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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PTSD - Anxiety and the New Studio - Episode 43

The new studio is up and running, and so are we. We talk about flashbacks, lack of sexy-time, and getting back on the road to recovery.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Are you getting the feeds?

We are getting conflicting data from Feedburner, Blogger and our hosting site that means some people may not be getting our feed. We think iTunes is okay, but RSS sources may not be working. Please check the latest episodes here on the site and let us know if you are or are not getting the latest. This will help us fix it if something is wrong, so everyone is getting the feed.

As always, if you did not get a feed, you can download here or listen here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Movie Party at the Lyons' Den - Episode 42

We invited some of our friends over for a movie. We watched "The Ledge" and this is the reaction from the group. Overall - we LOVED it.

The Ledge

Episode with Matthew Chapman

Recovering Religionists

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Looking Forward and Back - Episode 41

Our second annual Thanksgiving episode with a twist. We are thankful for good wine, a new studio, and the BAN-HAMMER!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grief Beyond Belief - Episode 39

Rebecca Hensler with Grief Beyond Belief discusses the process of recovery after the loss of a loved one, without relying on myths of god or gods.

Email Rebecca at

on Facebook

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Religious plea from former co-worker

It isn't rare that I get messages like the following.

Always from someone who knows better than I do how I should live my life. I'd like your comments on how to reply to stuff like this, sent from a former co-worker.

A little background, I was never close to this guy, never liked him, and he had nothing to do with me. On one occasion, when we had a particularly stressful situation, I had to call in someone to replace him and relieve him of his duties, because he couldn't handle the responsibility at the time.

So now, a couple years later, he writes....


I have gotten copied on a number of facebook postings submitted by you and Deanna. After reading the last few of them and being somewhat taken aback by some of the content, I feel led in my spirit to write you.

With respect to your choice to believe the way you want, I must say that I am concerned for you. We talked one night at KOMO about your traumatic experience with your ex-wife and the church you pastored in the South. At that time as I recalled, you expressed anger and bitterness at what was done to you.

It's understandable you would feel that way. However, that wasn't God's doing. And deep down inside I believe you realize that.

I'm sad that both you and your wife embrace atheism. I'm doubly sad for you because you have been exposed to the word of God and you have no excuse.

Again, what you choose to believe is your business. However as a friend and someone who cares, I must tell you that you have taken the bait of satan. He'll destroy you if you let him. Turn back to the Lord. He is real and He loves you.

I'll pray for you. I value you as a friend.


former nor particularly close co-worker.

So how would you handle this crap?

Update: I realized that we never added our direct message replies to this person. We both went a little harsh on him, but I think sometimes someone needs to be told how rude they are being because they will never know it any other way.
I copied the former co-worker the link to this post so he could see the replies. He basically went all pascal's wager.... here was my final reply:

"It's a shame you can't spend five minutes to read through the entire blog. It shows just how much you care about this, and to quote a famous xtian saying, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

If you were open to discussion, I'd welcome that. But since you are only interested in making an arrogant statement then acting all butt-hurt when no one likes your views, I think we can both see what your lame attempt is made of.

Don't contact me anymore. I'm happy to leave you in your ignorance.

to finish with YOUR line... If he is real... I'll see your arrogant and apathetic ass in hell.



and then this addition from Deanna Joy:

"Just add a bit to what Rich said:

I am truly insulted by your inability to contact ME about the things you learned from your "friendship" with me. Am I not your intellectual equal? Am I the insolent property of my husband that needs to be chastised through him?

I can answer those two questions easily. No, I am absolutely not your intellectual equal. Your refusal to engage shows you haven't thought for a moment or read a single word of the things I have said or shared. While your religion tells you I am below and behind you, reality shows you are not anywhere near on my level.

And yes, in your eyes I am, or you would have sent me a message directly about the things you are concerned with. And that's all I need to know about how you feel about women."

Janet Heimlich - Religious Child Maltreatment - Episode 38

Journalist Janet Heimlich's chilling book "Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light On Religious Child Maltreatment," does exactly what its title says. In the process, you may discover you are not the horrific human your childhood led you to believe. Once you realize that, you can attack the issues and voices that still abuse you daily in your life as an adult.

Janet's book is certainly one you will want to read. Her website has a very extensive list of resources and help for survivors of religious-based child abuse.

Breaking Their Will

On Amazon

Valerie Tarico on Amazon

Valerie Tarico's home

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Moral Politics - Episode 37

Rich was interviewed on February 13, 2009 on a cable access program in Seattle about "Cult Recruiting." Here, we replay that program, hosted by Valerie Tarico, produced by Bill Alford.

