No Man’s Land

So I’m in Northern AZ with limited cell services and virtually no internet service.  I’m sitting in a Starbucks which is inside the local Safeway, trying to find work over the internet.  I hope to get back to you once I return to civilization, which of course will include fulfilling my promises to my Patrons.

But I also need your help.

I think PastorNoFaith’s days are numbered.  While I hope to go public I don’t think I want the church people to see this blog.  I’d rather control how they see what info and when.  So I need a new name, or at least a new handle.  Something to title my new blog when I go public.  Something catchy yet not too shocking/offensive.  Suggestions?

I’m also going to be starting a vlog.  All I’ve got is my android smart phone, but I’ll be making videos to answer people’s questions about how I lost my faith.  Somebody cautioned that coming out via Facebook may be hazardous because readers can’t hear inflection and tone of voice.  Therefore, I thought, in order to be better understood I need to do what I do best, talk.  I think I’ll give the Patron a sneak peak at the first few of these specifically for feedback.  After the Patron’s input, I’ll then post the videos here and on my actual Facebook page.

Take care, I’ll be back soon.


23 thoughts on “No Man’s Land

  1. Actually, if you do the vlogging good, it might get you some extra cash that way as well. So, dig in to “how to make successful vlogging”-ish and you may well be on to something 🙂

    I’m on your team, even though I suck at coming up with catchy names.

    Yours // Johan from Sweden, who’s followed you from the start – you’re doing good 😀


    • I agree, but (talking from personal experience) making videos is hard and there are already tons of high quality (well… more or less) Atheist Vlogs on youTube.

      PNF should really try to come up with a fresh angle. Unbelievably, ex pastor atheists are not a small minority in the movement. There are a lot of them and people cannot help but be less and less impressed by each new V-logger that comes along.

      My point is that it should not just be a V-log about a deconversion that then goes on to discuss atheism and non-belief. All those things are good, but I feel there is a need for someone to approach things from a novel perspective.

      At this very moment, I am blanking out as to what that new POV could be. But it is worth it to think about it.

      Yesterday, I wrote a post about PNF creating 2 blogs/v-logs; One for atheists and one for Christians, especially his own friends and former parishioners.
      Maybe there is an angle there. Maybe PNF is uniquely equipped to be a bridge builder. He may not be , but he won;t know for sure until he tries.

      For instance, there are plenty of videos “what not to say to an atheist” that are geared toward christians. So that has been done (not that repetition won’t help, my ancestors used to say “Repetita iuvant”: repetition helps) but I feel PNF has to go for originality. He is a new voice, let’s make it a new approach as well.

      I’ll be thinking about it. You guys and PNF, should do the same.

      PS: In my work on the web, where I am a professional web developer, I realized that there are few tools more powerful than Youtube to create a following. Especially short, to the point videos, are very popular. Don;t need to have feature film like production values, but a little bit of professionalism doesn’t hurt. Things like cutting out the part where the Vlogger adjusts the camera at the beginning or turns it off at the end. Remote controls exist. Editing tools also exist.

      The other thing I did with my Vlog back in the day, I have a intro and outro ready to go and attach at the beginning and the end of the video. Once it is setup, it’s easy to add, but it makes the whole production 100 times better.


  2. Be very careful with Facebook. For the videos, I’d suggest to keep them youtube based and if necessary embed them in FB. As for the name, I guess “Beelzebub’s Idle Thoughts” or “Satanism for Dummies” are out as a name for the new blog?

    In truth, you have a chance with a new blog to collect your thoughts and the events of the last few weeks and present them in a more organic, compassionate and clear way than you have been able to do until now.

    I think it may not even be a bad idea to split your online presence into a blog for atheists and a blog for Christians, especially your parishioners. That way you will be able to present your facts using a language they are more familiar with that may help them understand your transformation better.

    I am not talking about a proselytizing blog, you are not trying to make atheists (hence the different platform for their benefit) and that should be very clear to them.
    Maybe the “Christian” blog should be a project with a predetermined time limit. A way for you to speak to your congregation, at least those interested in what happened to you, without confusing the issue with posts for the secular audience.

    I hope I am doing justice to my idea, as it can be easily misinterpreted. What should be clear is that if you decide to start a dialogue (or maybe just a one way discussion) with the christians in your life, you are doing it for their benefit. You would be doing it not to renege on who you have become but to explain it in the spirit of friendship and honesty.

    It could give you a platform to express things that would be redundant on the secular blog but that you may feel you haven’t had a chance to address with hindsight.

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s a crazy idea. I just think that these (for the most part) are your friends. They have been your life for many years. They deserve more than a memo from the Church elders.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. No Room on the Ark, How Fragile a Foundation, 10,000 Reasons…That No Longer Made Sense, Doubting Thomas, The Doubting Pastor, Life After Faith, Hide and Seek…With God.

