I just got and have started reading Dan Barker’s Godless , which you can read about here on the Freedom From Religion’s website, or here on Amazon (it’s currently #7 in the Atheism category there). I’m on page 25 for now, and so far it’s a very interesting, sometimes funny personal story of how Dan Barker started out his "calling" as a minister at the age of 15. The book will later go on to tell about his deconversion and experiences on "the other side" (he’s now the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation ), including going with his wife (and co-president) Annie Laurie Gaylor to the Supreme Court to fight to protect church-state separation.
I’ve listened to their weekly radio show, Freethought Radio (or rather, the podcast archive of the show) for about the past year, and have caught up with all the previous episodes as well. I’ve also listened to or watched a number of the debates Dan Barker has participated in, linked to on his bio on FFRF’s website as well as other sources on the web (YouTube, etc.). Freethought Radio has been very important in my development and acceptance of my non-belief.
Dan Barker mentioned his deconversion story a number of times in the debates and Freethought Radio. But it’s interesting to be reading about all the little details of his journey and just how deeply he was into evangelizing. I considered becoming a pastor, but was not in the same type of congregation Dan was in (mine was a form of Lutheranism), so a lot of what I’ve read so far of the sorts of things going on in the churches he attended or preached at is rather surprising.
I can’t wait to read the rest and find out more about his story. I’m sure I will be posting on this from time to time as I read.
Sunday, September 21, 2008