I have now been blogging for fifteen years. Fifteen Years! Thousands of posts, tens of thousands of comments, and millions and millions of page views. I am humbled by the fact that people are still interested in my writing; that new people are still being added to the list of readers who regularly come to this site or access my writing via email or RSS.
Long-time readers know that I stopped blogging a few times over the years. They remember blogs with names such as Bruce Droppings and The Way Forward. In December 2014, I restarted this blog, using its current name, The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser. I told myself, at the time, that this was my last attempt at blogging; that if I couldn’t emotionally handle the trolls, stalkers, and haters, I was done. Fortunately, thanks to weekly therapy, the addition of Carolyn as my editor, and the support of loyal readers, I have found the psychological wherewithal to handle miscreants such as Victor Justice, Revival Fires, Dr. David Tee, and countless others who try to harm me. Stricter comment policies and aggressive use of blocking software have lessened their reach, but, unfortunately, they continue to find ways to get at me. Victor Justice, in particular, has even gone so far as to make fake websites that attack Polly, my wife. (If you are an Internet security professional and have tools that could be used to find out his identity and stop his malicious, hateful attacks, I would appreciate your help. I have literally done all I can do on my end.)
I have increasingly used the emails and comments I receive from Evangelical zealots and apologists as fodder for posts. I find responding in this manner cathartic, especially when the person is a preacher. Imagine their surprise when they do a Google Search on their name or church and find out that this blog is listed first page right after their personal or church website. Karma’s a bitch. 🙂
Over the past couple of months, I have started rewriting and posting articles that were originally written in 2018. One reason for doing this is so stale posts will rank higher in Google. The higher the ranking, the more potential readers. Another reason is my declining health. Some days, I find it impossible to write new content. I am physically and mentally exhausted. Chronic, unrelenting pain will do that to me. Reworking a post requires minimal effort on my part and Carolyn’s. I hope long-time readers enjoy re-reading these posts and their comments.
I plan to continue writing new content as my health allows. Currently, my draft folder contains 1,134 potential posts, some dating back to 2015. I am also sitting on over 1,000 Black Collar Crime stories I have not posted! I have no hope of getting to all these drafts and stories, but I will do what I can.
I am currently a month behind in answering emails. I hope to get caught up over the next few weeks. I know that some people get upset with my lack of timely response, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Carolyn occasionally answers some of my emails, but many of them require a personal response from me. I answer every email I receive, but I cannot promise when you will receive that answer.
After Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump, I deleted my Twitter account. I also decided to delete several other social media accounts. You can still find me on Facebook. If you send me a friend request and you use a pseudonym when commenting, please message me so I will know it is you when I receive your friend request. I am sitting on fifteen friend requests from people I don’t know. If I don’t know you or you are not friends with people I know, I won’t accept your request. Too many problems with trolls and hackers for it to be otherwise.
In my heart of hearts (whatever the hell that means) I still want to start a podcast. I have the equipment and content ideas I need to make it happen. I even have a hosting contract set up for the podcast. What I don’t seem to have is the physical strength I need to make this project a reality. Writing will always be my priority, but I do think having a podcast will widen my reach and help more people (or piss more people off depending on your perspective). I plan to make a final decision on this soon.
As I read through the comments on old posts, I am saddened by the fact that people who used to comment no longer do. Several readers have died. Others needed what I offered for a time and then moved on. I understand that that is the nature of blogging. People come and go. Just the other day someone commented who hadn’t done so in years. I was delighted to see that they were still numbered among the living. I know there will always be readers who love me until they don’t; they love a certain aspect of my writing, but don’t like another. Some people love my exposes on Evangelicalism, but hate my politics. I have learned over the years that I can’t be all things to all men. All I know to do is keep sharing what is on my mind at any given point in time. It is up to you the reader to decide if what I write is worthy of your support.
