What a hopeless cause! God will always welcome back those, like Jonah, who ran away — American Family Association
Originally published in Christian News Network
An international atheist organization is currently collecting funds for a planned telephone hotline that will assist former believers with abandoning their religious faith.
Recovering From Religion (RR), an organization dedicated to assisting people turn away from various faiths, recently announced a brand-new campaign called “The Hotline Project.” According to RR’s website, the hotline will provide 24/7 support for people struggling with the transition from faith to atheism or agnosticism.
“The Hotline will provide trained volunteers to answer a toll-free hotline and provide real time, caller-specific support to each person who contacts us,” the website states. “By providing this Hotline service, Recovering from Religion will be able to help people in their most urgent time of need.”
RR is hoping to raise $30,000 by the end of this month to kick-start The Hotline Project, which will be operated by a “secular support network” comprised of trained volunteers. As stated on RR’s website, the hotline will be an 800 number, which people will be able to call to “get support and find resources as they leave their faith.”
Even though The Hotline Project is a brand new endeavor, RR has been around for several years, assisting and encouraging people to move away from beliefs in God. RR’s website even features a “testimonials” section, where individuals can publicly share personal stories of how RR has helped them in their journeys to nonbelief.
“We are recovering from every imagineable [sic] religion,” their website explains. “Baptists, Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Muslims, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and many more. We are happy, we are healthy, and we warmly welcome you to a life free of the confines of faith.”
In addition to their website, RR has a presence on social media sites. RR’s Twitter feed is full of short messages promoting nonreligion or campaigning for The Hotline Project. Messages on the feed include, “Doubting is hard, you don’t have to go through it alone,” and, “Keep it up. We all know how valuable [The Hotline Project] is. (Expletive) the hate.”
RR personnel are hoping The Hotline Project will be a way for people to slowly ease away from long-held religious beliefs and convictions. The executive director for RR, Sarah Morehead, told reporters what the hotline’s general purpose will be, once it is initiated.
“It’s not our place to do anything but encourage exploration and discovery,” she explained, “and to provide a solid support structure as people reconsider the role of religion in their lives. For many, this is a long process and we will be with them every step of the way.”
In addition, according to CNN, Morehead stated that hotline volunteers will try to give “practical, action-oriented solutions” to callers, as they consider moving away from their religions. She also claimed that RR’s primary mission is not to promote atheism, although they do assist those who are “working their way towards disbelief.”
Even though RR has already generated several hundred dollars in donations for the new hotline project, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association pointed out that people have been trying to abandon God ever since the days of Jonah.
“But to run away from God is to run away from life, forgiveness, hope, strength, and the promise of eternal life and to run toward death, emptiness, darkness and hopelessness,” he stated. “What do these secularists want people to run to?”
“I can’t imagine a more fruitless and depressing endeavor than trying to raise money to help people create distance between themselves and God,” Fischer continued. “God isn’t going anywhere. … He will always stand ready to draw near to anyone who wants to draw near to him, no matter how far from him they’ve tried to get.”