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Recovering From Religion? (The Hotline Project)


The Hotline Project is something started
by a group called Recovering From Religion and the idea is there are so many people out there
who have doubts about their faith, but they know that
the church is not a place where you could talk about this stuff.
They know you can’t ask your pastor what to do with your doubts, because a lot
of people are just gonna say, “Suppress them” and, you know,
“Just have faith”, and that’s not
a realistic answer. What the Hotline Project is going to do, what they say
they’re going to do, is have a 24-hour hotline where anyone who’s having religious doubts
and is struggling with them can call and talk to someone who’s
not gonna judge them negatively for having those thoughts. And, you know, whoever’s calling can say,
“Here’s my concern: my parents think this way; I don’t.” Or “My church says this and
I don’t think I believe that.” And the job is not to say,
“Well, let me– now that you’re doubting your faith, let me make sure
you don’t believe in God at all.” That’s not what
this is about. But this is saying,
“Okay, well, you know, let’s talk about what problems you’re having.
Maybe there are some books that can help you figure out what you’re struggling with, and maybe there
are some resources out there and people
you could talk to in your area who might be able to help you
work through this situation.” They’re not gonna judge you, they’re
not gonna tell you you’re going to hell. They’re not telling you you’re
sinning by having these doubts. It’s just meeting these people
where they are at and trying to help them
with their struggles. And this is
something you see– The LGBT movement do really well.
You see this for like suicide patients as well. How many suicide hotlines
are there where, if you’re having this, you know, deep depression
and you just want to talk to someone and voice your concerns because you have
no one else to talk to? You can call these numbers and you have
people who will talk to you, and hear
you out, and be that voice of support. That’s really what
the Hotline Project is. I don’t think it’s as serious
as a suicide hotline, but yeah, if someone’s calling, it’s probably because they don’t have anyone else in their life,
they could talk to and they need to voice their concerns
and they need to share these ideas that
they’re having with somebody. And here we have a live person
who’s going to listen to you and empathize with what
you’re going to, because the trainers have
probably all been there. So, it’s a project that got off the ground,
they raised the money they needed to, you know, get off
the ground, and they’re right now in the process
of training volunteers, but hopefully in a few months
it’ll be ready to go. They’ll have a number you can call,
a toll-free number and– And people can call in
and just talk to someone who’s not going to judge them for having
religious doubts. So, more power to it. My name is Hemant Mehta.
I write at FriendlyAtheist.com and if you have any questions
you’d like me to answer or any comments about
what you just heard, leave them in the comments below,
and we’ll take care of that.

Jean Kelley

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30 COMMENTS

  1. The Atheist Voice Posted on June 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    The Hotline Project

    Reply
  2. Darrel Ray Posted on June 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks Hemant, excellent description of what we are doing.

    Reply
  3. Jeremy Leik Posted on June 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Great description of the project. Please add links for potential volunteers.

    Reply
  4. Arwen Rimmer Posted on October 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

    This man has the most beautiful teeth I've ever seen. Obviously his dentist believes in god.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Neeley White Tinsley Posted on November 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    When I was a religious person, going through the transition to atheism, I literally went to the elders of my church and begged for someone to have a personal meeting with me to "help me" get rid of the doubts I was feeling, and to explain to me the discrepancies I had read in the bible. NOT ONE PERSON would give me the time of day or consider a meeting with me. It was as if they were afraid to broach the subject with me. It felt extremely disconcerting and left me feeling totally abandoned.