Some of you have been reading my writing for years. A few of you go all the way back to 2007. I want to thank you for your continued love and support. You have become “family” to me. As someone who rarely gets out of the house these days, I rely on my interaction with people on this blog and social media to keep me “connected” with the outside world. Thank you for all you add to my life.
How long have you been a reader? What brought you to this blog the first time? Is there anything you wish I would do differently or do more/less of? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Saved by Reason,
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
Connect with me on social media:
You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.
Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.
I’ve been reading your content since before Bruce Droppings,my favorite title. I found you through Defiance Crescent letters to the editor. We’ve moved and our internet sucks so all interactions are with my phone. So scant comments but I’m still reading.
I’ve been reading and lurking here for about the past two years, after finding your site via a comment on another blog (probably The Friendly Atheist). There are some interesting parallels in our stories. I’m 51 years old, raised Catholic, saved at 15, got a degree in Bible from a Christian liberal arts college in the 90s, and was involved with various apologetics ministries. Years later, my personal studies steered me into Calvinism, whereupon I became an insufferable PITA.
The past several years have been a journey for me as I’ve watched my fellow evangelicals, and Calvinists in particular, dive headlong into the unholy mess that is Christian nationalism. Relatedly, the evangelical response to the pandemic was another wake-up call to me. I could no longer persuade myself that right-wing politics were an unfortunate bug in conservative churches. It had always been a feature, but as a Libertarian who had long believed in the separation of church and state, I just didn’t want to see it. Slowly the lights came on.
While I had emailed you some time ago, and got a kind reply from Carolyn, this is my first time posting here. I want to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done in maintaining this blog. I suspect there are many others who benefit from your writing who may never comment.
I was reading many years ago but lost contact and just recently rediscovered you. I read because I want a different perspective on Christianity. I am a Believer but what I find in much of the church isn’t what my heart says it should be. Anyways, I like your honesty, I like your writing style and your take on the church and Christianity in general. Thank you.
i remember “Bruce Droppings”… 😉 i don’t know precisely how long i’ve been reading your blog, or how i found it, but when you disappeared the first time, i was very disappointed, and made a point of watching out for you, so that, when you took up with “The Way Forward” i was there at the beginning. you do you! i have no desire to see you do more, or less, of what you already do a fine job of, on your own. and the main reason i read it is because of the well-thought-out, pointed snark that drives so many “christians” crazy. i just hope that, someday, i might meet you in person… although that seems to be a futile hope, since we live on opposite ends of the country.
Congrats on 15 years of blogging. I started with “The Way Forward”, though I think I read one earlier, it was a blog post about Ken Ham and I’m not sure if that’s when I got me hooked or not.
I searched for the Victor Justice blog, found nothing, so maybe it isn’t worth your time? I did find something interesting from the search though. I either forgot or never knew, that you wrote the forward to David Madison’s “Ten Tough Problems in Christianity.”
I admire people who can write, taking the risk to move it out of your head onto paper. It does take courage, and I hope you can continue to pursue your passion.
Three different sites, so far. He emails me every time he does this.
became Probed because of the Aliens and you will Live to share with About this
As i taken on the all of our garage, We noticed a mysterious round mark on the newest pavement at the front of our own household.
Into the early circumstances of your day, I unexpectedly woke, told you one thing to Polly – neither people knows what – and you can went regarding rooms, simply to come back minutes latere early morning, Polly appreciated nothing in the evening just before, but I remember just what occurred inside my frightful dream.
Polly took a holiday time, therefore we made a decision to drive so you can Findlay and eat dining during the Tx Roadhouse. We had wished to sit-in the Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates baseball online game, but nonstop rain and you may winter months pressed me to transform the plans.
I got a bad fantasy – an aspiration I have had on / off consistently. Considering my personal dream, there can be a secret crowd residing Florida exactly who are out over generate lifestyle miserable personally, threatening to expose to the world the latest “real” Bruce Gerencser. طريقة لعبة بينجو In certain items of this dream, so it enigmatic group opts to eliminate me personally, ultimately causing my personal head to burst. Past, they caused my personal see burst, referring to as to why I bolted throughout the bed room.
