You may have already encountered Gloria Beth Amodeo‘s writing in places like Publishers Weekly, The Literary Review, and American Atheist magazine. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and currently works at an advertising agency in New York City.
She recently wrote a book called God’s Ex-Girlfriend: A Memoir about Loving and Leaving the Evangelical Jesus (affiliate link), so you know I had to talk to her.
We spoke about how Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) hurts people, the advice she’d give potential Cru members, and how the group’s bigotry made her rethink her faith.
1:13 – Background
5:45 – Why belonging to a larger group was so important to her in college.
8:00 – How Cru entered her life.
10:00 – How Christians avoid saying Christian.
11:55 – How Cru connected with her.
13:59 – The power of “relational evangelism.”
16:22 – What Cru did that convinced her they were worth joining.
18:40 – When Gloria Beth realized this brand of Christianity espoused anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion thinking.
24:50 – How Cru is more about belonging than Jesus
25:55 – The three steps to successfully convert someone.
29:09 – Evangelical Christianity as a kind of diet.
30:01 – The sexual history they wanted to know before she went on a summer mission trip.
36:57 – The most cringe-worthy stuff Gloria Beth did as a Cru member.
40:27 – When she realized she might be wrong.
47:30 – What life after Christianity felt like at first.
49:16 – How Cru failed her after she graduated.
50:48 – The most harmful things that Cru teaches.
54:07 – The politics of Cru.
54:50 – What she would say to someone thinking about joining Cru or InterVarsity.
57:20 – What religious label she uses now.
58:10 – What happened with the people she met in Cru.
59:20 – What she’s heard from current Cru members and leaders.