When it became known that Jerry DeWitt was an atheist, he lost the job he had been raised to do. He lost his community and his wife. But he gained his freedom and a new community of nonbelievers. In his book, Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey From Belief to Atheism, DeWitt shares his story with us. From the publisher’s description:
DeWitt was a pastor in the town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and was a fixture of the community. In private, however, he’d begun to question his faith. Late one night in May 2011, a member of his flock called seeking prayer for her brother who had been in a serious accident. As DeWitt searched for the right words to console her, speech failed him, and he found that the faith which once had formed the cornerstone of his life had finally crumbled to dust. When it became public knowledge that DeWitt was now an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing nearly everything he’d known.
DeWitt’s struggle for identity and meaning mirrors the one currently facing millions of people around the world. With both agnosticism and atheism entering the mainstream—one in five Americans now claim no religious affiliation, according to a recent study—the moment has arrived for a new atheist voice, one that is respectful of faith and religious traditions yet warmly embraces a life free of religion, finding not skepticism and cold doubt but rather profound meaning and hope. Hope After Faith is the story of one man’s evolution toward a committed and considered atheism, one driven by humanism, a profound moral dimension, and a happiness and self-confidence obtained through living free of fear.
Join us this Sunday as DeWitt talks to us about his astounding journey.
- Jerry DeWitt’s home on the web
- The website for Hope After Faith
- Hope After Faith on Amazon
- “From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader”
Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.