Very good article on Jerry DeWitt in the NYT.
I left two comments:
“I’m a believer. . .in this story. There are some parallels with my own leaving of the ministry and faith and religion. I’m also a member of the Clergy Project. Though it is far from easy, there is a good life after faith and after god. When one learns to see the greatness of Nature one no longer needs a Super-Nature. More of us need to tell our stories. Thank you Mr. DeWitt.”
And I was impressed with this comment from a former colleague “in the faith” (my comment follows his):
“I am a Presbyterian pastor, and I am humbled by Mr. DeWitt’s willingness to share his journey in such a public way, especially since in his context this journey has included such a terrible level of isolation and hurt.
One’s journey of discovery, of study and enlightenment does not have to mean discarding religion as a whole, but I respect that it meant that for Mr. DeWitt. My Atheist friends suggest that believing in or following God is simply not enlightened enough, because with just a little bit more skepticism, reason, study and courage like Mr. DeWitt’s, one should eventually arrive at their Atheist conclusion. While I respectfully disagree, I do feel their disappointment with and disapproval of most of what passes for Christianity in the United States these days. Surely if the public and private displays of Christian faith were more connected with the well-being of people in need, the support of those seeking justice for all, and the encouragement for people to live in harmony, then perhaps there might be more opportunities for a healthier dialogue.
The article raises the issue of community at a number of levels, especially the new community which Mr. DeWitt is nurturing among fellow Atheists. I commend him for that, because being in community is part of the human experience. I am ready to stand, in community, with Atheist and Christian alike to promote together a society where people love their neighbor as themselves, even as we disagree about loving God.”
My comment: “Thank you for this honesty, Felipe. As a former Presbyterian Minister I commend your openness to another way, a more inclusive and constructive way forward. We could all throw stones, or build something better with them. Faith or no faith, we have to find ways of cooperating, collaborating and communicating.”