Valerie Tarico on Youtube

Valerie Tarico on Amazon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixed Marriages - Episode 36

Tyson and Bonnie share their story of Tyson's becoming an atheist and how their relationship was able to adapt.

Bonnie and Tyson met when Tyson was the leader of a Christian youth group at Bonnie's church. But, as Tyson began to examine his beliefs, and look at facts, he began to change. He left the group, left the church, and rejected the idea of God altogether.

Today, they are happily married and LAFing with us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Skeptic Hour - Episode 35

We join Thomas and Landon with the Skeptic Hour, an Internet radio show that's done live on Sunday evenings. The topic is "Building Atheist Community."

The Skeptic Hour

Friday, August 12, 2011

Starbucks, Gay Rights and a few Opinions - Episode 34

Listener Amanda asks us a question about our thoughts on gay rights, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz takes a stand for gay rights around the world.

This post on Friendly Atheist explains the situation and has the pastor's speech.
EDIT: The pastor's speech video was made private. Here's a link that still works.

Here's Deanna Joy's video that she posted on the Starbucks Facebook page:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mr. Deity, Brian Dalton LAFs With Us

If you haven't seen Mr. Deity's Youtube channel, you are in for an atheistic treat! In this episode Brian Dalton tells us how he came out of Mormonism, and how he created the creator himself, Mr. Deity. This is a fun episode that is loaded with good thinking, and good conversation about the questions you weren't allowed to even think about before you left religion.

Mr. Deity on Youtube

Rich's Favorite Mr. Deity Episode

Deanna's Favorite Mr. Deity Episode

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PTSD Help in an App

I heard about this in the news recently. It's a free app that could provide valuable information and guidance to people who may be affected by PTSD. Available for iPhones and Android smartphones.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Ledge: Matthew Chapman - Episode 31

The Ledge is a movie that could be the Brokeback Mountain for atheists. In this interview with the writer and producer of the movie, you will see that it's actually much more than that. Matthew Chapman is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and tells us why he produced this movie and how he hopes it will bring the Atheist/Theist conversation to the forefront.

The Ledge at Sundance

The Ledge website

Matthew Chapman

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy July 4 with David Silverman - Episode 30

David Silverman, President of American Atheists joins us for a special salute to July 4th.

Help a fellow LAFer with some needed advice

Hey there everyone at Living After Faith!

My name is ____. I am 17 years old.

Something happened just recently in my family that I really want to share with you as well as other atheist communities. I could really use some advice- this problem has been present for as long as I've come out as an atheist and seems to be deteriorating my family the longer I remain an atheist. I desperately need some feedback because, at this point, I don't know what else I can do.

Last night I was watching television, and completely unannounced to me, the entire youth group of the church I used to attend came to my house- my little brother being the driving force. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous, but I knew what they were here for and decided to just push through it. Of course, it was about an hour of preaching directly to me under the watch of my previous Christian peers, Christian friends, and Christian family. I'm not going to try to be noble and say I fared well- I don't think I've ever been shaken up so badly. I cannot ever accurately portray the guilt I felt when my brother, unable to speak and overcome with tears, confesses to me how much he loves me and looks up to me followed by how my entire family and the church thinks my life has become "dead" for not having Christianity the driving force of my existence.

What I find interesting is that I've just recently been able to cope with numerous anxiety problems I've been having due to leaving religion. Although I wouldn't say it is post-religion PTSD, (although I've learned a lot from you both about the problem and I do seem to exhibit the majority of symptoms) I've always known I have not necessarily been as stable since I've had to deal with these issues. Obviously, I've never been able to meet with a physician due to the nature of the problem, and my family's dismissal. It is, of course, a "non-existent" problem that can only be cured by their religion. This past year, I've finally been able to gain control of my anxiety. And although episodes can still be triggered by church services or late-night surprise preaching, I finally came to a point where I felt like I could be a normal kid again. Christianity is what made me "dead."

I was really shaken and scared last night but I understood their good intentions. I simply responded after the hour "Thank for guys for coming. I think it's very sweet that you're concerned about me. But I've grown up in the same upbringing as all of you, and I've made my decision." I was careful to be very polite, although there were a few choice words I would have liked to say. Regardless, there is no point in arguing with them.

