I had the opportunity today to go hear Gretta Vosper speak. Gretta is a pastor of a church in Canada – and she is officially out as an Atheist! I think a lot of pastors / ministers in the older / progressive churches are more-or-less kind-of atheists, but its hard to find any that are actually out all the way, so I find this fascinating! Anyhow, it was really good to be able to listen to her speak today.
One of her mentors that was mentioned by her and others in the audience was Bishop John “Jack” Spong. I ready several of his books back in the very late 80’s or early 90’s when I was first starting my journey out of the fundamentalist church. I remember devouring them as they were some of my first exposures to such thinking. And yet even Spong never said he was an Atheist.
I think that is what is really intriguing to me about Gretta, and she alluded to this today also. There are a lot of people, both pastors and lay-people, that basically are “atheists” for all practical purposes. But by not coming out they either continue the status quo, or they end up inadvertently causing those like myself to just leave the church entirely, as we see no place to be an Atheist in church.