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Voices of Deconversion

Religion & Spirituality Podcas

Atheists and agnostics share their stories of deconversion from Christianity.

Atheists and agnostics share their stories of deconversion from Christianity.


United States


Atheists and agnostics share their stories of deconversion from Christianity.








085 Tom Boulton: Loved Ones Going to Hell Brings Anxiety. Faith is All Consuming. His Definition of Christian Evolves. After Deconversion Invites Christians Out for a Pint

Today I speak with Tom Boulton from the U.K. Tom's Christian faith grew in his teenage years amongst friends. His dad thought Tom was in a cult. Tom experienced intense anxiety at the thought of friends and family going to hell. His faith is all-consuming. He said that 18 year old Christian Tom wouldn't recognize 23 year old Christian Tom. His understanding and definition of Christianity changed. Tom mentors a 16 year old boy from church who comes out to Tom as gay. Tom doesn't respond so...


084 Emily Zochling: Experiences Emotionally Manipulative Relationships in Teen years. When Things Go Wrong She Goes Ham for God. Mission Trips and Leading Worship are Pivotal. An Atheist Co-Worker Gives Perspective. Now She's Agnostic Leaning Atheist.

Emily experienced several difficult relationships in her teen years. The boys/men she was with were often several years older than her and might described as manipulative and/or emotionally abusive in the way they treated her. When things went wrong, as she put it, she "went ham for God". During these years she went on mission trips and led worship in several churches. Later when she suspects somethings not quite right with her boyfriend, an atheist co-worker affirms her feelings and gives...


083 Ryan Penney: Former Homeschooled evangelical from Texas. Enjoyed life and understanding the world so much that he outgrew his Christianity. He's now secular (atheist/agnostic) w/a buddhist-like philosophy.

Ryan is a former evangelical homeschooler who enjoyed life and understanding the world so much that he eventually outgrew the religion of his upbringing. He now works in the tech manufacturing field in Austin TX and enjoys group meditation, talking about philosophy and history, and playing both sports and music. Today, Ryan calls himself atheist or agnostic but prefers the simple term “secular”, with a philosophy most closely aligning with Buddhism. We have a great conversation. It was so...


082 Bella: Aware They're Non-Binary at 6. Catholicism Ruins Childhood. Bullied, Abused and Suicidal. Reads Bible. Realizes it's (Dark) Fiction.

Christianity ruins their childhood. They were born into a Catholic family and went to church every Saturday. They became aware they were non-binary at 6 years old, realizing they didn't want to be a girl. Their parents were caring and the type of people that you wish Christians were. Despite a loving home environment, this didn't prevent a childhood of isolation and self-hatred. They were bullied, abused and suicidal. Somehow they remained a hardcore Christian. Later in life they experience...


081 Christa Elane: Toronto Blessing Shapes Early Faith. Sheltered and Homeschooled. Later Sent to Christian School. A Vision Leads to a Cult. She Now Leans Atheist.

* Trigger Warning: Discussions of abuse and rape* Christa Elane is a self described "old Millennial" who has been deconverting for years and now leans atheist. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her spouse and kids. She's a social worker and disability advocate with a passion for Autism acceptance and inclusion. She was raised in a so called "spirit filled' non-denominational Christian church in California. She was a part of the "Toronto Blessing" revival in he 1990s and was...


080 Eric: At Army ROTC Discovers the Real World, Fundamentalist Upbringing, Forced to hide Music He Liked. Served in Afghanistan. He was an Atheist in a Foxhole.

My guest today grew up never knowing any other perspective, except the one he was told to have. His family did not attend events outside of church. He spent preschool through 12th grade at the same private school and church. His friendships were strictly controlled. Girlfriends or "crushes" were prohibited. Every potential influence was censored. He had no privacy at any time. He wasn't allowed to develop any opinion unless it was the same as his parents. He was forced to hide his thoughts,...


079 Amanda Roe: Ex-Catholic Atheist. Used to Attend Daily Mass. Unwittingly Joins a Cult at University. Propaganda in U.S. Elections Catches Her Attention. The Bible says "You'll Know Them by Their Fruits". That's the Last Straw. She Lets it All Go!

Amanda was a devout Catholic. She used to attend mass daily. She and her husband didn't use birth control, in accordance with church teaching. She accidentally joins a cult at university. The 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections get her thinking about propaganda. She wonders what propaganda she believes. She hears a Bible verse that says, " You will know them by their fruits". That's the last straw. It gave her the final push to leave Christianity. She became an atheist in November 2020. She's...


Encouraging Quote from "El Inocente (The Innocent)" TV Series on Netflix

I just wanted to share an encouraging quote from the TV series "The Innocent" on Netflix. The show has nothing to do with deconversion, but the quote definitely does. I thought you might find it an encouragement in terms of coming from a past you aren't all that happy about (having been a Christian) and looking toward a better, hopeful future. There aren't any spoilers, so I hope you get a chance to watch this show. If you do, let me know what you think of it! steve@vodpodcast.com Happy...


078 Chelsy Albertson: Lesbian Ex-Christian Who's Agnostic/Atheist. Former Campus Crusade for Christ Member. A Mission Trip to India Leads to Epiphany.