Afterward, I was ranting to a good friend who is also an atheist and understands when I need to vent. He actually brought something up that I can hardly force myself to consider, but I fear it may be my only option. He suggested that I just tell my family I'm a Christian. Go along with it. Not to be neutral or even passive, but just to pretend I buy it. Maybe it'll make things easier while I'm still living here. Although saying I'm a Christian may be easy enough (if we aren't considering my flaming pride-fullness), pulling off such an act would require me to completely dive into my Christian life before I came out- events, services, friendships, worship, praying, and all. (At least while my family is looking.) Like I said earlier, the thought of this is enraging to me because I want so badly just to be myself and for that to be okay. But I'm afraid it will never be okay until I finally leave.

Of course I'd still be an atheist, but this idea has really been bothering me. I want to be proud of who I am as a non-believer, but if it is tearing my family apart, is it selfish for me to even acknowledge my beliefs? Part of me says they are selfish and playing the victims, but the other part of my is just exhausted of all this and wants to just breathe freely again. The only thing I'm truly worried about is if giving in to this idea and throwing my alter-ego into Christianity will once again trigger the anxiety issues I've worked so hard to overcome.

I understand this is a lot to process, but I really need some help.
Is it worth it to tell my family I'm an atheist if it only causes chaos? Should I just pretend I believe for their sake, and continue my life as an avid non-believer under-cover?

Please let me know what you think and feel free to have members give feedback- I want as many points of view as I can get.

Thanks so much for all you do. You make this bearable for me and I can never thank you enough,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Freedom From Westboro Baptist - Nate Phelps - Episode 29

Nate Phelps made a daring escape from his father, Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church on his 18th birthday. Now, he is Executive Director of Center For Inquiry in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In this episode he shares how he made that journey, and what is ahead for Nate Phelps.

Center For Inquiry

Nate Phelps

Westboro Vs. KKK

Morrison's Prophecy

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Atheists Fuck Better - Episode 28

Dr. Darrel Ray joins us for an in-depth look at his "Sex and Secularism Survey."

In this episode we talk about sex and how religion can fuck that up. The good news, once you get out of religion, fucking gets better!

We discuss the surprising and some not-so-surprising results.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Believing Brain -- Michael Shermer Episode 27

Michael Shermer joins us during his book tour for The Believing Brain. In this episode he shares for the first time, his "coming out" story of how a born-again Christian becomes the nation's top skeptic.

The Believing Brain

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ebony Exodus - Episode 26

Candace Gorham leads the Ebony Exodus project, where she interviews women of color to learn about their exodus from religion. She wanted to interview Deanna (who is not "of color" but you'll hear why Candace wanted to talk with her) for her project.

This is the raw and dirty conversation. ENJOY!

Ebony Exodus

Morrison's Prophecy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Drama Than the Orgasm is Worth - Episode 25

Candace Gorham is a former (sh)evangelist and prophetess who studied her way out of the church and out of her belief in god. She is working on a research project called "Ebony Exodus" which will detail the lives of women of color who have left religion. Her story is at times shocking, heart breaking, and filled with courage and guts. She is an amazing woman, very strong, super compassionate, and wicked smart.

We'll follow this podcast with another tomorrow featuring Candace interviewing Deanna for the Ebony Exodus project. You will hear Deanna's story of her life in religion, how she lived on the streets as a young teen, and how she overcame the odds to become the awesome woman she is today.

Ebony Exodus

And as always, music for this episode is RoseCross by Morrison's Prophecy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rapture Relief -- Coming Soon!

This is a commercial we made for Seattle Atheists. It airs on Ask An Atheist, and shows a good, fun way to help a worthy cause.

Ask An Atheist

Music by Morrison's Prophesy

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From "Jesus Camp" to Atheist Activist - Episode 23

You may already know Sam Mulvey. He's a host and producer of Ask An Atheist, a TV, radio and podcast show that features live calls and intriguing topics. In this episode he tells of his journey to atheism and activism.

Ask An Atheist

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finally At Peace With Atheisim -- Episode 22

Daniel tells his story of escaping two cults before leaving faith altogether. From extreme Catholicism to moderate Pentecostalism and finally he is at peace with being a full-on atheist.

Music in this episode is Rosecross by Morrison's Prophecy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Helped Heal From Religious Guilt -- Episode 21

Living After Faith now has theme music, compliments of Kevin Byrne. Kevin was a minister of music who left faith, and is moving up in Seattle's music scene. This episode features some of his music, and his story of escaping an abusive xtian group.

