Former Methodist pastor talks about her move to atheism


A former Methodist worship and teaching pastor who served in ministry for 20 years before becoming an atheist has been appointed as the American Atheists’ public relations director. In an interview with The Christian Post, she revealed that despite initially being ostracized by friends, she is now happy and at peace with her decision.

“No it was very, very gradual. Actually there’s not really one single moment where I can look back and say ah, that was the moment. It was kind of a slow progression,” Teresa MacBain shared about her loss of faith with CP in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Unable to point to one specific incident that made her change her mind about God and the Bible, MacBain chronicled the train of thought that led her from the Christian faith to her secularist reasoning today.


continue to source article at


  1. Speaking for myself, I first became convinced I was a reprobate (this is a Calvinism); then thought perhaps God would intervene; lastly I realized I had been trying to talk myself into believing mythology. I have now reverted to existentialism and am ever so much more comfortable in my skin.

  2. Tesesa has shown great reason and strength in her decisions.

    I too became an athiest by reading the rediculous bible. The bible is the best conversion tool to becoming free of all this childish superstition!   

  3. Ironic, and astonishing, that this article appears in the Christian Post. Alongside it are a series of ads and other article headings for Christianity, so I have to wonder what that does to the Christian reader’s mind. It must be stressful to their faith which, as we know, is a construct that depends on constant reinforcement.

    Perhaps the Christian Post was trying to demonstrate that it was ‘fair and balanced’ but all they’ve done is added a cup of cool, fresh, healthy doubt to dilute the kool-aid of belief.

  4. Wow, the comments under the article are again quite mind-blowing. I see many No True Scotsman fallacies there too. Unfortunately, you need to register to comment (which I don’t want to do) so I can’t poke the ant-hill.

  5. How does one “become an atheist”?  I find it a strange phrase.  “Crawling out from under the garbage heap” works a little better for me.

  6. I found the witless witterings in the CP comments slightly annoying. Accusing her of being led astray by Satan and of turning her back on GOD, all the usual circular reasoning.

    I don’t know whether anyone has already commented on this but the new commenting format sometimes presents the comments in a seemingly random order. This makes any discussion very difficult to follow. At first I thought that it was just newest at the top and that the thread just needed to be read from the bottom, but this thread has comments from 7,1,3,7,15 and 16 hours ago in that order.

    Actually, I have just become enlightened. I will leave this part of my post for the benefit of anyone else who is still confused but I have just noticed the ‘sort by’ box by which I can set the order of the posings myself.

  7. It may provide Teresa with some comfort, that it took Charles Darwin quite few years to shake off his Christianity!

  8. T-Mac—-Let me be one of the first to “second” Quine’s best wishes!!!! Your story and
    struggle are a great inspiration to so many of us who frequent this site!!!! Best wishes
    for success in your new position!!!!

    With courageous women such as yourself and Jessica Ahlquist at the forefront of 
    the struggle, the trend towards freethought in our country grows stronger every day,
    and the pace of the change away from the numbing and dumbing effects of religious
    belief will inevitably quicken.

    You guys make me awfully proud to call myself an American.  

  9. I read a lot of the comments on the Christian Post article too and agree with others here – they are pretty pathetic. But there are already over 800 comments and counting! We’ve got some work ahead of us.

  10. Imagine how Teresa feels reading those comments. Those were her positions until only a couple of years ago. Now that the hate and ignorance is directed right at her, I am sure she sees the contrast starker than any of the rest of us ever could. But, this also puts her in a position to give speeches and presentations in which she can build in the answers to the ignorance. She is the one who has decided to take on the “big job,” I hope all here will give her support in doing it.

  11. I turned out that I was able to use my Google ID to register there, so I did and left a comment. There is a list of other services like Facebook and Twitter that they also accept, so it is not so bad if you do want to go ahead.

  12. I did take the risk to sign up and delved in to the comments thread.  I have to admit I have not done that for a long long time and did enjoy the exercise.  However it seems to be dying down now

  13. The key thing she said was “How that creature, being, entity, whatever you want to call it, could punish them eternally in such a horrible and torturous place as hell.”

    It was the cognitive dissonance of Jehovah both supposedly infinitely kind and infinitely cruel that cracked her faith.  If someone lets themselves notice that, something has to give in their belief that such a creature is even possible.  Some people have such a wooly picture of Jehovah the god that it can stretch to have whatever attributes are needed for the occasion. Imagine Star Trek’s Q.

    There are bible verses where Jehovah meddles with people’s minds to make them disobey him, then he punishes them. How can anybody respect a god that behaves that badly?  Maybe they don’t. Maybe they are just afraid of him.  Maybe they have never heard of those verses.

  14. I recently realized that I could set “oldest to newest” myself.  It was so obvious but when the entire system is brand new, easy to overlook. 

    I’m not sure why “oldest to newest” isn’t the default.  That encourages discussion as opposed to unchallenged comments  and “like” buttons. 

    This is a site dedicated to reason and science and discussion is a key part of that. 

    Discussions go from oldest to newest and I can’t see what use a “like” button could possibly be.  In a discussion, real commenters show up and say that they like or dislike something and generally provide reasons for their position. 

  15.  Susan,

    I very much agree with your comment. A discussion goes from ‘oldest to newest’. All this sorting has no use, especially not the ‘by popular now’ and by ‘by best rating’.
    We are discussing topics here. We are not in a popularity contest or whatever. So the ‘like-buttons’ should go as well.

    Regarding the topic of Teresa McBain. It must have been very emotional for her. Prying yourself out of the claws of religion is apparently a messy bussiness. I wish her well and hope that the eyes of some of the church she left will be opened by what happened.

  16. As someone that is not nor has ever been a pastor I can not imagine what it must be like For Teresa to renounce her faith. I struggled back and forth since I was a teenager and I am now 54 and even now somedays it’s uncomfortable. In fact maybe only 2 or 3 people know? If people would only read and use critical and rational thought it might open their eyes

Leave a Reply