    I’ll try to brainstorm a few more, but these are what first popped into my mind. Also, something alluding to the fact that Paul, and others were supposed to have actually seen miracles performed by Jesus/God, and/or seen God (or at least vivid and undeniable visions of him). Why are they so special and you are required to rely on “faith”? Hell, Judas betrayed Christ and yet he was allowed to see miracles and everything – so even seeing miracles apparently doesn’t prevent “Free Will”. And what of Pharaoh’s “Free Will” in the Moses story? He wanted to let the Hebrews go, but god “hardened his heart” – several times I might add – so obviously “Free Will” can’t be all that important, can it?

    Just some thoughts off the top of my head.

    I hope you are enjoying your trip as much as you can, and that the wife and kids are enjoying it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Been Enlightened, Escaped Religion. That way, we can call you pastor BEER. I don’t know for sure if you’d still want to be called a pastor, but there’s still preaching to be done with the sermons of truth and logic, and I think through all this writing, you’d be a fine person to stand at that pulpit. Besides, even without God, everyone has to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.

    Best I can come up with for a name and a tagline off the top of my head. If you don’t like it, I’ll see if I can think of something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a penchant for Ancient Greek. The word ζητέω (zētéō) means, properly, to seek by inquiring; to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution; to search, “getting to the bottom of a matter.” I think that’s what you are doing. I’m sure people will think I’m stupid but there’s much meaning in that one word. Anyway, I have been following you from your first postings. I wish I could do more. All the best from British Columbia.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like titles that may have a double meaning. If you are a JRR Tolkien fan, some chapter titles are interesting, for example:
    A Conspiracy Unmasked
    At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
    Many Meetings
    Flotsam and Jetsam

    Or something related to beer:
    The Talk and Bull Pub

    Good luck.

    (P.S. I also posted a few times as Susan.)


  7. All great suggestions. Here are a few more “godgonepastor” ” one flew out of the cuckoo’s nest” “jilted by god “. Good luck with the job applications.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi John,

    I think the name of your blog should be something that means something important to you. Like “Question with boldness” has meaning for Nancy. I choose “The Sentient Puddle” named after the Douglas Adams story because of the fallacy of assuming the world was made for us instead of the other way around. I tried to revisit your old posts (because I was sure you told us what the new password was … but apparently not) to see if I could find something that really struck a chord with you about your deconversion/loss of belief. I’m trying to remember some of the conversations you had but I’m short on specifics and long on the anger at the injustice of a God who lets so much “evil” happen. With that in mind, here’s some suggestions that you probably shouldn’t use.

    Impersonal God
    Asleep at the Wheel
    Suffer the little children
    Gods won’t
    God’s improv (as opposed to God’s plan. Yeah I know, if I have to explain it …)
    God scares
    Why? (Probably taken)
    What the fuck? (Also, probably taken)
    Are you shitting me? (Okay, enough with the generics)

    And some generics, which I also don’t think are right for you. Hope to be able to revisit your older posts for some more specific ideas.

    I don’t see it
    Not my choice
    God’s voicemail
    “Your prayer cannot be connected.”
    God loves you … but not in that way.
    Got to stop pretending (to believe)
    13.72 billion years and this is the best He can do?
    We made God in our image … which is why He’s such a dick.
    Nature is a single mother
    God’s a delinquent father
    Mother Nature is suing God for child support
    Mother Nature denies God visitation rights

    Yeah, so I went back to the God hating bent at the end there. Like I say, none of those are really good for a blog name, but I hope they made you smile at least. Have a think about the things that made the biggest impression early on. You’ll find the right name for your blog.

    All the best
    How’s your wife’s hand?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The funny thing, at least for me, was that all those metaphors in the Bible for finding faith eventually seemed a lot more applicable to me after losing my own: putting away childish things (such as blind, unreasoning faith), the scales falling from my eyes, the veil being removed from my mind (yeah, I know, most translations say “heart”).

    If you feel the same way, and enjoy irony, how about The Scales Fallen Away?

    Other suggestions:

    Through my Crisis of Faith
    No Nail Prints After All
    From Faith to Reason (never mind, that one’s already in use.)
    I Got a Rock (an allusion to both Matthew 7:9 and the Charlie Brown Halloween special)
    Past Pastor

    Joke suggestion:

    The Fully Clothed Ex-Pastor (if you decide to get into cartooning)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hmm. i support you but i would tell you go slowly. don’t do anything rash. slowee slowee catchee monkey. you’re free now, not trapped, and the only thing that matters is you, your wife and kids if any and that is it. your responsibility to your former congregation ….that’s really just a place you used to work. harsh but still true. take care of your future and be absolutely certain those people will take care of theirs. always remember you must be very very skilled to have been a pastor. people skills are the highly sought after


  11. You’ve mentioned being eager to do Atheology, but unfortunately title wouldn’t be church-reader friendly….

    Ryan Bell talked about his Chrysalis stage, when contents of the cocoon actually liquify, and a whole different structure emerges out of the same ingredients. A striking image

    You’re great at captions… will be very fun to see what you come up with!!


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