Morrison's Prophecy

Morrison's Prophecy on Facebook

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

She Never Wanted to be an Atheist - Episode 20

Sara Andrews is a student in Madison, Wisconsin who was raised in an Evangelical home. She tells how she saw through Christianity and became an atheist.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another Sex Issue Uncovered and Defeated - Episode 19

In this episode we talk with Dustin Williams, a former Seventh Day Adventist seminary student who left faith, and discovered sexual hangups during his recovery. His creative way of overcoming can be both educational and inspirational.

Dustin's Blog

X-SDA on Facebook

Dan Savage

American Atheists National Convention

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rich Debunks His Own Theology

Rich used to believe and preach that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in god. Now he doesn’t believe that, and obviously doesn’t preach it anymore.

I don’t remember who I stole the illustration in the sermon from, but here’s how it would go:

(Preacher Mode ON)

Imagine you have the finest Rolex watch ever made, and I run it through a super-powerful shredder that rips it into tiny pieces no larger than the head of a pin, or the eye of a needle.

Then I give you the expensive pile of metal, tightly sealed in a plastic box, with the instructions to shake the box until it becomes a watch again. But not just any watch, YOUR watch, and running at the correct time.

If you have any sense, you will tell me that is impossible.

I agree.

Now, Imagine how much more complex the human hand is than your watch. Or the eye, for that matter. And the human brain.

I find it much easier to believe shaking watch bits in a box will produce a watch than thinking the emptiness of space will spontaneously produce atoms and molecules from nothing, then those will rush together to make a hand, eye, brain -- whole humans, not just running with the clock set, but LIVING.

But go a step further, not just living, but living in a planet that yields to the efforts of that hand, and gives man his desires -- a planet that can be understood by that brain, so man can make things that bring him comfort and pleasure. But not just that, a planet that is not only pleasing, but gorgeous to that miraculous eye.

(Insert half an hour of random non-sense “Tide goes in, tide goes out,” statements, catch the praise singer’s eye, start altar call)

(Preacher Mode OFF)

There are people who still feed me my own lines and ask HOW can I not still believe that.

If all you do is listen to my argument, it sounds good (to believers who don’t believe god allows critical thought). But the second you start to think about it, it falls apart.

Here are some reasons why.

First, it assumes the end product before the process begins. The universe does not operate with the concept that man is the completion of it’s process, and earth is the height of its potential. The universe just is. When the big bang happened, it didn’t happen with goals and specifics in mind. There was no mind. There are no goals or specifics. It just is. What we are is a product of where we are and that is a product of trillions and trillions of random events over untold eons of time.

Next, to compare shaking a box filled with a limited amount of stuff to the practically infinite energy and stuff in the universe is a foolish analogy.

There is nothing going on inside that box that could produce a watch. There is no heat to melt the metals, no chemical processes to combine stuff, nothing that can possibly cause a watch to pop out.

With the universe, there is perhaps unlimited space, time and chemical process of all types happening. And while these processes seem best at creating black holes and piles of gunk, those piles of gunk find some order and become other stuff, like stars and planets.

I recently had a christian wrongly quote “facts” about how a single change of unmeasurable proportions in the earth’s position to the sun, the angle, speed or rotation would render the planet unsuitable for any life at all. First, that isn’t even true. Scientists have discovered that there is a pretty wide range of things you could change about the earth, and she would still be suitable for life.

But even if it were true, all that would mean is that earth was not a planet with life on it. It wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of other planets hitting that magic “life-spot” in relation to their stars. When you put the argument to the entire scale of the universe, it loses it’s punch.

Finally, the box illustration assumes everything that is in the box is all that is needed to make a watch. That’s not true.

There are tons of rock that were mined to get at that metal, and that’s not in the box. There are centuries of human knowledge and study that went into making the watch, and they aren’t in the box either.

There’s a watch factory that is strangely missing from the box. Basically, while there is a shredded watch in the box, there isn’t anything in the box that can make a watch.

The universe is just the opposite. There’s plenty of stuff to make worlds and stars and moons and hands and eyes and brains. Not only are the raw elements and atoms and molecules there, but the processes needed for them to come together are all there as well.

I realize my writing here is not anything close to scientific. I’m not trying to write science.

One thing I’ve realized is that in our religious lives, we signed on to arguments like the one I cite above, and sometimes we hear them again, and they call to our sense of familiar. We might catch ourselves thinking for just a moment, “Maybe the eye IS too complex!” Then we banish the thought as silly.

Just like we were taught in church to do with thoughts that go contrary to our current way of believing.

This article really isn’t about creation versus cosmology, or creation versus evolution. It’s about having the courage to look at the arguments that once comforted your christian heart, and googling and reading your heart out to find true answers that may not be as comforting at the moment, but will take you miles, even light years ahead in your ability to skeptically understand the world around you.

