would later learn the term CPTSD and understand that her “good Christian upbringing” was not quite what she’d thought. 

In college, Ms. Free first experienced anxiety and depression but had no vocabulary for it. (The Church rarely discusses these things.) It wasn’t until the “perfect life” she’d been promised began to unravel that she realized she needed a different way to understand both “god” and herself . 

Now, as a “parts work” therapist, she helps others on their own journeys. Her personal experience of the divine centers around the ways that humans are connected to one another and the universe. 

Once again—whether someone leaves religion and becomes an atheist or continues on a spiritual journey—the real purpose in life comes from connecting with other people. We are all in this together, and we each get one life to leave this world better than we found it. 

Links

Counseling Website
http://theempoweredselfcounseling.com/

Boundless and Free on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/boundless_and_free/

Religious Trauma Institute
https://www.religioustraumainstitute.com/

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

You are not broken, you are human
https://gracefulatheist.com/2016/12/06/you-are-not-broken-you-are-human/

Recommendations
Books

No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz

CPTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker

Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine

A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace

Instagram profiles
  • @thejeffreymarsh
  • @jystsaysk
  • @aftergodsend 
  • @francescafemme 
  • @christenacleveland 
  • @thepracticeco 
  • @drlauraanderson 
  • @reclamationcollective 
  • @hillarymcbride
  • @methodsofcontemplation
  • @blackliturgies
  • @stewartdantec
  • @kevinjamesthornton
  • @abraham.piper

Quotes

“I should have been being a teenager, and here I [was] thinking about predestination.”

“…because, of course, if you’re a Christian, you can’t get depressed!”

“I spent every morning praying. I had done all the devotionals…What did I have to be depressed about? I just couldn’t understand it.”

“I look back now at my sweet, young self and think, Honey, what do you mean you have nothing to be depressed about? Look at all the things!

“So many people in the church don’t talk about mental health.”

“[Depression] has a strong connection to what’s happening inside your body. It’s not just something you can snap out of; it’s not just a mood.”

“[Anxiety and depression] are very connected. They’re often two sides of the same coin.”

“When my body was starting to break down…its way of telling me something was wrong. It was trying to get my attention.”

“My body is this big source of wisdom…this guide that can teach me.”

“We tried really hard to follow the rules [of purity culture], and it had a cost. It had a cost for a lot of people.”

“We were alienated from our bodies. We were told this home that we live in—this beautiful trustworthy home…was bad and wrong and would lead us astray.”

“…a lot of what was keeping me in church was the fear of leaving.”

“I hope I’ll always be in a place of curiosity and wonder for the rest of my life.”

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
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gracefulatheist
Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Keke: Deconversion of a PK

Atheism, Autonomy, Deconversion, ExVangelical, Humanism, Podcast, Purity Culture, Race
click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Keke. Keke’s family was in church, “running the show,” anytime the doors were open. Life at home was difficult for Keke, however, so the church provided a safe haven. But over time, domestic violence, mental health problems and other family secrets were too great a burden for her to carry.

After high school, Keke joined the military, got married and even led her husband to Jesus. Then in 2017, as she was reading a most peculiar bible story to her daughter, she started on a deconstruction journey she never saw coming.  

Keke now is learning everything she can about ancient mythologies, African American history and many other cultures. She’s raising her children to be open to the world and its vast ways of living. She knows that human connection is truly what we need—whether with our ancestors through stories or with those around us today. 

Recommendations

Contradiction: A Question of Faith on Prime Video
https://www.amazon.com/Contradiction-Question-Faith-Jeremiah-Camara/dp/B0716M7TFB/

Quotes

“My dad was always beloved…but when [we] got home, I felt like my dad didn’t have that love for me.”

“Reading my daughter a Bible story…I remember, I paused and thought, What am I reading??” 

“Before going to church [one day], I prayed, God, if you’re real, please give me a sign.

“I feel free! I feel like…there’s no one up there judging you, watching you, waiting for you to fail.”

“Black people hate everything about slavery except Christianity.”

“[Christianity] was not our religion.”

“You see the preachers: They’re livin’ it up.”

“Yeah, there are some great passages [in the Bible,] but there are still communities that are suffering.”

“I love the idea of being a humanist, you just love people, and people come first.”

