Pastor-turned-atheist-humanitarian targeted with vicious online attacks from Christians

As blogger Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist reports:

It was almost a year ago when Ryan Bell, a professor and former pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist church, announced that he would “try on” atheism and “live as if there is no God” for 12 months…

But he got a taste of what being an atheist was like much sooner than expected. Less than a week after announcing his experiment, Bell was fired by his Christian employers at Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary… Readers of this site came through in a big way and helped raise more than $27,000 for his family…

In an NPR story today, he told reporter Arun Rath that atheism just makes more sense to him now‘:

“I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view.  I don’t think that God exists.  I think before I wanted a closer relationship to God and today I just want a closer relationship with reality.””

Bell has a new job, by the way, putting his Humanism in action. He’s working with a group called People Assisting The Homeless (PATH). He worked with them when he was a pastor, but now, it’s just more evidence that he can still be good without God.

A few days before, the Christian Post quoted him in a story titled “Ex-Pastor Who Took Yearlong Break From Faith Asks ‘Why Do I Need Religion to Love?’ May Announce Atheism Soon:”

“The question I am asking right now [is] why do I need religion to love?…I want to be for something good, but I don’t want boundaries, and religion just feels like a very bounded thing.”

The Post’s Christian readers were angered:

This is nothing more than rebellion, and at the expense of many of the rest of us.  What selfishness and irresponsibility, no matter what the personal struggle.

You need the Christian religion (and yes, Christianity is a religion, the true religion) to worship God, and God must be worshiped.

Those who have entered into a genuine relationship with Christ Jesus are the most loving people.

At Free Republic, where the Christian Post story was reposted, angry, militant Christians vented homophobic slurs and character attacks:

“What a dirtbag. Sorry, without Christ your ‘good deeds’ are worth *****.”

”Drama queen.”

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light….. Isaiah 5:20.”

“He means without submitting to God. But only God is good, so it is impossible without Him. “

“Being good without boundaries. The serpent couldn’t have said it any better.”

“No God, no concience… No God, no peace… Now come out of the closet faggot.”

“Calling evil good and good evil . . . where have we heard that before, I wonder?”

“Next he’ll tell us he’s discovered he’s a transvestite.”

“I was wondering if he is dating a male or female.”

“Seems as though he is sewing the devils fruits to me.”

“His “wrestling with doubts” is about as real as professional wrestling.”

“Smells like someone is having a mid-life crisis.”

“He is not smart enough to be able to see the difference between religion and belief.”

You’ll want to engage your Irony Surge Protector before reading these:

“I am sincerely curious. What obnoxious certainty do Christians have that he objects to?”

“This man is full of self-approval. He thinks he knows it all. Pathetic.”

18 thoughts on “Pastor-turned-atheist-humanitarian targeted with vicious online attacks from Christians

  1. We’ve had a great experience following and watching Ryan’s transparent journey from belief to unbelief. This wasn’t a stunt for money or for huge attention, as his original blog posts were only meant to be read and followed by his close friends. All should be clear when the documentary comes out late 2015.


    • Where can I find the documentary when it is released? I am very interested in seeing this. I can’t believe the Christian communities reaction to all of this…


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  3. Christians acting like the bigots they really are.
    Anyone different is considered trash….just like the other religions.
    Is anyone else seeing a pattern here?


  4. Not surprising. If you call them out on it they will say even they aren’t perfect and that’s why they need Christ. Or that “real” Christians aren’t like that. Or my favorite, that it’s not their words but God’s words. You know, when you don’t play by the bounds of reality, you can just make up any scapegoat as you go.


  5. Lived with this every day until I grew up and moved on. No self-awareness with these people, but the FEAR is palpable; I remember vividly how afraid I was of even THINKING THE THOUGHT that there was no god – nice to see that same fear so petulantly and ignorantly expressed on the inter-tubes, yet again.

    I’m with Hemant – applause for the one guy brave enough to stop and think for himself. And let the persecutors whine about being persecuted – it only makes them look more stupid.


    • Of course you were afraid,the whole concept of Christianity is based on shame,fear,and guilt tripping the ‘faithful’ in order to keep them under control.Fall and redemption,your are born ba and must spend a lifetime atoning. I used to be a Christian. But I am in rcovery now and I feel much better. Was with the Assemblies of God. Then Jimmy Swaggertt got caught leaving out the back door of a whorehouse,and i knew that my own hypocricy had gone on long enough.
      I still believe in God,but not a God that hates,is a bigot,plays favorites among His children and allows people to kill in His name. And by no means a God that would force me to shove my beliefs don the throats of others and berate them when they resist.


  6. Just wanted to express my support out here and thought you could need some love after all those horrible and non-christian things being thrown at you! I’m not a believer, I’ve been an atheïst for all my life, and this way of behaving is one of the biggest reasons for me to find organised religion disgusting. Why can’t we all just see eachother as human beings and be done with it? Why do we have to be labeled on the basis of things like religion! Besides… I do not care if people believe… For all I care they can believe in a STONE! Just do not throw the stone at other people!!

    For the ‘christians’ out there insulting people on their personal choices… Jesus saved jewish and roman people without feeling the need to convert them. He even drove out 7 demons from Mary Magdalene, without her being part of his ‘group’. Why do you guys not give this guy the support he needs?



  7. I completely understand wanting to leave religion behind, in fact I hate religion. The only reason I call myself a Christian is at the root of it, it means Christ follower. I believe the word “Christian” has been skewed. Most people who consider themselves “Christian’s” lack the most important part of Christianity which is crucial! They lack the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Do to this failure of our religions the church has become overrun with ignorance and honestly stupidity, I’m not saying every church has lost its way but the fact that over half of the nation calls themselves a Christian leads me to believe otherwise. I guess really all I’m trying to say is please don’t be left with a bad taste in your mouth due to some phony “Christians” who obviously don’t follow Christ. So on their behalf, I’m sorry for their ignorance.


    • They also lack the compassion for the least of us. Christian used to mean,simply someone who believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Nothing more,nothing less.
      Now you must be ‘born again. Well my God loves me no matter how many times iv’e been ‘born’. Or not!


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  9. Fundamentalist Christians show, once again, why people are moving away from religion in such large numbers; huge intolerance, hatred of anyone ‘not like them’ and a blind devotion to stories originally simply made up to explain events that people did not understand and to provide some guidance on an appropriate way to live in those times. There are many good people out there who are Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews etc but fundamentalists of all types are sick people with dangerous and disturbing approaches to life and other people.




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