Here’s a challenge. Think about the “arguments” for your previous faith. Post them here, with your argument why they are bogus, and let’s discuss.

Extra credit: Rip my “watch in a box” argument up!

Let’s have fun!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Atheist's Way - Dr. Eric Maisel Episode 18

The book "The Atheist's Way; Living Well Without Gods" is all about living a life with meaning. If you've struggled with the apparent meaningless of life without God, this podcast is a great place to start to get on the road to creating meaning.

Get the book at

or at Barnes And Nobel

Friday, February 18, 2011

Would you like longer episodes?

How would you feel about longer podcasts? We have several really good interviews in the recorder that NEED to be kept together to keep the relevance of the stories intact. I can break them up, but I don't feel like that does justice to the teller or the listener.

I'm finding as I speak with more people, and get them to tell their stories, that it takes more time than our traditional 20 minutes. I really want to bring the stories together as a solid unit rather than breaking them up.

They would be about an hour, or actually a little under. Please comment and let me know.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hector Avalos - Episode 17

Hector Avalos is Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University. He was a child evangelist at the age of 9, and discovered his religion was wrong. Hear him tell his story of how he left religion, and became a world renowned atheist scholar and author.

Hector Avalos will be speaking at the American Atheists Convention April 21-24 in Des Moines, Iowa.

His books are available at Amazon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

David Silverman on Coming Out - Episode 16

We talk to David Silverman, President of American Atheists, about coming out as an atheist and the benefits of meeting other people who feel the same way you do.

We also talk about the upcoming American Atheists National Convention, this April in Des Moines Iowa. We're going, are you?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LAF Line Goes LIVE - Episode 15

Living After Faith is now more interactive.

This episode is quite short, but explains how YOU can literally come LAF with us.

We Have Voicemail Now!

(252) 32-LYONS

(252) 325-9667

You can use the widget on the left column of this blog, and it will call you to connect to the voicemail with the option to leave your number private, or you can use your phone to directly dial the number.

Leave us a message with your deconversion story in less than 3 minutes and we may use use it on a future episode, or you can just leave feedback of any kind. Now you can literally LAF with us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sex and Religion Survey - Episode 14

Dr. Darrel Ray explains his Sex and Religion survey while a naked Deanna Joy asks him questions. She did that just to keep it interesting!

Take the survey here before January 30th, and pass it on to all your friends:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let's get crunchy with some music

We need some "crunchy" rock music ins and outs and stings and beds for the Living After Faith podcast. Must be copyright free... anyone want to help?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Innocuous Religion - Episode 13

Is there such a thing as religion that does no harm? NO! And in this episode we tell you WHY.

Xtian warning: If you are a Christian and you don't want to be offended, this is an episode to skip. We examine how religion, even in its most innocuous forms, destroy life and the value of living.

A must listen if you are out of religion but still struggling with questions about the value of religion.

Rich was on Ask An Atheist

Rich was a co-host on Ask An Atheist's most recent show in their new radio format! It's available via audio podcast now, or you can wait a couple of days for the video.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sex and Religion Survey

Our good friend Dr. Darrel Ray is gathering information for an upcoming project. It's about our two favorite subjects! If you have the time, please fill out this survey, and feel free to pass it on!


Friday, January 7, 2011

LAFing on KUOW Seattle

When Rich Lyons first moved to Seattle, he didn't talk much about his past. People who know him now have a hard time believing that for over 20 years, Rich was a preacher at a conservative Pentecostal church in East Texas. But after Rich started to object to what he saw as hatred and intolerance, he began preaching acceptance, and the church officials pushed back. He lost his job and his marriage, spiraling into a suicidal depression. Rich explains how he came out of his depression, became an outspoken atheist and found a new community in Seattle. Rich Lyons talks with KUOW's Jeremy Richards.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Zuniverse Link has arrived

If you are part of the Zuniverse, here is the link to the podcast directly in Marketplace. Just click the link and you can listen to episodes there, download them, or even subscribe.

Living After Faith Zune

Now available in the Zune Marketplace

For our listeners who prefer the Zune, open your Zune application, go to Market Place, click podcast and search for Living After Faith. You can subscribe and automatically receive out podcast on your Zune.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Red Neck Blue Collar Atheist - Episode 12

A fun interview with Hank Fox, a fellow escaped Texan and author of the book "Red Neck Blue Collar Atheist: Simple Thoughts about Reason, God & Faith"