    Reply
  6. Liza K. Posted on November 5, 2013 at 2:55 am

    It's so hard to talk to someone about not believing in God. I remember when I was going through my doubts and really struggling with my spiritual viewpoints, I constantly told my friend who just happens to be a devoted Christian (but luckily not judgmental). I can talk to her about pretty much anything else, but never religion. I can't talk to any of my friends about religion because even two of my good agnostic friends don't see it how I do. I hope this hotline project comes up because I've

    Reply
  7. Liza K. Posted on November 5, 2013 at 2:57 am

    been struggling again and I really want someone to talk to. I asked a friend from my /old/ church today what makes him believe in God. His response was proof from the bible and faith/miracles.He said you're supposed to feel the holy spirit when you hear sermons and whatnot….or you go to Hell.Honestly, it hurt to hear that from a good friend of mine.He's really accepting and even though our friendship has faded due to my leaving the church and him moving across the country, he doesn't hate me.

    Reply
  8. Liza K. Posted on November 5, 2013 at 2:59 am

    But to have him say I'll go to Hell just because I CANNOT "feel" God when I read the bible…it was harsh, offensive, stupid, and hurtful. I basically told him that, told him that God isn't loving if he'll send perfectly good people to Hell for disbelief. His response was I should talk to a pastor. No actual response.Just that. It just goes to show how un-supportive religious friends are for us non-believers.
    Anyway, when will this hotline be up? I'm struggling with my beliefs again and need

    Reply
  9. Liza K. Posted on November 5, 2013 at 3:00 am

    someone to talk to. :/

    Reply
  10. Liza K. Posted on November 5, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Of course, not all religious people are unsupportive. Some of them are awesome and may seriously help the person. Unfortunately, I don't think it is very common.

    Reply
  11. Sophia Goodman Posted on November 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Freedom from Religion foundation are a very helpful organization. 

    Reply
  12. Avatar Korra Posted on January 2, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Have you ever met someone who tries to shove their religion in your face and you want to just slap them so they'll leave you alone

    Reply
  13. Mario Rodnam Posted on August 27, 2014 at 3:27 am

    If ur doubting u should do research not call a hotline to brainwash u. Each individual has the brain to go through christian science books and mainstream science books and make their own desicions. When it comes to eternity please dont get lazy do ur research 

    Reply
  14. J Holm Posted on October 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Hemit, I am a stage 4 (terminal) cancer patient. Whenever there is an illness involved (especially cancer) – all of the religious people seem to come out of the woodwork and bombard you constantly with their religion. If people say "I'll pray for you" in passing, I just say thanks and move on. However, some go on and on and on. I recently tried to tell someone on a FB grp page that when someone says "I'm an atheist" or says "No, I really don't want to pray with you or have you pray for me", that telling them that you'll pray for them anyway is insulting and offensive. That it's not being respectful of the atheists beliefs. And that was met with hostility. Basically, the response was "I'm going to pray for you whether you like it or not! Stop being offended! I don't care what you think, I'm going to tell you I'm going to pray for you and you're going to like it!" I don't like when people tell me what should/shouldn't offend me. If a black person says they are offended by a certain word – why do people say "Stop being offended!" instead of saying, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. I won't use that term anymore." I even told people that what they do in their own home is up to them, but to please not post religious stuff when they KNOW I'm an atheist. But instead of them saying "OK, I can respect that" it's met with anger. How do you recommend dealing with these people? I hate to keep leaving groups just because they keep being taken over by christians. In fact, I am the admin of that particular group! We have at least 5 different religious/atheist belief systems that I know of in that group. I told them that we are a diverse group and that if people ASK for prayer, then that's absolutely fine. And to ASK people if you can pray for them before doing so. I also created an "Atheist Cancer Support Group" because of it. Why is it so hard for christians to get that NO means NO. And they seem offended and angry when they are told their words are offending others. But itf I told them i would pray to Satan for them, wouldn't they be upset by that? How do you get through to these people? Why is it so hard for them to realize that it's disrespectful?  HELP!!!

    Reply
  15. Bella Wella Posted on October 28, 2014 at 4:32 am

    I could of used this a few years back. So glad they're doing this.

