PZ Myers can monitor deconverts at Pharyngula


Over at Pharyngula, PZ Myers posted an email that he got from a reader. As opposed to all of the death threats and hate mail, Myers was happy with this email. It was from a guy who looked at all the evidence and left evangelical Christianity for atheism.

“Monitoring” deconverts is probably the wrong wording. It’s more or less that he can watch a deconversion unfold and the proof of them might be in the form of a thank you email.

Myers says he gets six deconvert emails a week. If that’s true, that’s amazing.

The deconvert said in the email:

Over the last several years I have been “converting” from a once very strong evangelical faith to atheism. It was a long road and involved many different facets, one of which was a steady tide of atheist reason and thought I received online. And my main source, well none other then you, Dr. Myers. My first movement towards rationality came when I started researching evolution and what do you know, it was true. While I was still an evangelical, I started tracking the creation and evolution controversy, which often through a link landed me on you blog as you are very prominent in the discussion.

Read the rest here.

This email reflects the question I asked Hemant Mehta last night at the SSA talk. I think that perhaps more of this might be going on over at the Friendly Atheist blog, but perhaps Mehta isn’t looking for it.

Evangelism isn’t something PZ Myers is actively doing either. It’s just something that happens. It’s part of the Christian culture to convert nonbelievers. It’s not atheist culture to (de)convert anyone. Should you decide you’d like to cease being a Christian, that’s great, but that’s your prerogative. You’re not going to get some form of counseling to deconvert. You’re pretty much on your own.

I’m not looking for evangelical atheism as a part of our culture, but I am curious about conversion stories, only because conversion stories tend to help fence sitters take a step in the same direction.

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FWAAI!!!! McWiggle’s Training Video


There are many things I’ve done that may never see the light of day. I’m pulling this one out of that vault for the hell of it.

This was a video parody of a training video I did with a comic named Matt Braunger back in 2000. He wrote and directed it, and we shot it at a restaurant brewery called Rock Bottom. I did the graphics. I used a loop of one of my brother Jon’s songs, and we showed it in the underground comedy room I used to help with back in the day.

It was a fun ride to do short films like this with guys who hadn’t stepped in front of a camera with their own scripts before.

The actual meat of the piece is okay. I came up with the pool table bit, which tended to get a lot of laughs. And if you can hold out or skip to the end credits, Braunger’s riffing abilities are pretty entertaining.

What’s great is that over time, the quality degraded so much that it looks more like a training video now than it did when we did the video.

Try to hold your food down on this one.