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Ex-Catholics and Ex-Evangelicals: Why Did You Leave?

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One of the most significant trends in American religion is switching: people who grew up in one religion and changed to another. Another important but often ignored trend is the decline of conservative churches. So, I'm curious: How many of you have switched out of a conservative church into another religious or spiritual community?

As part of my next book, I'm asking for stories, comments, and insights on why people have left Roman Catholicism or conservative evangelical churches (either independent ones or, most especially, the Southern Baptist Convention). Are you a former Roman Catholic or former conservative evangelical? Or are you someone who is thinking of leaving one of these faith communities? I'm curious: Why did you leave and where have you landed? If a survey taker asked you, "What is your religious identification?" how would you answer?

For many years, I attended a Bible church in Scottsdale, Arizona. From there I went on to an evangelical college and seminary. After a time, however, I had too many life experiences that didn't fit in the evangelical box -- and too many theological questions that those communities couldn't answer. I actually wrote an entire book on why I left and became an Episcopalian, called Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community).

You needn't write an entire book, but I thought it would be interesting to open the question up to the Huffington Post Religion community, since so many of you seem to have left organized or traditional religion. And I'd love your help with my book project -- it would be great to include a variety of voices on this subject.

Tell me something of your story -- I'd appreciate hearing from you. You can also contact me through my website.

And ex-mainline Protestant types, don't worry. I'll be asking you some questions in the near future!

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