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A Pastor Who Is Secretly an Atheist Is Getting a Grant to Help Him Leave the Ministry for Good

February 26, 2013 By

Earlier this month, the Stiefel Freethought Foundation made a huge contribution to The Clergy Project to the tune of $100,000. The purpose: To help pastors-turned-atheists leave the ministry for good and learn skills that will help them transition into a secular career:

 

 

The first recipient of an "Employment Transition Assistance Grant" has now been announced on the Clergy Project's website: It's "Adam," a closeted atheist and current pastor:

 

For the last four years, I have felt trapped and at times hopeless because I am a closeted atheist pastor. After much reflection, I no longer share the religious beliefs of the faith community I serve. I belong to a fundamentalist, evangelical, Bible-believing denomination, which means if anyone found out about my change in beliefs, I would lose my job immediately and plunge my family into financial ruin.

 

For the last two years, I have secretly sought a secular job but have been unable to find one. While I have good skills that are transferable, I, like many other job seekers, have been facing tough competition and challenging economic conditions. Not being able to be open with others about my situation and my desires has compounded the difficulty. I became so discouraged that I eventually stopped applying for jobs and wondered if I would ever be able to leave the faith that I no longer accepted. While I longed to leave hypocrisy and pretense behind, I felt I had to put the security and wellbeing of my loved ones above my own comfort and learn to live with the pain of professing a faith I no longer believed.

 

Fortunately, I became a member of The Clergy Project and, thanks to the generosity of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, I am receiving valuable assistance in finding sustainable employment. Having the services of a professional outplacement service - including a highly trained transition coach, a resume writer, use of personality and skill assessment tools, access to numerous private training resources, and even handpicked placement opportunity leads - has made all the difference. I am once again hopeful.

 

I know I am not alone in my desire to leave the ministry, so I am very excited not only for the prospect of my own new life, but also for the prospects of my friends currently in ministry who want to lead a life centered on reason instead of faith. Securing secular employment will no doubt be the crucial first step in safely moving beyond faith to a much wider world of opportunity.

 

"Adam"

 

I asked the acting Executive Director of the Clergy Project, Catherine Dunphy, if she had any advice for "Adam" and she told me this:

 

Shortly after the Clergy Project launched in March 2011, Adam and I spoke about the challenges that our members face when leaving ministry and what was need to help them transition to secular employment. At the top of that list was the need for employment resources; thanks to Todd [Stiefel] and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation we now have the resources to respond to this challenge.

 

Adam is my friend, peer, and Clergy Project brother and I am tremendously excited about the potential impact this program has to assist him as he takes steps to transition out of active ministry."

 

And I'm excited about the fact that Adam won't be the first and last person leaving the ministry as a result of this program. There are no doubt many more pastors out there who don't believe in God, yet who stay in their jobs because of the paycheck. If there was a way out, they would take it. Like getting a big inheritance, the assistance won't solve all of their problems, but it will certainly help.

 

This is a way out.

 

by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM
Replies (21-30):
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM

What a revolting thought. 

A active, working, preaching, counseling pastor who is an atheist.  Wow.  What astonishing lack of character and ethics to keep THAT little piece of info under wraps and continue to pretend to serve your people with what you don't have to give.

So he can get another job.  It happens all the time when people decide that the current job - which is clearly ALL it was to this guy -doesn't suit him anymore.  Move on.  Nobody should have to pay for it, especially while you are actively deceiving people. 

Just ugh.   

It's not over til it's over, is the only good thought here. 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM

 

Yeah. Not a lot of respect for that. 

Quoting pansyprincess:

 He did.  Did you read the article?  He said he has skills, but I would question that.  What kind of skills can he have?  I mean, he's probably a good speaker ... but that's not getting anyone a job.  Most of us can suck it up and do our jobs until we find another one ... it may not be fun ... but it's not a huge deal.

This guy was living a lie, and lying to his congregation on a daily basis.  This is the best case scenario for everyone.

 

Quoting nbgg8687:

Honestly... why doesnt he look fit another job. I mean.. I get he's atheist and a pastor. but what do normal people do when they don't like their job... they don't get a grant, they find another job.