We talked about ambitions generally for a few minutes, then the time had come to blow the bill and you will get back the place to find the newest teeming city from Ney. An hour or so after, even as we removed toward all of our overloaded garage, We pointed out that the fresh torrential rain storm got sparkling off the pavement the brand new circle with a keen arrow you to indicated into the front door.
Polly, I think We have identified what the community was the about! Perhaps not finishing to listen to the lady impulse, We told you, the new community try put truth be told there of the an advance people from aliens therefore the mommy motorboat manage discover where to end past. My horror are the result of aliens probing my personal brain!!
Inside the a good Trumpian field of choice factors where lies was information and the fact is feedback, who’s got to say that my personal facts isn’t correct?
I don’t get those links at all. They are all the same, varying only slightly in their gibberish. Is he trying to be clever? If so, he’s not doing a very good job!
Hmmm, another Troy? I wonder if they stole my name? I say this because I speculate that the author is not “Troy Wilson”, rather that is an alias, and the “prose” is translated from some other language (possible Arabic, because there is some Arabic text in there or alternatively Brazilian because of the .br country code in one of the links along with several topics related to Brazil)
Victor Justice sent me a rage-filled comment. In part, he said:
“What are you doing to do when and if you “identify” me? I’ve done absolutely nothing illegal to you or anyone else. Are you threatening me? Honestly, you sound like you’re a stalker and are now soliciting help in your nefarious endeavors.”
Simple. I’m going to put a name and face to his vitriol and hate.
Hi Bruce. You’re a juggernaut; you accomplish more while being chronically ill than I could ever do in perfect health. I’ve been reading your blog ever since I stumbled upon your excellent piece “Why I Hate Jesus” which seems to be your magnum opus. With over 1200 posts in your draft folder plus you’re thinking of starting a podcast, I wonder it’d be worthwhile to lessen the Black Collar Crime Series which I usually scan since these tend toward being “same shit, different day” and only the names of the perpetrators change. Of course, I can see their value raising awareness of abuse within Evangelicalism, so they may deserve a special priority. Whatever you decide I’m sure it’ll be for the best.
I think I probably started reading this blog as a consequence of reading the Friendly Atheist. (Someone mentioned you, I believe.) I know I was reading you over a decade ago as I drove 30 miles to the post office I ran at the time. (Bruce knows where Latty, Ohio is.)
I think at that time I delved into more atheist blogs, as my husband called himself atheist. At first I felt upset when atheists made fun of Christianity. I came to see that as a good thing, that everyone should be allowed to make fun of religion as often as they want to! Anyway, reading Bruce’s writings certainly caused me to reevaluate calling myself a Christian. I’m not an atheist, and sometimes I think I’m an agnostic, and sometimes I think I’m a universalist. But in the end? I prefer the reality-based approach to life. Having some belief in a possible deity gives me a bit of comfort, but I don’t expect a god to zap and fix anything. So sometimes I do take comfort in prayer, but usually I get love and comfort from my loved ones.
So thanks, Bruce. I always found Christianity puzzling even when devoted, as why would a supreme being need to kill their god son to fix the problem of evil? Really, a childish myth. A truly good deity would fix us broken humans, and not burn forever people who made bad choices and/or were born with horrible, evil impulses. My beliefs about an afterlife are that it probably doesn’t exist, so we all have to help each other as much as we can now. And Bruce, your writings were key to my understanding. THANK YOU.
Oooookay. I think I linked in to a blog of yours, just as you were toying with Emergent Christianity? Along about the time I determined, on my way down the slide, nope, no Emergent for me. I was about 2 years ahead of you on the way out. I distinctly remember staying with your writing when you apologized to those you hurt while a pastor. I just sat and cried. I had never heard a pastor apologize for anything. I had never heard one ever be accountable and certainly unable to self-reflect. I suppose that act alone made you credible and legitimate in my eyes.
