Jian Ghomeshi at the CBC has a new 16-minute interview with Jerry DeWitt, the Pentacostal preacher turned atheist who lost his wife, friends, and family when he gave up God. He was the first person to “come out” in Linda LaScola and Dan Dennett’s “Clergy Project,” a support group for nonbelieving preachers, and is an intelligent and articulate man.
You can hear the interview here (press the “listen” button); it’s definitely worth investing the quarter-hour. Despite what he’s gone through, DeWitt is amiable and soft-spoken, and you’ll learn a lot, including why he stays in the Louisiana town where he once preached but is now reviled.
DeWitt has a new book out, Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey from Belief to Atheism. I suspect it will be well worth reading, just like two other excellent books about giving up preaching for atheism: Dan Barker’s Godless and John Loftus’s Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity. There is no substitute for hearing what it’s like for someone deeply steeped in faith—indeed, someone whose job was to preach the faith—to lose it completely.