Said Dan Barker, a former preacher, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, about the Clergy Project. Richard Dawkins — the atheism proselytizer — is also involved in this project. He writes:
"If a farmer tires of the outdoor life and wants to become an accountant or a teacher or a shopkeeper, he faces difficulties, to be sure. He must learn new skills, raise money, move to another area perhaps. But he doesn't risk losing all his friends, being cast out by his family, being ostracized by his whole community...A farmer who "tires of the outdoor life" is not a fraud, is not deceiving the people he cares about telling the truth to. It's funny that Dawkins didn't put that problem first. That says something about Dawkins, no?
"Clergy who lose their faith suffer double jeopardy. It's as though they lose their job and their marriage and their children on the same day."
Anyway, it really is an awful problem, to believe you're called into the ministry and then to feel that's nothing at all. And yet, isn't that part of training for the ministry, struggling with "the dark night of the soul" and so forth?