Caroline Schwabe: My Beautiful Cyborg

Deconstruction, Podcast, Podcasters, Religious Trauma, Secular Grace, Spirituality
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I begin every streaming interview with a question, “hi, can you hear me?” Never has an affirmative answer to such a mundane question been so profound as it was with this week’s guest, Caroline Schwabe. Caroline had progressive hearing loss and eventually could no longer speak on the phone even with hearing aids. Almost by accident, she was referred to a Cochlear implant program in Canada during a routine hearing test. January 28, 2018, was her last deaf day. She has been on a three-year journey of rediscovery after receiving a Cochlear implant.

I’m deaf-not-deaf.

Along with her husband, Andreas, Caroline co-hosts a podcast called My Beautify Cyborg about her Cochlear implant journey. It describes the hopes and fears leading up to surgery and the joy and rediscovery after turning on the implant. Caroline’s gratitude and joy is infectious and comes through in each episode.

Caroline and Andreas had experienced major disappointments and hurts from the Church. At the same time she was going through the implant process, both she and her husband were slowly leaving the Church. If not a full blown deconstruction, they have been asking very hard questions and wrestling with the answers. This episode is unique in that there are two parallel stories: one of regaining hearing and one of questioning one’s faith.

Podcasts have played an out sized role in Caroline’s rediscovery of hearing and language recognition, including this one.

Links

My Beautiful Cyborg
https://mybeautifulcyborg.com/

Links for Cochlear implant information
https://mybeautifulcyborg.com/links/

Interact

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

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

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Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Michael Marvosh: Conversations That Matter

Agnosticism, Atheism, Authors, Deconversion, Humanism, Naturalism, Philosophy, Podcast, Podcasters, Secular Grace, Spirituality
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My guest this week is Michael Marvosh. Michael is the podcast host of Dead Man’s Forest and is working on his book Reality Knows the Truth: The Art and Artifice of Being Human. Michael and I discuss what it means to be human and the human experience of spirituality.

Michael tells us his deconversion story that he no longer sees as deconversion. He describes his rediscovery of a rational spirituality.

I feel simultaneously connected and alone and that is part of being human.

Michael and I hit a broad range of conversation topics including having conversations that matter, models vs reality, A.I., Death Cafes, vision quests, blind spots and podcasting.

It was truly a conversation that mattered.

Links

Contact Michael
mm@michaelmarvosh.com

Website
https://www.michaelmarvosh.com/projects

Dead Man’s Forest
https://www.deadmansforest.org/

Reality Knows the Truth: The Art and Artifice of Being Human 
About Rational Spirituality–a way of looking at the world with a balance between ancient wisdom and modern reason.
https://michael.ck.page/d36a3d2338

Death Cafe
https://deathcafe.com/

Interact

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

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

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

Barrett Evans: The Contemplative Skeptic

Atheism, Authors, Book Review, Critique of Apologetics, Deconstruction, Deconversion, Humanism, Naturalism, Philosophy, Podcast, Secular Grace, Spirituality
Click to play episode on anchor.fm
Listen on Apple Podcasts

It is proper to doubt.

My guest this week is Barrett Evans, author of The Contemplative Skeptic. Barrett wrote the book for those who are skeptical but drawn to spirituality.  A former evangelical seminarian and ex-Roman Catholic, Barrett is an agnostic who has retained a fascination with contemplative spirituality.  Building on what he learned in his divinity, counseling, and historical studies, he draws on hundreds of religious and secular sources in an effort to combine honest doubt with the best of contemplative experience.

Perhaps ironically, dogmatic religions claims now seem to me to critically undercut two of the most valuable spiritual ideals for fallible people – humility in the face of complexity and honesty in the light of human limitations.

We discuss how honesty and humility lead to doubt. Barrett’s look at comparative religion reveals the reasons for doubt and the wisdom of a contemplative life. We ask what does it mean to be “spiritual.”

And as history of religions and other psychological phenomenon show, delusions can be passed from one person to another with some rapidity, especially if they are in close relationships and it is a time of stress or excitement.

The tremendous range of religious diversity is one of the greatest reasons for skepticism towards any particular religious belief.

Links

Barrett’s website
https://www.americannone.com/

Honest Doubt
https://www.americannone.com/post/doubt-and-the-good-life

Twitter
https://twitter.com/ContemplativeS4

Books

Interact

Secular Humanist Graces
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/

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

Critique of Apologetics
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/critique-of-apologetics/

Send in a voice message

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

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Ray Gilford: Deconversion not so Anonymous

Deconstruction, Deconversion, Deconversion Anonymous, Podcast, Spirituality

This week’s show is a Deconversion Anonymous episode.

