About Me

Tim_Sitting1

I grew up in a faith that was politically, socially, and religiously conservative. We had a relationship, not a religion, I was taught. A product of my Pentecostal upbringing, I entered the ministry at age 15 as a musician. However, I was conflicted between my deeply held convictions, and equally ingrained, unwanted, same-sex attractions.

After years of praying and pleading with God to change me, a tryst with a married man in my choir, and one attempt at suicide, I put myself in an “ex-gay,” or “conversion therapy” ministry. That ministry, Love in Action, turned out to be one of the oldest, and most renowned organizations of its kind.

I believed I’d found my answer. I believed I had finally changed. Following my time in Love in Action’s one-year residential program, I went on staff and, for the next six years, traveled around the country with the message, “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” Love in Action staff appeared on radio and television shows including, Oprah Winfrey, ABC’s World News Tonight, and Good Morning America. I married a beautiful woman and together we had two beautiful daughters. But all of that came crashing down when she filed for divorce. It would take six more years before I could finally accept my own reality.

My journey from an unshakable conservative Christian to a progressive social justice writer has been long and arduous. I’ve been accused of “just giving in so you could have gay sex,” and I’ve waded through countless Bible verse grenades. Still do. My journey has been measured and thoughtful. It required me to rethink everything I believed to be true and take apart the foundations of my beliefs brick by brick.

My aim is to give voice to the dissonant questions that reside in all of us.

Conversion therapy, the attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation from gay to straight, is a small part of a much larger and destructive religious ideology found in fundamentalist Christianity. The effects of this version of Christianity – and there are many other versions – are far reaching. In American Evangelical Christianity, many individuals and families suffer silently, trying to make their lives fit into the narrow doctrines and dogmas of this unique brand of religion.

My goal is to open a dialogue about the beliefs and ideologies that affect our lives, whether they are personal, political, or religious. My aim is to give voice to the dissonant questions that reside in all of us. This is a place for discussion and discovery about who we are as diverse human beings, how to make peace with ourselves, and how to make the world a better place.

I’ve written dozens of articles and blogs as a contributor to The Huffington Post and The Good Men Project.  I write mostly on the confluence of religion, politics, sexuality, and belief. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to write a good story about life as a dad. I earned a Master’s degree in education from Colorado State University where I focused my research on cognition and transformative learning. I’m a member of the American Psychological Association in Educational psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Issues. I’m also co-host of the Recovering from Religion podcast.

My spouse, Abel, and his off-handed, witty comments are featured frequently in my books. Abel is a teacher at our local school district where he works with the visually impaired. His gigantic sense of humor is only matched by his enormous heart. My youngest daughter is a senior in high school and my oldest daughter is a psychology major in college.

36 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me.

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4 days ago

Tim Rymel

In the 70s and 80s, a prominent and influential name among Fundamental / Evangelical Christians was Bill Gothard, and his Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts seminars. Thousands of people would fill auditoriums to hear his "Biblical Principles of Life."

On this week's Recovering from Religion podcast, our guest is Micah J. Murray, a young man who worked on the Gothard organization staff.

He shares what it was like growing up under the extreme teachings of Bill Gothard, being homeschooled using Gothard’s controversial curriculum, and working in Gothard’s authoritarian organization.
We also talk to him about the scandal that essential destroyed the organization. Micah is blunt (!!) about the dangers of Gothard's teachings, why he walked away, and his work in educating others.

Today. Micah is a father, a blogger, and (in his own words) a "kick-ass" web designer.

You can find all the “Recovering from Religion” episodes here: anchor.fm/recovering-from-religion

Listen on your computer, or using the AnchorFM app on your Android or iPhone, or stream on most popular podcast apps.

#RfRPodcast

Personal Note: I've done many interviews, including my own radio talk show, but I've never COMPLETELY lost it on air. I did with Micah.
In response to one of my questions, his answer made me laugh so much, I couldn't continue and had to briefly turn the interview over to my competent co-host, Tim Rymel.
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2 weeks ago

Tim Rymel

On the next "Recovering from Religion" podcast, our guest is John J Smid.
Many know him from his days as Executive Director of Love In Action, the country's largest "ex-gay" ministry, or from the publicity he received when he left that organization and came out as a gay man.

Most recently, he's been speaking about the new movie, "Boy Erased," where one of the main characters is loosely based on him.

John sat down with Tim Rymel and me for a candid conversation. He talked about the anger he feels for the years he lost in conservative religion, and the grace that continues to guide his recovery.

This episode will be live on Tuesday morning.
I hope you'll plan to listen!
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4 weeks ago

Tim Rymel

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