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Questions: Bruce, What Will Happen to This Blog After You Die?

questions

I put out the call to readers, asking them for questions they would like me to answer. If you have a question, please leave it here or email me. All questions will be answered in the order in which they are received.

Troy asked:

#1 Do you think your parents passing away at a young age made it easier to announce your atheism and on the other side of thing Polly’s parents were both alive until recently do you think this made her less vocal about it? (And I know writing that letter announcing your departure from religion was not easy, but pleasing parents is something that is qualitatively different)

#2 You often speak of your ill health, while I hesitate to ask it because I love you as a friend, do you want to blog to continue after you die or would you like it to die with you?

I don’t think the physical state — alive or dead — of our parents played much of a part in how Polly and I announced our loss of faith in 2008. If anything, our personalities determined our response. A story from our days at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, might best explain this. Not long after I expressed my romantic interest in Polly, we walked to an elevated drainage cover situated in the field outside of the dormitory. Sitting down, exactly six inches apart, (Please see Thou Shalt Not Touch: The Six-Inch Rule.) we “talked.” Well, I should say I talked. Polly quickly learned that her new love interest loved to talk, and talk, and talk, and . . . I learned that the beautiful dark-haired girl who would become my wife two years later was bashful, rarely saying a word. I thought, “does this girl EVER talk”? 🙂 Our personalities are very different. While I have won Polly over to my talkative side — at least when she’s around me — she’s still shy around people she doesn’t know. She’s content to let me be the talker in the family, even when I wish she would speak up. After forty-three years of marriage, we accept that we are who we are, comfortable in our own skins. Dammit, Polly, will you PLEASE tell your mother ____________? 🙂

This aforementioned story best explains how each of us announced our defections from Christianity. I wrote Dear Family, Friends, and Former Parishioners and started a blog. Polly? She said nothing, not then and not now. I suspect that people at her place of employment still think Polly is an Evangelical pastor’s wife. The people who work for her know that she is not a Christian, but outside of them, she has not shared her story with anyone. And she’s fine with that. And so am I.

Polly’s Fundamentalist Baptist parents (Dad died in 2020) know we left Christianity. They know we are agnostic atheists. However, we have NEVER had one conversation with them about our loss of faith. And we likely never will. That’s been the MO of our relationship with Polly’s parents from day one (which I will cover one day in a post).

Now to Troy’s second question. Troy is a good friend of mine. While we have never met face to face, we have become close over the years through this blog and Facebook. So I accept his question as coming from a heart of love and concern. If “Dr.” David Tee asked me this question, I would hear, “Hey godless motherfucker. What going to happen to your blog after God strikes you dead and you end up in Hell?”

Troy knows that I am in poor health. Tee does too, but he’s a heartless prick, so fuck him. 🙂 Troy knows my days are numbered, as do I. I hope to live for five or ten more years, but my body tells me that the hourglass of my life is running out. Knowing this, I have had thoughts about the future of this blog. Do I want it to live on after my death? Will Polly be able to maintain this site after my demise? One of my children? I don’t know.

I know I don’t want Polly to be saddled with the costs of maintaining this site — roughly $125 a month. I know that once I am gone, readership numbers will drop, as will donations. That’s just the facts of the matter. We live in a “what have you done for me lately” world. When Bruce Almighty is turned into ashes, I hope people will mourn my loss. However, I know that readers will move on. No new content, no reason to come to The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser blog.

My thoughts are this: I need to leave behind detailed instructions on how to move this to a cheaper (and slower) web hosting service. Or, if given time before I die, I will do this myself. This would reduce costs to less than $20 a month, leaving Polly to decide later if she wants to delete this site. Die! Die! My Darling! (Polly will understand this movie reference.)

I’m not sure how I feel about being memorialized after I kick the bucket. That said, I know my writing may help others after I go over the rainbow in the sky (I’m running out of synonyms for D-E-A-D). It will be left to Polly and my family to decide the future of my “ministry.” Maybe it would be nice if this blog outlived me for the sake of my grandchildren. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN, BRUCE! 🙂 I want them to “know” my story, to read and understand my life. (Most of them were born after I left the ministry. They have no idea that Grandpa was once a Baptist preacher.) Of course, if I finished my damn book, I could autograph copies for my thirteen reasons to get up in the morning. Okay, nineteen reasons — though I can hardly even get off the couch these days when my six oh-so-awesome kids come to visit me to see how soon they will be collecting their inheritance. 🙂

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Understanding My Writing Methodology

writing a letter

There’s a method behind the madness.