My guest this week is Ray Gilford. Ray grew up more of a cultural Christian. His family believed but did not push him. In college, without community and looking for friendship predatory evangelism took advantage of him. Ray worked hard at being a Christian but wanted something deeper. He learned Hebrew and Greek in an effort to find “True Christianity.” He remained a Christian for 32 years.

I was always looking for more.
That’s nice but what is beyond that?

Eventually, he deconverted realizing that Christianity did not live up to its promise. Ray now says he practices Pagan, metaphysics and spiritualism. Though this is a different path than most of my guests what is interesting about Ray’s metaphysics is that id does not preclude miracles and yet Ray still found Christianity wanting.

Links

Blog
galacticwanderlust.com

Twitter
https://twitter.com/StellarWndrlust

Interact

Deconversion Anonymous
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/category/podcast/deconversion-anonymous/

Deconversion
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/deconversion/

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

Send in a voice message

Support the podcast
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Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Sasha Sagan: For Small Creatures Such As We

Authors, Book Review, Humanism, Naturalism, Podcast, Secular Grace, Spirituality
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest this week is Sasha Sagan. Sasha has written a beautiful book called For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals For Finding Meaning In Our Unlikely World. The book title comes from a quote in the book Contact:

For small creatures such as we,
the vastness is bearable only through love.

Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan from Contact

Sasha and the book she has written embodies Secular Grace and carries on the graceful life philosophies of her parents. Sasha has a galaxy spanning perspective on life that only the child of physicist can have. Sasha has an infectious joy about life. Listening to her or reading her work it is hard not to share in this joy.

In her book, Sasha argues that we as human beings need ritual in our lives to mark the passage of time, to celebrate the momentous moments in our lives and to mourn the loss of loved ones.

[Ritual] is really important to us.
Sometimes, when people are not religious or were religious,
there’s an urge to throw the baby [ritual] out with the bath water.
We still need these [rituals] even if we do them in a secular way.

We discuss secular grief in the face of the loss of her father, Carl Sagan, when she was 14 years old. Sasha shares the wise parting words he had for her and the ongoing impact he has had on her and the world.

Seeing life itself as worthy of celebration, For Small Creatures Such as We is part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history, a luminous exploration of all Earth’s marvels that require no faith in order to be believed.

From sashasagan.com

Links

Website
https://www.sashasagan.com/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/SashaSagan

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/sashasagan/

Interact

Secular Grace
https://gracefulatheist.wordpress.com/secular-grace/

Send in a voice message

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

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Alice Greczyn: Dare to Doubt

Atheism, Bloggers, Deconversion, Podcast, Religious Trauma, Spirituality
Dare to Doubt
Click to play on anchor.fm

This is Alice’s first interview on the podcast. To hear her discuss her current book, Wayward – Spiritual Warfare and Sexual Purity, check out her latest interview.

My guest today is Alice Greczyn. Alice runs the Dare to Doubt website dedicated to millennials who are detaching from harmful belief systems.

Alice tells her story growing up with purity culture, Christian Courtship and Alice’s nearly arranged marriage. She describes being an atheist while surrounded by “LA spirituality”. She tells the story of cult-like acting classes.

As a Christian, she felt she had to fake spiritual experiences because others around her seemed to be having them but she never seemed to hear from god. Her honesty stopped her from claiming spiritual experiences she knew were not real. While watching the Jesus camp documentary, she asked herself, “how many of them are faking it?”

Alice recognized that other spiritual paths still required faith. She could not accept them because she could no longer lie to herself. She had grown to recognize when she was trying to lie to herself to “make things real.”

I became not so great at lying to myself, I recognized when I was trying to make something real.

Dare to Doubt walks the tricky line to be welcoming to atheist and those just beginning to dip a toe outside of the belief waters.

I built the site that I wanted and that I needed and that I wished I could have found when I was deconverting.

Alice is interested in studying why there are not more out women atheists and what causes non-believing women to hesitate to identify as atheists.

1% of women identify as atheist, I need to come out of the closet.

Alice recommends the Secular Therapy Project to find a therapist who will not push spirituality on you while you recover from your religious trauma.

I feel so much more love and so much more peace as an atheist than I ever felt as a Christian.

Links

Alice’s Social Media

https://twitter.com/alicefood
https://www.instagram.com/alicegreczyn/

Dare to Doubt

https://www.daretodoubt.org/
https://twitter.com/daretodoubt
https://www.instagram.com/DaretoDoubt/

Resources

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

Secular Therapy Project
https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/the-secular-therapy

Alice’s Book Recommendation

Dr. Marlene Winell
Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion

GAP

Interact

Send in a voice message to the podcast:
https://anchor.fm/gracefulatheist/message

Support

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

Attribution

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Lisa: Secular Sobriety

Atheism, Deconversion, Humanism, Podcast, Secular Grace, Spirituality
Lisa: Secular Sobriety
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest today is Lisa. Lisa runs a YouTube channel where she shares from her life experience, recovery from substance abuse and humanistic values. Shortly after getting into recovery, Lisa also deconverted. We discuss what it was like to go through recovery and deconversion almost simultaneously. Lisa shares about secular alternatives to the 12 steps like SOS and SMART Recovery. We try to draw out the secular humanistic values that are embedded in the 12 steps while jettisoning the religious ones.

