Ryan Connell

is creating an honest exploration of the place between faith and doubt.
Select a membership level
Fans
$1
per month
This level is for those who enjoy The Holy Apostate blog and want to keep it free and ongoing. The reward here is knowing that you are supporting the work I do. 
Followers
$2
per month
This is for people who want to read more. At this level, you will gain access to my essays about life on the road (you can read the first few for free! Check them out). I think it's worth it, but I'm biased.
Supporters
$5
per month
Even more content! At this level you will not only get access to my travel essays, you will also gain access to my photo blog, poems I write on the road, and occasional "first looks" at essays I am working on for other publications.

9

patrons

$70

per month

About Ryan Connell

Hello, I am Ryan Connell. I am the homeschooled son of a pentecostal pastor and former evangelical minister turned Agnostic Freelance Religious Scholar and Nomadic Secular Humanist Monk.

I am traveling the country in my beat up Subaru with 300,000 miles on it, living in any guest room or spare bit of floor that opens up to me. I am doing this for a few reasons:

1. I am on a personal spiritual quest.
When I lost my faith, I lost more than just my belief in God. I experienced a seismic shift in how I thought about everything. My politics, sexuality, and core beliefs about humanity and the very nature of reality all came tumbling down around me. And while that was a traumatic and painful experience, I have come to recognize that it is also a wonderful opportunity to really explore what Truth actually is. 
I am traveling the country as a way to deconstruct and explore my own religious upbringing as well as to hear the stories of people from every position on the spectrum of faith. I want to spend time with Baptists, Mormons, Pagans, Satanists, Atheists, Mystics, and Jedi. I believe the more diverse perspectives I can listen to, the more expansive my understanding will be and hopefully I will be able to learn a thing or two about what it means to be human.  

I write weekly contemplations about all of this at theholyapostate.com. Your support enables me to focus on these essays and to keep them ad free. 

2. I am looking to explore and document American religious culture. 

I have spent my free time during the last thirteen years studying philosophy of religion and church history. I am particularly interested in the intersection of spirituality, religion, and culture. I want to explore how these things interact and shape each other. But I want to do more than just study these things, I want to experience them first hand. I want to live and worship with people from every position on the spectrum of faith. I want to go beyond the ideas and beliefs that make up a particular sect or worldview to see how a particular faith (or lack of it) impacts one's daily existence. I plan to write a book on what I discover. Your support gives me the freedom to do research, interviews, writing, and to travel to see the most iconic places of the American religious landscape.

I believe these things matter. I believe it is essential that we discuss these things openly and honestly. Your financial contribution to this project is essential. The more money I raise here, the less I have to try to find odd jobs while on the road and the more I am able to write and engage with you about the things that matter most. Plus, there are all kinds of fun exclusive content only available to supporters. 

If you want to help out in some non-monetary ways, here's a few things that I need (I am happy with used stuff and also willing to barter and etc):
coffee and conversation
prepaid gas card
E-books, audio books, or Amazon gift cards to buy them.
extra food
Telescope
help with website design
volunteer editors
a tent, a travel pack, and/or any portable camping stuff {Thanks to Hillary Pewalka and Brent and Courtney Connell for hooking me up with this stuff!} 
hiking shoes {Thank you Joey Riedel for these!}
digital camera {Thanks to Kel Zee for providing me with a great camera!}
a telescope
Camper van (because hey, can't hurt to ask, right?)

And most importantly, a place to crash for a night or a month or anywhere in between. 
 
I am eternally grateful for those of you partnering with me on this journey. You keep food in my belly, gas in my tank, words in your head, and my heart brimming with joy. Thank you.
Goals
$70 of $500 per month
Cool, we are on our way. This helps cover my gas and some of my food. I will still have to work odd jobs from town to town, but I will be at least able to write regularly and that is a pretty great place to be. 
1 of 4

Recent posts by Ryan Connell