I have been blogging since 2007. When I first started publicly writing, I was still a Christian — barely. By then, my theology had moved leftward, so much so that I was no longer an Evangelical. Still Christian, but not “that kind of Christian.” In those days, my writing attracted Fundamentalist Christian critics such as Ken Silva, Preacher Boy (John), and others. These keepers of the Book of Life were convinced that I wasn’t a True Christian®. Eighteen months later, proving my critics right (in their small minds, anyway), I left Christianity and declared I was an atheist. My wife, Polly, also deconverted.

Whether as a Christian or an atheist, the focus of my writing has always been the same:

  • To help people who have questions and doubts about Christianity
  • To help people who have left Christianity

The content of my writing has remained constant too: telling my story — my journey from Evangelicalism to atheism — and critiquing Christianity. Five years ago, I added the Black Collar Crime series, focusing on Evangelical preachers’ sexual misconduct (and other criminal behavior).

I do my best as a writer to stay in my lane. I am not a philosopher or a scientist, so I typically don’t address these subjects. It’s not that I don’t know anything about these things — I do. However, I choose to focus on what I know well: Evangelical Christianity and the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement. My unwillingness to be all things to all men irritates some readers. Some atheist readers have stopped reading because I am not atheist enough or don’t write enough about atheist issues. I do, on occasion, write about these subjects, but they have never been my focus.

My writing style is an acquired taste. I will leave it up to readers to decide if that taste is fine wine or a $5.99 bottle of Boone’s Farm. Using my fifty years in the Christian church and twenty-five years I spent in the ministry as a backdrop for my prose, I write from an Evangelical perspective. I write from an insider’s perspective, someone who knows the secret handshake and where the bodies are buried. Because I write this way, first-time Evangelical readers often think I am a Christian. Oh, the shock and outrage when they find out I’m on Team Satan®. I have received emails from Evangelicals filled with praise, only to receive another email from them, upset that I am an unbeliever. Cognitive dissonance sets in. “How can an atheist know or say anything of value about Christianity and the Bible,” they think. It’s as if the moment that I left Christianity, decades of reading, study, and knowledge magically disappeared from my mind. I went from being an expert on these subjects to someone who doesn’t know anything. Of course, such thinking is absurd. I know what I know, regardless of my belief on the existence of God.

When I write a post on, say, “salvation by grace” or “being filled with the Holy Spirit,” it is not that I believe these things to be true. I don’t. I write from an Evangelical perspective. I know my writing has an “Evangelical” vibe, but remember my aforementioned purposes: to help people who have questions and doubts about Christianity and help people who have left Christianity. I want to draw Evangelical readers in, hoping to get them to critically and honestly examine their beliefs. I want them to see me as an insider who knows where they are, speaks their language, and understands their experiences.

Thank you for reading my writing. Your love and support are greatly appreciated.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce, Your Site Deserves an “R” Rating

After publishing on Twitter the post, Defiance City Schools Blocks Student Access to This Site, I received the following response (not from the school):

r rating

I responded:

the f word

While I do use curse words on this site (and allow commenters to do so), I am not a profuse swearer. There’s nothing said by me in my writing that is “harmful” to young children. Certainly, parents should monitor and control what their youngsters read on the Internet, but I doubt reading the word fuck will cause harm. Besides, the focus of the aforementioned post was middle school and high school students. I have grandchildren who are in this age bracket. I guarantee you that they have already heard the F word, and I have no doubt that they have even used the word. “Fuck” has become my generation’s shit, hell, damn. Culturally, the word has been disconnected from its sexual connotation.

I get it. Some readers wish I wouldn’t swear. They wish I would have an atheist heart with an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist mouth. That’s not going to happen. As the stats above show, I don’t use curse words in my writing very often. And when I do, I typically mean to do so.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Blog Design and Functionality Changes

blogging

I have made some changes to the design and functionality of this site. Particularly, I changed the plugin I am using to serve up content to mobile devices. This remains, much like my life, a work in progress. If you see any errors or have functionality problems (just take a stool softener), please let me know.

I removed the social media sharing buttons. Readers rarely used this function. Best I can tell, people who share my writing on Facebook or Twitter are using other ways to do so than clicking on post share buttons. Every time a reader came to this blog or loaded a particular page, the sharing function would contact the various social media sites. Doing so slowed page loads.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Social Media

social media

I am no longer on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause a handful of readers. Based on site statistics, very few people access this site via social media. At this juncture in life, I must focus on the core aspects of this site, those which attract and reach most readers. Unlike the Apostle Paul, I can’t be all things to all men (women).

Readers, of course, are still free to share my writing on social media.

I still intend to resume writing original content sometime in April.

Thanks!

Bruce

Bruce Gerencser