Chelsy's been instructing English as a Second Language (ESL) for 20 years. She's been a full time lecturer at Purdue University since 2014. Currently she's working on her second Master's degree about the experiences of lesbian ex-members of Campus Crusade for Christ. She was raised in a Christian home, but an experience during the summer of her Freshman year in college, begins a series of big changes in her life. Her parents don't respond well. A mission trip to India leads to an epiphany....


077 Abigail Sandoval: Adopted from South Korea by American Christian Parents. Abuse, Neglect & Purity Culture Cause Harm. Now She's an Atheist Mom Who Became the Kind of Parent She Always Needed.

Today I speak with Abby. She was adopted from South Korea with her little sister by Christian American Parents. Her early life was marked by abuse and neglect. She was raised in a non-denominational Christian family. Demons and hell cause her nightmares as a child. She makes big life decisions based on her faith. She later has to tell her Christian family that she is getting divorced. When She has to tell them she's an atheist, it doesn't go over well with some. Now Abby is determined to...


076 April: Bible Belt Raised & Homeschooled. An Abusive Relationship Ends, Questions Begin. Astronomy Class Brings Epiphany.

April grew up under a lot of parental pressure and expectations. Purity culture had a strong influence on her. *Trigger Warning*: We discuss an abusive relationship, mental health & suicide in the episode. When an abusive relationship ends, April begins to question how this is handled within a Christian context. April poses the questions: What happens when your autonomy is taken from you? She says, "This happens to a lot of people, what do we do then"? Eventually April takes an Astronomy...


075: Coming Out Atheist to My Christian Mom

Today I tell the story of coming out as an atheist to my devout Christian mother. This happened 13 years ago and I wrote about it 3 years ago. My opinion about that conversation changed a little over time. I explain my current perspective and how I feel about all of this now. Here it is if you want to read it: http://voicesofdeconversion.com/coming-out-atheist-to-my-mother


074 Vaughn: Agnostic Pastor & Musician Who Leads Worship at His Church

Pastor & Musician who leads worship at his church. This father and husband has only come out as agnostic to a few people. He is using a fake name in today's interview. He's a great guy and has a touching story about the costs we have to consider when leaving a Christian career.


073 Tiffany Cappello - A Fundamentalist Christian Mother of 7 Begins to Ask Questions about Faith/ The Impact of Faith on Mental Health

Tiffany has so many great insights regarding the impact of Christianity on mental health. I really enjoyed my chat with her! Learn more about Tiffany: http://www.tiffanicappello.com/


I Need a Break

I need a break from podcasting. You can stay in touch via email, Twitter or Facebook. vodpodcast@gmail.com @vodpodcast on Twitter Steve Hilliker or the Voices of Deconversion pages on Facebook.


072 Ronna Russell - The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher's Kid

Today I speak with Ronna Russell, author of "The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher's Kid". Ronna describes her story as "a childhood controlled by the brutal hand of a narcissistic, closeted homosexual. I believed I could leave my upbringing behind and walk away unscathed. I married a closeted homosexual man, in hopes he could keep me safe. As our sex life and bank account dwindled to nothing, fear kept me silent. In the meantime, my father died of AIDs. The pain of his death...


Spring Update 2020

I left my soul-sucking job!!! This is a brief update about what I'm doing now and when you can expect the next episode. I'm really excited to jump back into it! Stay safe and healthy with the COVID-19/Coronavirus going around. For those who are sick, get well soon. For the rest of us, also stuck (mostly) at home, hang in there. Talk to you soon!


Winter 2020 Update - Losing Purpose after Deconversion: How I Responded and My Plan 15 years later!

Episodes will be out intermittently for the coming weeks and months (I'm still aiming for bi-weekly). That was all I was trying to say and ended up talking about the impact deconversion had on my sense of purpose and fulfillment in life, LOL. If all you need to know is to check your podcast app every once in a while, then it's all good and I'll talk to you soon :) However, if you're interested in hearing about one of the most significant impacts deconversion had in my life (something...


071 Muhammad: The Satanic Verses Cause Curiosity, then Questions. Becomes an Atheist in Iran. Spreads Anti-Islam Material. Arrested & in Solitary Confinement. Forced to make a False Confession on Youtube. Threatened with Prison, He Plans His Escape from I

Today is a very special episode about an ex-Muslim's deconversion to atheism, while living in Iran. His story is so important to share! He grew up in Iran in a Shia Muslim family. He was a devout Muslim until he got curious about Salman Rushdie's book, The Satanic Verses. His curiosity leads him to banned anti-islam websites. He reads articles and books, eventually realizing he's an atheist. Muhammad began to spread anti-islam materials on websites and social media. After 3 years, he is...


070 Jordan: Worldly Friends vs. Church Friends. Learns Calvinist Theology. Rejection from a Mentor. Doubts Lead to Agnosticism.

Jordan grew up going to church every Sunday with his family. He went to Bible studies and lived a typical Christian life. When he was junior high age, his family stopped attending church regularly. As Jordan grew older, he struggled balancing his church friendships along with his non-church friendships. He didn't want to live a double life. His faith becomes more serious and he discovers Calvinist theology. At first, he embraces it. Later, he begins to question more than just...