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“I just don’t believe this anymore”: Why I abandoned my faith

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  • Sarah Morehead of the nonprofit group Recovering From Religion reflects on her tortuous path to godlessness.
  • From the Archives | Easter Messages, 2014

Valerie Tarico, AlterNet

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Saturday, May 2, 2015 | Americans are leaving their religions at a faster rate than ever before, and that means more are looking for help with the transition. People who are casually religious may walk away and not look back. But for others religion is at the very heart of their identity, worldview and community, and having a safe place to process doubts can be a metaphorical godsend.

“Reclaimers,” people who are actively working to rebuild their lives after a period of religious immersion, may struggle with harmful ideas and emotions from the beliefs they once held or the behavior of fellow believers. Alternately, they may find that leaving is lonely and disorienting. Marlene Winell, a human development consultant who assists people leaving their religion, coined the term Religious Trauma Syndrome to describe a pattern she saw in some clients, in particular those leaving closed, authoritarian, fear-based communities. But even doubters who don’t experience this level of distress may find themselves feeling confused, afraid, self-doubting or overwhelmed.

Valerie Tarico is a former fundamentalist Christian, psychologist, and writer in Seattle, WA, and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of "Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light" and "Deas and Other Imaginings."

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Related:

From the Archives | Easter Messages, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Jesus was killed because he was a speaker of God’s truth. He was an unrelenting advocate of justice. The resurrection stories make a profound declaration: Truth can never be killed and the truth-teller can never be defeated. 
  • Part 1:Telling the Truth about Easter
  • Part 2: Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution