Confession: When I was a kid, I was in love with Ricky Schroder. He was the only one for me. (Except for a short hiatus after The Karate Kid, when Ralph Macchio was my all in all for a few months.) That tow-headed heartthrob who took my breath away with every episode of the 1980s sitcom Silver Spoons.
As much as I felt undying love for Ricky Schroder, I knew little about him. I didn’t have the opportunity to open my laptop (they didn’t yet exist) or turn on our home computer (we didn’t own one), hop on YouTube, and watch my future husband walk me through his breakfast choices, morning drive, and whimsical musings. I couldn’t check his Instagram for updates every hour or tweet at him with the real possibility he might tweet back. The best chance I had of communicating with him was writing a letter to his fan club. I never got a reply. I was crushed. If I would’ve found out he was a former Christian now identifying as agnostic, it would have broken my heart. But it wouldn’t have shaken my own faith.
Around the time I was nursing a wounded ego for being stood up by the Ricky Schroder fan club, Neil Postman made a prediction in his 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. Postman posited that in the future, we would be oppressed not by an outside force like “Big Brother” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Rather, he foretold, “people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think,” pointing to Aldous Huxley’s satirical Brave New World. He predicted that with the rise of technology and communication, people wouldn’t be deprived of information, but rather they would be given so much that they would become passive and egocentric. He feared that “truth would be lost in a sea of irrelevance.” Fast forward 35 years to a day replete with a global internet and smartphones, and Postman’s words ring with the chill of prophetic accuracy.
It’s no wonder, then, that every time we turn around there is yet another deconversion story being proffered as the newest ex-evangelical smoking gun. The most recent—and arguably most influential—one has come from entertainers and YouTube sensations Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal of the Good Mythical Morning channel and Ear Biscuits podcast.
Power of Deconversion Stories
Rhett and Link have grown their brand performing hilarious satirical songs and engaging in zany stunts such as duct-taping themselves…