It would be along the way, as your story unfolded that I saw the trauma you’d been through and I’ve watched you in your journey to process it and move towards some sort of healing regarding it. I relate as my own path is similar in many ways.
I’m here reading, though not as often as I’d like. Health issues too. Especially with my eyes.
As long as you’re here, and I am, I’ll keep showing up. 🙂 Try to comment when I can and love reading some of my older comments. 😀
I’ve been reading since we were kicked out of our southern baptist church for our views on homosexuality in 2015. Not sure exactly how I found you. I’m on the email list so I get all your posts in my inbox and read them all. You’re blog has helped me work through the trauma of being summarily dismissed by people I thought were my friends and who called me their sister in christ. I couldn’t have gotten to the good place I’m at today without your writing. I have found a community here.
I’ve commented a few times on a couple posts, but I’m a keep-to-myself type person. While I have plenty to say (just ask my family and friends!) I am more comfortable sharing with those I am close to. The public nature of social media and the internet are a little daunting to me. I am definitely still reading though!
Thank you for the hard work on this blog. It is an important part of my life and it helps me articulate to myself and to others why I am now an atheist. And a podcast would be great – I’ve watched/listened to several of your interviews and talks and know I would enjoy a Bruce Gerencser podcast!
I found your blog sometime around Aug 2021. The short version of why I started following you, and why I’m still here is this (I’ve posted pieces of the longer version in comments over the past 10 months):
I was/am dealing with crumbling faith brought on in part by giving up trying to reconcile conflicting scripture passages, the horrible atrocities in the Biblical narrative with a loving God, and observations/conclusions from solid scientific/historical data that don’t fit with Biblical literalism. All that, enough for many, paled by the silence from God through years of prayer-prayer for others, for myself, and just general conversation with God. The last couple of years were the worst, practically in tears asking God for the faith to believe, not to let me slide away, to grant me the assurance that He was there and actually cared about me. I didn’t get any answers. I didn’t get a “no”. I didn’t get a “wait”. I just got silence.
I’m in my mid-life. I grew up in the Church, predominantly Baptist, always evangelical. I raised my children in the Church. I studied the Bible diligently. I was looking for people like me. People going/gone through what I was/am going through. I wasn’t interested in deconversion stories from teens and young twenty-somethings. I needed to find people I could relate with. People who, as some commenters here have said “Jesus’ed their socks off” for decades. Web searching brought me here. I don’t remember the first article, but I’ve read hundreds by now. In addition to you, Bruce, I found so many people here with stories that echoed my own, so I stayed.
I didn’t comment for about 6 months, and I still only do so in irregular bursts. Initially I even prayed for God to rebuke me for daring to comment on an atheist blog, just to show me he was there and what I did mattered to him. That still hasn’t happened. Commenting here is cathartic and it helps me logically evaluate positions I once held by faith that don’t make sense anymore.
I’m not 100% deconverted. I can’t quite give God up. I keep giving him another chance. Sometimes I’ll stop reading for a few weeks in the hope that God will reach out to me. Since I keep coming back, you can guess that hasn’t happened.
I can get a little turned off by some of the anger that occasionally makes it onto these virtual pages, but I haven’t walked in your shoes or the shoes of everyone here. I’ve only outed myself to one person, so I don’t deal with the vitriol that some of the so-called Christians spew here. I tend to ignore the articles concerning jerks like RF, VJ, and DDT. I’m not even mad at God, just disappointed in him. However, it’s clear that you resonate with so many, so you write what you need to write and I’ll read what I need to read. I was looking for a safe to say to the things I need to say and you’ve provided me with that. You have my thanks.
This here Bruce: “Victor Justice, in particular, has even gone so far as to make fake websites that attack Polly, my wife.”
I am so sorry the patriarchal misogynistic bullshitter is stalking Polly. I hope a professional shows up and offers some help.
Bruce, you may remember that I found your website while I was doing research on atheism for a book I’m writing. I’ve been an avid reader, commenter and sometime contributor ever since. Yours is the only blog I’ve ever posted on. That’s because I got to know you through your writing, and realized that you are a mensch and I could say something and not be judged. And the community you attract is fabulous (outside of the trolls and the clueless Bible quoters, naturally) and they also have interesting insights and experiences to share. You are doing the world a great service. Hugs to you and Polly and have a grrreat Thanksgiving!
Take care of yourself. You have helped a lot of people. I read your blog because I grew up in a family who by my teens said “there is something good in all religions”. I needed to see a view like yours coming from an evangelical to atheist person to see the work and struggle it took to change.
I’m hazy on how I came to the blog but I think it originated in reading Mike Doolittle at a-unicornist. That took me to Jonathan Pearce at Tippling Philosopher, except I think I may have first gone to Tristan Vick at Advocatus Atheist. That took me to the deconversion book Beyond an Absence of Faith, in which you, Bruce, had a chapter. That led me here. I don’t know why I became so interested in the subject, never having been much subject to religion, at least not of the kind described here, and I think it’s because it gives an insight into human nature of a type I don’t see elsewhere.
I read and rarely comment, a podcast is something I would definitely listen to. Thanks for all the content!
I too appreciate so much all that you write here, Bruce. Having doubts, I stumbled upon Rachel Held Evans in 2015 and she somehow led me to Patheos Non-religious blogs and to yours. It’s no exaggeration to say they were earth-shattering and a lifeline for me. I’d previously thought I was alone in the world doubting my ardent faith in a god who never seemed to actually do anything. And your blog resonated, spoke the truth to me, you seemed to be the ‘sort’ of x-tian I was for decades and you’d escaped. I smile now to remember I deleted all the non-religious blogs after a few weeks, thinking satan was tempting me to read their wicked content, but I was hooked, especially on this one and re-instated them soon afterwards. Thank you. I sometimes feel I vent here, I’m in a large fundy family who really don’t understand and it’s a breath of sanity when I come here and add a comment.
I found you through the Clergy Project when I was devouring everything I could find during active deconstruction and deconversion. I am not sure what year – maybe 2016? While I had exited church in 2008, I had not actively deconstructed – I just put religion on hold for years. My mom died in late 2014, and she was the only person who was interested enough to ask whether my kids were “saved” or not (they’re both adults now, and atheists). I don’t know what exactly prompted this, but in 2014 or 15 I started exploring atheism – what is it, what are reasons for it, etc. I found RationalWiki, Ex-Christian.net, the nonreligious channel on Patheos, and the Clergy Project where I found this blog (add to that a ton of books from the library regardinghow the bible was written, science, the New Atheists, archaeology, the historyof evangelicalism, white supremacy, women’s rights, etc). While I attended Southern Baptist church, the school I attended was run by mostly IFB folks, so these posts about IFB resonate. This is currently the primary blog I follow as the Patheos blogs migrated to OnlySky, and I just haven’t migrated over there. Partly it’s because your style feels like I “know” you as a friend, in addition to the guest appearances on podcasts and videos.
Bruce, thank you for the amazing work you do–and for giving me a forum to talk about my sexual abuse by a priest, other experiences with faith and Bible study and, finally, deconversion.
But it was none of those things that led me to this blog. Rather, a “what if” question entered my mind: What if a member of the clergy stopped believing? I have known people who dropped out of seminaries because their studies–or, simply, the changes almost everyone experiences in their mid- or late-20s. But I never knew anyone who grappled with a loss of faith after donning the cloth. So I typed that question into Google and, well, here I am.
I remember ” Fallen from Grace” and your subsequent blogs. You have had many religious nuts come to your blog over the years and viciously attack you.
Thanks for rational, humane responses. Christian Fundamentalism is one of the most abhorrent religions ever created by humans. You do a great job showing the absurdities of such nonsense.
Hey Bruce, you helped me so much in my deconversion >10 yrs ago and just know I am always rooting for ya!