In the final thoughts section at the end of the podcast, I share my personal story of being a family member in a drug and alcohol addicted family and how the 12 steps influenced both my Christianity and now my Secular Humanism.

Links:

Lisa on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/HPNCAnonymous
https://twitter.com/ionamoxie

Youtube:
How not to be an a**hole
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWEmS-qN-qkKgu3ifxzm7VA

Video on Honesty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXynA-IAPeI

Video on Secular perspective on 12 steps as they apply to life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmPdMDccMHw

Secular Alternatives to 12 Steps:

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
http://www.sossobriety.org/

SMART Recovery
https://www.smartrecovery.org/

Send in a voice message

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

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

Kathleen B. Shannon: Religious Trauma

Adverse Religious Experiences, Podcast, Religious Trauma, Secular Grace, Spirituality
Kathleen B. Shannon on Religious Trauma
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

We throw around the term religious trauma but what exactly does the term actually mean?

On today’s show, my guest is Kathleen B. Shannon. Kathleen is a physiotherapist. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington state and a Listened Professional Counselor in North Carolina. I asked Kathleen to be on the show to talk about religious trauma from an expert’s perspective.

What does psychology have to say on the subject and what does she sees in her practice?

We discuss Kathleen’s experience at bible college, religious trauma, outrage exhaustion and what Kathleen calls equanimity.

Kathleen’s advice for those deconstructing:

Find a space that is safe to ask the questions, preferably one where they will not give you the answers.

— Kathleen B. Shannon

Links:

Connect with Kathleen B. Shannon:

http://kbshannon.com/
http://spiritualtraumarecovery.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spiritualtraumarecovery/

Shout outs:

I want to give Mandy Nicole (@ThatMandyNicole) credit for coining the term “Prayer Reflex.” Mandy coined the term after the recording of the show but it eloquently describes a feeling I was attempting to articulate in the episode.

Ryan Bell (@ryanjbell) for pointing me to A Great Big World’s song, “Say Something,” as perfectly describing the deconversion experience.

RHE:

The intro points out that we recorded the conversation with today’s guest, Kathleen B. Shannon, before the passing of Rachel Held Evans on May 4th, 2019. The absence of mention of Rachel and her work would have felt awkward. So, I make a few statements about Rachel’s impact on the world of progressive Christianity and I read a statement from Kathleen about Rachel’s impact on her.

Rachel Held Evans’ family’s Go Fund Me page:

https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-rachel-held-evans

Attribution:

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

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

Kimberly Stover: Losing Religion Recovery

Bloggers, Deconversion, Podcast, Secular Grace, Spirituality
Kimberly Stover
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

On today’s episode my guest is Kimberly Stover. Kimberly works in the space of losing religion recovery. She describes this process as having three phases:

Reflect, Recover then Rise

Kimberly and I discuss religious trauma syndrome, the #EmptyThePews movement, how narcissism relates to Evangelicalism and rising up out of recovery. On Kimberly’s site she has resources for those in the process of losing their religion. If you are in the process of losing your religion, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to Kimberly and the resources she has available.

Links:

kimberlystover.com
facebook.com/realkimberlystover
twitter.com/realkimstover
instagram.com/kimberly_stover_writer

Kimberly’s book recommendation:

Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion by Dr. Marlene Winell

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Support the podcast
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Via Paypal: paypal.me/gracefulatheist

Andrew McLeod: The Practice of Insight Meditation

Naturalism, Podcast, Spirituality
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

Have you noticed on this side of faith, you cannot escape references to meditation? I have to admit I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to mediation. So I decided to have my friend and colleague, Andrew McLeod, on the podcast to help me understand what the practice of insight meditation is all about.

Andrew McLeod has been practicing meditation for 20 years, he has been on multiple silent retreats and he has had the unfortunate task of trying to teach me meditation.

Andrew makes compelling arguments for the usefulness of insight mediation. It helps one become more accepting of oneself and not mired by emotional reactions. It encourages one to live in the moment. It helps jump start loving kindness for others.

Links:

Get in touch with Andrew on Twitter: @mcleodent

Learn more about insight meditation:
Insight meditation society
Jack Kornfield:
Sharon Salzburg

“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

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