    Reply
  16. Joshua King Posted on December 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    im not an atheist. I believe in god. I am somewhere in the middle between Christian and atheist. I am glad for this site for its helping me recover my mind from slight religious neurosis. my faith has got me through the hardest time of my life, and I have only been a Christian for a year. but many Christians today seem to be misguided. we don't need to completely avoid the world, certain movies and music. faith is always a good thing but sometimes being too stuck in faith and not with ur feet on the ground can be hard. im pretty confused at this point in my life. I believe in the teachings of jesus, but he hung out with "so called sinners" and loved them unconditionally. it doesn't seem like Christians r doing that nowadays. I used to judge nonchristians but now I think "how would I feel, if someone did that to me before I became a Christian" even jesus said, I didn't come to judge those who hear my word and don't practice it. he was not here to condemn people.

    Reply
  17. dontlayeggs Posted on December 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

    So let me get that straight: there is a missionary group for converting people to atheists. Because whatever words you use, that's exactly like it sounds.

    Reply
  18. Party Lemon Posted on January 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I have never had someone to talk to about this before. I hope this comes about. I am in dire need of someone to talk to about my religious doubts.

    Reply
  19. EveryThingGirl238 Posted on August 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I have a friend who is an Atheist and your videos have helped me realize a bit more about him. I mostly come from a religious family and when he told people on the bus he didn't beleive it. They went up in arms saying eh was going to Hell. On that day I realized, he's just as normal as I am, and here peoepl from my religion are calling him out and saying basically 'threats' to him. We still have a good friendship, but I can say these videos did help me see where he is coming from. So thanks!

    Reply
  20. jeff smart Posted on August 29, 2015 at 3:40 am

    I no longer believe in Bigfoot . Couid you help me address this issue.

    Reply
  21. Sharon Dee Posted on September 17, 2015 at 12:35 am

    My understanding is that the hotline is to support those in doubt, not turn them into atheists. I can get on board with that, and I am an atheist.

    Reply
  22. Will mckee Posted on January 4, 2016 at 7:19 am

    I tried calling. I really need to speak to somebody about this, and it's only available until midnight. I don't want my family to hear me voice my doubts to somebody, because I am scared of their reaction. I called a Christian hotline and it made zero sense to me what the guy was talking about. I wish it were 24 hour

    Reply
  23. Peggesis No Posted on March 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    We're not 24 hours/day yet but we're staffing more and more hours. If you don't get through, please keep calling! 1 844 368-2848 844, that's 1-84-I DOUBT IT.

    Reply
  24. Bearded Disciple Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    If there were one thing that could convince you to be a Christian what would that be? I am guessing it's probably a few things but I would still be interested to see the list.

    Reply
  25. Jamie Walock Posted on September 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Hey hey what's the number??!?

    Reply
  26. Robert D. Moore Posted on October 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Hi, Hemant Mehta I would like to know more about what atheism views on people with disabilities so are they burdensome to societies? Aristotle, one of the Greek philosopher I detest very much because he simply looked down on Deaf because I am Deaf/ Hard of Hearing atheist with mixed feeling about, are we people with disabilities more than welcoming to be part of this group but ethics, a roadblock? Bible offers false hope and promises to the people with disabilities, regardless to Benny Hinn, fraud. Shocking about Social Darwinism on eugenics, grr.

    Reply
  27. Mam Amheus Posted on December 19, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Isn't it a crime that this hotline is needed in an officially secular country. The USA is starting to sound more like a "Christian" Iran by the day.

    Reply
  28. k2 Posted on October 7, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    It's heartbreaking to learn the truth. I have suffered a lot in my life and I felt fully devoted to God. Now half my life is over and I have to work out mentally how to cope even with the most trivial things in life. I wish I could feel this 'liberation' with you guys after leaving religion.

    Reply
  29. Ali Mohammond Posted on November 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    America has Alway been a free country to do what you want, that why lot of men and women died for our country, free to drink and get drunk and get high, just get him home behind closed door, you don't want a drunk driver driving on the road, or peole making out in public, we never were agaist gay people just get it behind your closed door where kids can't get hurt,!

    Reply
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