Coming Out to My Sister and Her Husband

I wrote in January about the events that led up to my untimely coming out conversation with my mother. First, my fiance’s and my “immoral” private life was leaked, which led to my family expecting us to stop and being appalled when we refused to apologize. This ended in me coming out to my mother as an atheist as a way to provide some explanation for why we didn’t play by her Lutheran rules. After talking to her and to my oldest sister, the wife of a pastor, my fiance and I safely assumed that her pastor-husband would have moral qualms, if not strict religious restrictions, from marrying together two dirty sinners such as the two of us, as had been our original plan. We informed him that we had decided to go a more secular way—getting married at our reception hall using a non-pastor officiant—to avoid this cognitive dissonance. Continue reading “Coming Out to My Sister and Her Husband”

Changing the World Behind Closed Doors

This past week, I spent a night at my sister’s house. Her husband is a Lutheran pastor, and I don’t know if it’s just a pastor thing, but he always reads books on Christianity for fun. Books on worship, doctrine, Martin Luther, bible study guides, bible commentaries, Lutheran service practices, the Reformation, you name it, he reads it. Every time I see him, he has a new book. His Lutheran books line the walls of his office in the church.

Lutheran pastors reading Lutheran books isn’t all that strange. Of course, in addition to reading his books, he also spends his weeks preparing sermons for Sunday morning. Similarly, my mother loves to spend her free time reading Christian fiction and women’s devotionals. As an organist, she spends her Saturdays practicing her hymns for Sunday morning. She wears a cross necklace around her neck and sips coffee from mugs with bible verses scrawled on them.

Continue reading “Changing the World Behind Closed Doors”

Bible Study Notes: The Trinity

If you happen to be familiar with the church year, then you know that last week, June 11th, was Trinity Sunday. On Trinity Sunday, some Christian churches recite the Athanasian Creed, which is a thorough description of the immanent workings of the Triune God as well as the nature of Jesus as god and man. My church’s vicar, who is essentially acting as pastor while the pastor is away, gave the congregation the week following Trinity Sunday to submit any questions that we had about the Trinity so that he could address their questions in this week’s bible study. Continue reading “Bible Study Notes: The Trinity”

Bible Study Notes: The Fall

Last week, I wrote about an insane bible study lead by my church’s new pastor. As it turns out, this guy is a pot of gold when it comes to blog content. Having moved home for the summer yesterday, I’m in for quite a few more bible studies from him, and in terms of ridiculousness, today’s did not disappoint.

For a few years, I’ve been in the habit of taking notes during sermons and bible studies at church, simply out of sheer amazement of the unbelievable things that are often said. Continue reading “Bible Study Notes: The Fall”

The Freedom of Autonomy

Most of the time, when I hear the word “autonomy”, it’s being referred to as a negative thing. Almost everyone I know has a pretty steadfast “Jesus take the wheel” mindset. They let go of their worries, send up some prayers, and let God take care of the rest. It’s not their problem anymore, nor should it be. If something doesn’t work out, they simply say that it wasn’t in God’s plan for them and that when he closes one door, he opens another.

The idea of autonomy gives many Christians the impression that if they don’t give control to God, then they are playing god in their own lives. They have taken over the god-role and are assuming that they have that omnipotent amount of control and the freedom to do whatever they want. And putting yourself in God’s place is a way of idolizing yourself and your power, which of course goes against God’s very own ten commandments.

This, however, is not how I see autonomy. Continue reading “The Freedom of Autonomy”

Meet My Valentine

Since it is almost Valentine’s Day, I have a very special post this Sunday. I’ve been blogging for almost three months, and I have mentioned my amazing boyfriend a couple of times, but I haven’t yet formally “introduced” him yet. He is an atheist like me, and this week I asked him to share his own story of his journey to atheism. Enjoy! 🙂


This week, The Closet Atheist has asked me, her boyfriend, to share with you my experience in becoming an atheist.  Continue reading “Meet My Valentine”

A Look at a Lutheran Doctrine

Some questions that atheists and skeptics are commonly asked are “Why do you only criticize certain religions?” or “What do you have against Christianity specifically?” For me, the answer is that Christianity is by far the most popular religion in the United States, and I see it everywhere, whether it is at home, at school, or out in public. Specifically, my family are members and leaders in different congregations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, or LCMS.

The LCMS is the second largest branch of the Lutheran Church, and it has almost 2.1 million baptized members (including me). I’ve grown up with the ultra-conservative LCMS teachings since I was a baby, but until about last week, I dared not read into the details of its doctrine. After reading for a while on Wikipedia, I came across A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, a concise but clear summary of LCMS teachings written by Franz August Otto Pieper in 1932. I want to highlight some sections of the Statement that thoroughly dumbfounded me and truly left me at a loss for words, especially knowing that my own family and many of our close friends actually believe these ideas. Continue reading “A Look at a Lutheran Doctrine”