“We all need to be accepted and loved and no one should tell you who you should love.”

“I feel free.
There is no one up there judging you and watching you or waiting for you to fail.
It is empowering to me.”

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
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gracefulatheist
Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Daniel: Office of the Skeptic

Atheism, Critique of Apologetics, Deconversion, Humanism, Podcast, Secular Grace, skepticism
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Daniel. Daniel is a social scientist with a master’s degree in psychology. He grew up in the United Church of Canada, but church wasn’t a huge part of his life until high school. He then went to bible college and worked in ministry. He tried to experience God like others were, but it just wouldn’t happen.

He took on the “Office of Skeptic,” for himself. He hoped it would help both his faith and the church. He could articulate questions and doubts that others couldn’t. Were these miraculous stories true? Was God really even there? If so, what the hell was he doing?

Unfortunately, this only kept him in the church longer than he needed. By 2020, he’d been an agnostic theist for years and was finally seeing the harm done in North America by White Christianity.

Now Daniel writes and speaks, sharing his knowledge with those struggling with addictions and other mental health needs. He no longer looks to the supernatural for miracles but knows how much human connection is the true healer.

Links

Study: Religious Identity and Morality: Evidence for Religious Residue and Decay in Moral Foundations
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167220970814

Quotes

“I was now immersed in a group where experiencing the presence of God—like spiritual experiences during worship services—was very common, and I could never manage to actually feel those things.”

“[I had a]…brief but memorable career as a Christian Ghostbuster…”

“He took me under his wing and informed me that why I couldn’t feel God’s presence was because it was all blocked by demons. Obviously.”

“Why do you believe that? What evidence do you have for this? Can your observations or experiences be explained by more mundane means or is the spiritual explanation the best or only explanation?”

“To have someone convince [another person that they don’t need their] anti-psychotics because of [their] faith is something that hadn’t even occurred to me before…it was deeply alarming and stuck with me for years afterward.”

‘[In seminary,] many professors would make logically sound arguments but they’d be based on assumptions or premises that were unfounded…”

“For many of the Christian intellectuals I was trying to learn from…critical thinking was a valued skillset up to a point. When we approach the underlying tenants of the faith, we’re suppose to stop…they’re simply too sacred to be questioned.”

“I was trying to find a reason to stay.”

“It’s the human connection that we make between us that’s really changing our lives.”

“I was encouraged by my new [secular] professors to be absolutely ruthless in my pursuit of knowledge, truth and understanding.”

“Me staying in this religion…despite the fact that I was basically agnostic. It’s lending validation to all those Christians who are actively working to make the world a worse place…”

“If we don’t have practices in place—like scientific thinking, like the scientific method…we’re always going to be taken in by things that we’d rather believe or that are easier to believe.” 

“Apologetics: Philosophy, but done badly.”

“I don’t shy away from uncomfortable questions or even more uncomfortable answers. That has been such a valuable change in my life and has led me to some incredibly valuable and beneficial relationships…even some from bible college.”

“I’ve come to the conclusion that the best are going to be ahead.”

Recommendations

#AmazonPaidLinks

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
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gracefulatheist
Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Arline Interviews Treasure

Autonomy, Deconstruction, ExVangelical, Musicians, Podcast, Purity Culture, Spirituality
Treasure
Click to play episode on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

This week’s guest is Treasure, interviewed by Arline, the Deconversion Anonymous community manager. Treasure grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist tradition. Her whole family was focused on ministry. Treasure is a singer and was continually asked to sing for every church she attended. She was focused on mental health issues and ministering to people in need.

In 2020, Treasure began to quietly question her faith and then began the slow painful process of deconstruction. Though she still loves hymns, even music–once a joy–has become “confusing” due to the obligation to perform for churches and feels like a “job”.

Treasure has found spiritual and community fulfillment in her current spiritual practices of meditation, intentional journaling and yoga, including sound bowl healing. She is also a participant in the Deconversion Anonymous Facebook group where she says, “It is safe to vent.”

Quotes

Does prayer work?

Why am I here?

I am OK with not knowing.

You don’t have to unpack it all.

Once…the mind is stretched, it cannot go back to its original form. It just can’t.

Recommendations

How to be a successful adult

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
Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gracefulatheist
Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Podchaser - Graceful Atheist Podcast

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats