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Category: Atheism

I Made the Mistake of Checking Out the Facebook Profiles of Former IFB College Friends

gary keen bruce mike fox greg wilson midwestern baptist college 1978
Gary Keen, Bruce Gerencser, Mike Fox, Greg Wilson, Midwestern Baptist College, 1978

Last Monday, I tested positive for COVID, as did my wife and our oldest daughter. Thanks to vaccines — we are triple-vaxxed, having received our last vaccination in May — and, in my case, Paxlovid, an anti-viral drug, we avoided hospitalization and possible death (a likely outcome for me without the vaccines). While Bethany is back to her ornery self and Polly is mostly recovered, save for a nagging cough and sinus drainage, my recovery, as expected, has been much slower. I still have a good bit of congestion and I am quite weak. Much better? Absolutely! All praise be to science! But, I suspect it will take some time before I return to my normal sickly self where pain is my biggest problem.

I have spent a lot of time in bed over the past nine days trying to combat weakness and fatigue. Of course, spending time in bed doesn’t necessarily lead to sleep. Pain often precludes me from sleeping, and when it does, I try to “rest,” watching YouTube videos, catching up on recorded TV programs, and surfing the Internet. Sometimes, resting eventually brings sleep, other times it doesn’t. I learned long ago to not fight my body when it comes to sleep.

Last night, I stumbled upon the Facebook profile of a man I knew back when both of us studied for the ministry at Midwestern Baptist College in the 1970s. This man, a megachurch pastor’s son, was an usher for my wedding. After perusing his Facebook wall, I took a look at his friend list. (Yes, his list was public, a really bad idea.) I noticed that he was friends with lots of people who were also students at Midwestern back in the day. With lots of time on my hands — after all, how much time can you spend reading the Bible and praying 🙂 — I started stalking my former college friends, looking at what they had posted on their Facebook walls. Click, scroll, click, scroll, click, scroll . . . and as I did so, I found myself becoming increasingly depressed. After looking at three dozen or so profiles, I concluded that I had made a mistake; that knowledge wasn’t power.

Every person — and I mean EVERY — was still either an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) Christian, or, at the very least, a right-wing Evangelical. The hatred and vitriol toward the “world,” atheists, liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama was on full display. To the person, they were Trump-loving, gun-loving, forced birthers, anti-LGBTQ Republicans. And proudly so. I looked in vain for anyone who was a Democrat, a member of a mainline Christian denomination, or who had lost their faith altogether. Taken together, what I found was a monoculture, a cult-like enclave where fealty to rigid, narrow, unbending beliefs was required for admission. What troubled me the most was the devotion to Trump. Even after two impeachments and the January 6th hearing, they still supported the disgraced immoral ex-president.

This shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. If I could break free from IFB thinking, why can’t others? What is it that insulates Fundamentalists from reality? Is there nothing that can change their minds? I recognize that I am, for whatever reason, an exception to the rule, as is my wife. Sure, scores of IFB congregants exit stage left, moving on to friendlier confines, but it seems that few pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and professors are willing to do so, especially once they have been in the ministry for decades. Why is that?

While I found myself depressed over what I saw, I also felt gratitude. I escaped. I found a way to break free. Am I special? Nope, I am lucky. While I continue to struggle with guilt and regret over the harm I caused my family, my counselor reminded me that life could be a lot worse for me and my family had I remained Pastor Bruce Gerencser, the family patriarch. Imagine how life might be for Polly and our children had I remained in the ministry; had I maintained my rigid Fundamentalist beliefs and practices? I can’t think of any way in which that would have been a good thing. So, while it depresses me that my former college friends have matured very little from the days we roamed the hallways of the Midwestern dormitory, I am grateful that I escaped.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Is Pain God’s Instrument to Draw People to Himself?

pain cs lewis

Guest post by Neil Robinson who blogs at Rejecting Jesus

Does the Christian God use pain to draw people to himself? Assuming for a moment that such a God exists, does he use human suffering to make followers for himself?

There is no evidence in the Bible to suggest he does. To be sure, the Bible has a fair amount to say about pain. It claims that suffering is a means by which God either chastens Christians (Hebrews 12.7) or strengthens them (Romans 5.3-5), but this is exclusively for people who already believe. The Bible does not say non-believers are afflicted as a means of drawing them closer to God; the idea is unbiblical.

Let’s assume then that while this notion finds no support in the bible, Christians have learnt over the centuries, perhaps though extra-biblical revelation, that God does use pain in this way. What does this tell us about God? That he’s a being whose principal way of making human beings pay attention to him is by causing (or allowing) them to suffer frequently unbearable pain and anguish.

What sort of God is this? Not one who loves the world and cares for humans far more than he does mere sparrows (Matthew 6.26). He’s more an unpleasant, sadistic bully: the jock who backs you up against the wall, grips your balls and squeezes hard.

Maybe that’s how it is. The God who created the universe is just such a being; a moral monster, as Richard Dawkins described him. It’s easy to see how he might be: human beings suffer, yet there’s (supposedly) a God who loves them; therefore, pain and suffering must at the very least be sanctioned by God, or, more likely, delivered by him. This, after all, is the story of the Old Testament. The God so arrived at, though, is a thoroughly human creation, a means of minimising cognitive dissonance by reconciling human suffering and a God who supposedly cares.

One more assumption is needed. Let’s assume this time that despite the odds, this character really exists. Does his strategy work? Does inflicting pain and anguish on people make them, as Lewis suggests, cry out to the One doing (or allowing) the inflicting and compel them to love him? It seems unlikely; I can’t find any evidence online of anyone claiming that pain or anguish brought them to God. From a personal perspective, I can honestly say that in times of distress or suffering I have never, post-deconversion, called out to God or any supernatural entity for help. I’ve never interpreted my suffering as his calling me closer and have never, since escaping Christianity, succumbed to his malicious charms. (What I did do occasionally, following my deconversion, was to convince myself that my suffering was a punishment from God – for leaving him behind, being gay or something I’d done. These feelings disappeared when I embraced fully the fact that the Christian God isn’t real.)

Where does this leave the Christian with, as Lewis puts it, ‘the problem of pain’? How do they reconcile a loving God who allows or even causes human beings to suffer? They can’t. Instead, they spout empty platitudes that they think let their indifferent, imaginary God off the hook. Just look at the meaningless theo-babble religious leaders came up with in 2004 after a tsunami hit Indonesia, killing 227,898 people.

Leave God out of the equation, however, and there are far better explanations for why humans suffer. ‘Shit happens’ is far more convincing than anything the religious have to offer. Physical pain is the body’s reaction to damage. It is an imperfect system that frequently overreacts or fires up even after damage is repaired (I know this, having fibromyalgia). That’s what it is to have, to be, a physical body. Anguish comes from random acts of nature, the violence and cruelty we inflict on each other and the death of loved ones, much of which is beyond human control. ‘Thoughts and prayers’ are useless in ameliorating this kind of suffering. Measures to restrict people’s access to weapons undoubtedly helps, as it has in countries with politicians with sufficient strength and intelligence to enact gun-control legislation. Without it, as in Uvalde recently, more children will die, more parents will experience terrible anguish and another massacre is inevitable. God won’t stop it.

Suffering is not symbolic of something else; it is not ‘God’s megaphone’ or an opportunity for others to point those afflicted to Christ’s light (or any other bullshit that involves the supernatural.) Pain simply is. It is our lot as physical bodies to endure or alleviate it as best we can.

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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.

My Response to an Old Friend of My Wife’s on My YouTube Channel

Recently, Bev Babcock Gunter, an ex-friend of my wife, Polly, left a comment on my YouTube channel. Bev and Polly became friends back in the 1960s when they attended Kawkalin River Baptist Church in Bay City, Michigan, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church pastored by Bev’s father, Bob Babcock. (The church later changed its name to Emmanuel Baptist Church. It is now defunct.) Over the years, Bev, a graduate of Tennessee Temple, and Polly stayed in contact, trading letters, emails, and phone calls. Bev was one of Polly’s bride’s maids. Their relationship waned over the years. After we deconverted, Polly received a Facebook message from Bev that basically said, “tell me it isn’t true!” Polly did not respond, as is her custom. We hadn’t heard anything from Bev for several years until her comment on my YouTube channel over the weekend.

Bev commented on the video of my speech I have to the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie.

Video Link

What follows is Bev’s comment and my brief response:

bev gunter youtube (2)
bev gunter youtube (1)

I suspect Bev thinks I have led Polly astray. Given no credit for thinking for herself, Polly often finds that others suspect that it is big, bad Bruce who led her to walk away from Jesus. They couldn’t be more wrong.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Sounds of Fundamentalism: Joe Biden and His Fellow Atheists Are Trying to Take Over the United States Says Rep. Glenn Grothman

The Sounds of Fundamentalism is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of Rep. Glenn Grothman claiming President Biden and his fellow atheists are trying to take over the United States.

Video Link

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

My Responses to Dr. Michael Brown’s Seven Questions for Atheists

i have a question

Recently, Dr. Michael Brown, an Evangelical Christian apologist, asked atheists seven questions. Brown explains his reason for doing so this way:

If you consider yourself an atheist today, or if you considered yourself an atheist in the past, I’d love to ask you some honest questions.

But I do not ask these questions to win a debate. Or to be antagonistic. Or to buttress my own beliefs by exposing alleged weaknesses in your position. To the contrary, I ask these questions so I can better understand your mindset as an atheist.

What follows are my answers to Brown’s seven questions. I will send my responses to Brown after this post goes live.

Before I answer Brown’s questions, I want to share with him my background.

I was part of the Evangelical church for almost fifty years. My parents started attending Tim LaHaye’s church, Scott Memorial Baptist Church in El Cajon, California, in the 1960s. Both made public professions of faith and were devout Christians until they divorced in 1972. Our family attended church every time the doors were open. At the age of fifteen, I went forward during a revival meeting and one of the church’s deacons led me to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Two weeks later, I stood before the church and confessed that I believed God was calling me to preach. Several weeks later, I preached my first sermon.

At the age of nineteen, I enrolled in classes at Midwestern Baptist College, a small Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) college in Pontiac, Michigan. While at Midwestern, I met a beautiful dark-haired girl named Polly. She was the daughter of an IFB pastor and the granddaughter of a United Baptist preacher. Two your later we married, and on July 15, we will celebrate forty-four years of marriage. We are blessed to have six grown children, thirteen grandchildren, and an old cat named Joe Meower.

After leaving Midwestern in 1979, I started working for a GARBC (General Association of Regular Baptist Churches) church. Over the course of the next twenty-five years, I also pastored two IFB churches, a Sovereign Grace Baptist church, a Christian Union church, a non-denominational church, and a Southern Baptist church, all in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan.

In 2005, I left the ministry, and in 2008 I left Christianity altogether. In early 2009, I publicly professed that I was an atheist. My wife would also later confess that she no longer believed in the Christian God.

Now that I have given a brief summary of my past, let me take a stab at Brown’s questions.

Question One: Would you say that you are (or, were) an atheist based primarily on intellectual study or based on experience? Or did you never believe in God at all?

While my personal experiences as an Evangelical Christian and a pastor certainly played a part in my deconversion, I primarily deconverted for intellectual reasons. My journey away from Christianity began when I concluded that the Bible was not inerrant or infallible. From there, I took a careful look at my beliefs, particularly the central claims of Christianity. I concluded that these beliefs could not be intellectually and rationally sustained. Once I came to this conclusion, I recognized I could no longer call myself a Christian.

Question Two: Would you say that even as an atheist you still have a sense of purpose and destiny in your life, a feeling that you were put here for a reason and that you have a mission to accomplish?

We give ourselves meaning and purpose. There’s no external force — God, the Universe, the Holy Spirit — that gives us meaning and purpose. While I recognized external human forces affect my life and the decisions I make, I am the captain of my ship. I see no evidence of an otherworldly being or force affecting my life.

Do I have a reason for living? Sure. This is the only life I will ever have, so I am in no hurry (most days) to die. I want a better tomorrow for my children and grandchildren, so I work to that end to affect social and political change.

Do I have a mission? Sure. I think Evangelicalism, especially in its Fundamentalist forms, is harmful, causing untold heartache and damage. As a writer, my goal is to tell my story and expose the abusive, harmful underbelly of Evangelical Christianity.

Third Question: Would you say that you are 100% sure there is no such being as God—meaning, an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing being? Or would you say that, for all practical purposes, you have concluded that this God does not exist, although it is impossible to prove such a negative with absolute certainty?

I am an agnostic atheist. I am agnostic on the God question. I cannot know for certain if a god of some sort exists. The evidence suggests such a being does not exist, but it is within the realm of possibilities that a deity may one day reveal itself to us.

When it comes to specific religions, say the Abrahamic faiths, I am confident these religions are myths.

Because I see no evidence for the existence of a deity, I live my day-to-day life as an atheist.

Fourth Question: Do you believe that science can provide answers for many of the remaining mysteries of the universe, including how the universe began (including where matter came from and where the Big Bang derived its energy), the origin of life, and DNA coding?

I don’t know. Science continues to give us answers to previously unanswerable questions. Whether science ever explains to us what happened before the Big Bang is unknown. Science does adequately explain our world from the Big Bang forward, and that’s enough for me. Unlike many Christians and atheists, I have little interest in philosophical debates about the existence of God and the beginning of the universe. I’m dying — literally — so I choose to live in the present. I am far more interested in balancing our checkbook than I am the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Fifth Question: Have you had any experiences in life that caused you to question your atheism? Has something happened to you that seemed genuinely supernatural or otherworldly? Or have you been confronted with some information that shook your atheistic foundations, such as a scientific argument for intelligent design? If so, how have you dealt with such doubts to your atheism?

No. One step in my deconversion was giving an honest accounting of the “miracles” and “answered prayers” in my life. My wife did the same. We concluded that we could rationally explain all but a handful of experiences. This was not enough evidence for us to conclude that the Christian God of the Bible did it. Unexplainable? Sure, but I reject the God of the gaps argument Evangelicals often use to explain the unexplainable. I am content with saying, “I don’t know.”

Sixth Question: Are you completely materialistic in your mindset, meaning human beings are entirely physical, human consciousness is an illusion, and there is no spiritual realm of any kind? Or are you superstitious, reading horoscopes or engaging in new age practices or the like?

Yes, I am a materialist.

I see no evidence of a spiritual realm or souls. I believe that new age practices, horoscopes, Tarot card readings, and homeopathy, to name a few, are in the same category as prayers and miracles: unsupported by evidence.

Seventh Question: If you were convinced that God truly existed—meaning the God of the Bible, who is perfect in every way, full of justice and mercy, our Creator and our Redeemer—would that be good news or bad news? And would you be willing to follow Him and honor Him if He were truly God?

I am already convinced that the God of the Bible does not exist, and I can’t imagine any evidence will be forthcoming to change my mind. Thousands of Evangelical zealots and apologists have tried to evangelize me, without success. It has been years since I heard a new argument for the truthfulness of Christianity. As Solomon said, there’s nothing new under the sun. Every few days, I will get an email, message, or social media comment from an Evangelical who is certain they have the remedy for my atheism Alas, they fail every time.

Even if I could be convinced that the God of the Bible is real, I still wouldn’t worship him. Richard Dawkins was right when he said:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Such a deity is unworthy of my worship. The only god I worship is my wife. 🙂

If you would like to answer these questions, please send your responses to info@askdrbrown.org.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Responding to John Piper’s “Five Reasons Evangelical Christians Fall Away”

john piper
John Piper

John Piper recently delivered the commencement address at Bethany College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Titled Seventy Years Without Shipwreck, Piper humble-brags about the fact that he has been a Fundamentalist Christian for seventy years; that God has never forsaken him; that he never deconverted.

Piper begins his address by letting students know that he doesn’t like the word “deconversion.” Piper thinks the word is trendy; a word devised by Satan to mask what is really going on; a word that has no basis in reality (since, according to Piper’s Calvinistic theology, it is impossible to “deconvert”).

Piper states:

The word deconversion is not in the Oxford English Dictionary. At least, not yet. Words are created to name reality, not the other way around. But we didn’t need the word deconversion. The Bible abounds with words and descriptions of some forsaking Christ:

apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

falling away (Matthew 24:10)

shipwreck of faith (1 Timothy 1:19)

turning back from following the Lord (Zephaniah 1:6)

trampling underfoot the Son of God (Hebrews 10:29)

going out from us (1 John 2:19)

cutting off of a branch (John 15:2)

becoming disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27)

turning away from listening to the truth (2 Timothy 4:4)

denying the Master who bought them (2 Peter 2:1)

We didn’t need a new word. My guess is that the new word deconversion came into existence so that the old, foolish, tragic, heart-breaking reality could feel as trendy as the word. How shrewd is our enemy.

The overarching premise of Piper’s address is that people deconvert not for unresolved questions about “history, science, logic, or ethics,” but because they have a deep-seated love for “darkness” and sin. Yes, the reason you and I walked away from Christianity is that we wanted to sin; that our faith precluded us from fulfilling our lusts and desires, so we divorced Jesus so we could fuck, steal, lie, cheat, and murder to our heart’s content.

penn gillette

While this argument may work with those uninitiated in Evangelical Christianity, those who spent their lives working in God’s vineyard (and coal mine) know better. There’s plenty of fucking, stealing, lying, cheating, and murdering going on among God’s elect. Murder, you say? Yes, murder. One church member I pastored murdered his infant daughter by shaking her to death. Another church member slaughtered his ex-girlfriend with a knife in a fit of rage. He is presently serving a life sentence. While neither of these men were “committed” followers of Jesus, they both professed saving faith in Jesus Christ. Besides, I personally know a number of on-fire Christians, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and college professors who committed adultery and fornication — both heterosexual and homosexual. Piper has been in the ministry too long not to know these things. There’s no difference between how Christians live and how the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines and Jezebels of the world live.

Piper goes on to list five ways the deconverted sin. First, they have a love for “life’s cares, riches, and pleasures. Second, they have a “love for the present age.” Third, the deconverted “reject a good conscience.” Forth, they become “re-entangled in worldly defilements,” and finally the deconverted have been led astray by the “deceitfulness of sin.”

Piper sums up his five points this way:

I don’t think you will find any exceptions to this in the Bible. The root cause of apostasy, or falling away, or making shipwreck of faith, or deconversion, is not the failure to detect truth, but the failure to desire holiness. Not the absence of light, but the love for the dark. Not the problems of science, but the preference for sin.

In other words, Piper only sees one reason for our apostasy: sin. No matter what we say, no matter how many times we tell our stories and explain ourselves, the Pipers of the world refuse to accept we what say at face value. I can only conclude, then, that Piper and his ilk deliberately lie about unbelievers and their motivations, using their apostasy to justify their theological beliefs.

Piper concludes his address by saying that Christians who deconvert were never True Christians®. Of course, he does . . .

Piper states:

We all know — you have been well taught — that God never loses any of his elect. Not one of his predestined children is ever lost. “For those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). None of them deconverts finally. The ship of saving faith always makes it to the haven. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

With a quote from the Bible and a wave of his arrogant, self-righteous hand, Piper dismisses millions of people who were once devoted followers of Jesus; people who loved the Lamb and followed him wherever he went; people who committed their lives to sacrificially serving the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; people who were Christian in every possible way. I was part of the Evangelical church for fifty years, and a pastor for twenty-five years. Much like Piper, I was a Christian for a long, long time. Imagine if I dismissed Piper’s faith out of hand. After all, he has not lived a sinless life; marital problems, disaffected children, and all sorts of less-than-Christian behavior. Piper would rightly be offended if I dismissed the totality of his life, focusing, instead, on his “sins.” Maybe the good pastor secretly has hedonistic desires, and not the Christian kind that he loves to preach about.

How about we accept each other’s stories at face value? That’s what decent, thoughtful people do. When a Christian tells me their conversion story, I believe them. I expect the same treatment in return. I once was a Christian, and now I am not. But, Bruce, the Bible says ____________. That’s your problem, not mine. My past life was one of devotion to Jesus and the work of the ministry — in thought, word, and deed. It’s your thinking that needs to change, not mine. And as long as Piper and his merry band of keepers of the Book of Life continue to ignore the stories of those who have walked away from the faith, they will never truly understand why an increasing number of believers are exiting the church stage left.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Atheist-Socialists Are Trying to Destroy the United States From Within

atheism

“It happened gradually, and then it happened suddenly, as Hemingway would put it,” Pete Hegseth explained.                                                  

Hegseth is a best selling author, and co-host of Fox and Friends Weekend. His co-author, David Goodwin is president of the Association of Classical Christian Schools. They write that educational reformer John Dewey advocated progressive teaching in the 1920’s. And in 1935, after they fled Nazis Germany, Marxists from the Frankfurt School of Social Research introduced their views to students at New York’s Columbia University.

“These were all atheists. These were all socialists, or almost all of them were and their goal was social change, and they knew the schoolroom was the place they could do it. And it started with the removal of God,” Hegseth said.

David Goodwin believes the biggest change sidelining Christian education occurred when the U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, removed God from the classroom.

“They gradually took prayer out of school, they then took the Bible out of school, and they then forbid really any teaching of Christian instruction in school, ” explained Goodwin. “But that was the kind of the capstone of a long effort. It wasn’t the beginning, it was really the end.”

Also, Goodwin and Hegseth contend that progressives intentionally replaced classical Christian education with American nationalism. 

“We look at our Pledge of Allegiance – at least we do as conservatives and patriots and say, ‘Hey, that’s a great thing under God.’ Well, the original pledge was written in the late 19th century by a socialist who ultimately wrote it without under God, because the pledge was meant to shift kids away comfortably from God at the center of the class, from the cross, at the center to the flag at the center of the classroom, which was an easier sell to parents at the time,” Hegseth explained. “And now, of course, fast forward to today, and they’re happy to get rid of the flag.”

So, do Hegseth and Goodwin believe that America’s elites possess a well-devised spiritual strategy that transcends politics? 

“You see, we fight in terms of politics now and may win incremental battles here or there. What the left understood is they had to go to the heart of what made us who we are. What do we value? What’s our vision of the good life? What do we consider our virtues?” Hegseth explained. “And when they targeted that, they targeted at the foundation of who we really are, really the current underneath the top waters of the stream of cultures, the top waters, the current is paideia underneath, and they targeted that.” 

— Gary Lane, CBN News, ‘It Started with the Removal of God’: How Atheist-Socialists Have Fought America from Within, July 5, 2022

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Bruce Gerencser