 

 


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM

 2 Peter 3:, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,a not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodiesb will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.c

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting pansyprincess:

I just can't imagine having to go to work all day and talk about god and praise god and tell everyone about how much I love god.  That sounds like a freakin' nightmare as an atheist!  So I wouldn't want this guy to have to live like that.

About 1 in 6 pastors secretly don't believe in God.  It is a much more common problem than people think.

 


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

 People who know the answer to this do not end up in his predicament.


Quoting ..MoonShine..:

To who, exactly? LOL



Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

  He should pray for a job...


 

nbgg8687
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:19 PM
I have nothing against STUDENTS receiving scholarships. the scholarship goes to support their education and not the family so that they can "figure" out what to do. I have received scholarships... u think an ounce of that went to feed my children, put cloths on.my back, pay for rent, gas, and my car. no... I worked for that. If its training he wants, he should.be held.to.the same standard as anyone else quitting their job. Get a new one... and if u have to.live it PA then so be it. maybe a little humility. go.a long way. I show no sympathy for.someone who doesn't.like their.jobs when, especially something like this. he is ripping people off. People don't change their stance of religion like this.over night obviously... he should have quit long ago.there is.someone ready and willing to. fill his position. I get it... things happen. But, religion or no religion you reap what u sew.


Quoting TranquilMind:

 


Yeah. Not a lot of respect for that. 


Quoting pansyprincess:


 He did.  Did you read the article?  He said he has skills, but I would question that.  What kind of skills can he have?  I mean, he's probably a good speaker ... but that's not getting anyone a job.  Most of us can suck it up and do our jobs until we find another one ... it may not be fun ... but it's not a huge deal.


This guy was living a lie, and lying to his congregation on a daily basis.  This is the best case scenario for everyone.


 


Quoting nbgg8687:

Honestly... why doesnt he look fit another job. I mean.. I get he's atheist and a pastor. but what do normal people do when they don't like their job... they don't get a grant, they find another job.

 


 




 


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting pansyprincess:

I just can't imagine having to go to work all day and talk about god and praise god and tell everyone about how much I love god.  That sounds like a freakin' nightmare as an atheist!  So I wouldn't want this guy to have to live like that.

About 1 in 6 pastors secretly don't believe in God.  It is a much more common problem than people think.



eye rolling

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I can't imagine losing my faith and belief in God.  But I know people do and even people who are pastors and priests.

I can imagine it would be hard, first off, to come to terms with no longer believing and then having to tell those around you that.  Scary thought.


ashellbell
by shellbark on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:45 PM
That's just not true. 5 years ago, my answer would have been the same as yours. I had plenty of faith at one point. I believed with all my heart. I lost faith gradually. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with losing. I prayed, I cried, I bargained...I still lost it. People don't don't just wake up and choose to be atheist. It just happens. The stories don't make sense at some point. I tried so hard to get that belief back with no avail. I've lost friends and family because of it. I've had horrible things said to me. He probably thought he knew the answer at one point but now it's changed.


Quoting TranquilMind:

 People who know the answer to this do not end up in his predicament.




Quoting ..MoonShine..:

To who, exactly? LOL




Quoting IhaveHisjoy:


  He should pray for a job...




 


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
ashellbell
by shellbark on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM
It is scary. Some times it's easier to live a lie.


Quoting FromAtoZ:

I can't imagine losing my faith and belief in God.  But I know people do and even people who are pastors and priests.

I can imagine it would be hard, first off, to come to terms with no longer believing and then having to tell those around you that.  Scary thought.



Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM

 If you ever had it, it's still there somewhere, buried under other things you chose to go with instead.  It's not over 'til it's over. 

You can't not know, what you once knew.  It would be like not recognizing your child or something. 


Quoting ashellbell:

That's just not true. 5 years ago, my answer would have been the same as yours. I had plenty of faith at one point. I believed with all my heart. I lost faith gradually. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with losing. I prayed, I cried, I bargained...I still lost it. People don't don't just wake up and choose to be atheist. It just happens. The stories don't make sense at some point. I tried so hard to get that belief back with no avail. I've lost friends and family because of it. I've had horrible things said to me. He probably thought he knew the answer at one point but now it's changed.


Quoting TranquilMind:

 People who know the answer to this do not end up in his predicament.


 


Quoting ..MoonShine..:

To who, exactly? LOL




Quoting IhaveHisjoy:


  He should pray for a job...


 


 



 

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