Eli: Transition and Deconstruction

Adverse Religious Experiences, Autonomy, Deconstruction, ExVangelical, LGBTQ+, Podcast, Religious Abuse, Secular Grace, secular grief
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My guest this week is Eli Fuhrmler-Wheeler. Eli grew up going to Awanas at an Evangelical Free church. Eventually, he attended an Assemblies of God church and spoke in tongues. His parents forbade him from going to that church and “of course I felt they were keeping me from the gates of heaven and pulling me into hell.”

Eli’s childhood was traumatic in many ways. He experienced sexual abuse, neglect, his mom was very sick her whole life, her boyfriends were abusive, his father had an antisocial personality disorder, and he lived on and off in foster homes.

Eli sought the comfort of drugs and alcohol. He discovered he was a lesbian. He was told he was going to hell by his family.

As an adult he began a relationship with his now wife. At 30 he realized he was a man and began transition. Eli has faced rejection by family and some friends. However, his gracefulness through it all has won some of them over.

[Rather than show grace, why not be angry at those who have not shown you grace?]
That wouldn’t teach anybody anything.
It wouldn’t teach me anything and it wouldn’t teach them anything.

Eli deconstructed from Christianity through the years. He has explored various world religions including Norse Heathenry and various mystic traditions.

Transition and therapy have given Eli the wholeness he deserves. Eli and his wife show unconditional love for one another. This is the relationship that Eli has experienced grace for himself.


Secular Therapy

Religious Trauma Institute


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Secular Grace

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“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

Erik Carlson: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous

Deconversion, Deconversion Anonymous, Humanism, LGBTQ+, Podcast, Secular Grace
Erik Carlson
Click to play episode on anchor.fm

My guest today is Erik Carlson. Erik is a secular humanist and an atheist. His background in the sciences and biology led him to question his young Earth creationist and Calvinist faith tradition. Discovering his sexuality led him to question the morality of his John Piper inspired Christianity. All of which culminated in deconversion.

Erik’s humanism is evident in his focus on loving people over ideology. He is hopeful for his generation’s ability to make positive change in the world from the secular, scientific and political perspectives. And he has good advice for those in the process of coming out: “Protect yourself, do it in your own timing.”

Erik’s book recommendations

Velvet Rage by Alan Downs

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Help for coming out


Just for fun

Erik mentions Lady Gaga’s song Born This Way

I mention Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down:


Send in a voice message to the podcast:

More Deconversion Anonymous episodes


“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats

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