I’ve just finished reading “Losing my Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America – and Found Unexpected Peace” by William Lobdell.
First off, just let me say that I consider my self to be spiritual, but not religious. I am the child of two ministers, so I have seen a lot of unsettling things going on in churches. So, for me, it was best to withdraw myself from that atmosphere. When my children were born, I felt like I would like for them to experience the good things that I had gained from going to church as a child, so I started taking them, but after a few years, I became uneasy with the intolerant viewpoints that were being passed along to my children. From then until now, we have not attended church except in support of holiday services that one of my parents was preaching at. I have concentrated instead on teaching them MY values. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point they decide to explore religion more fully. I’m okay with that. I trust that in the end they will come to a conclusion that is relevant to their own life.
As for the book…I’m sure this will be a very controversial book. On the one hand, I admire the fact that the author is brave enough to broach this subject. It certainly can’t be easy! On the other hand, I feel like he talks about each religion as if the only people that have relevance are the ones in high positions. It seems like he doesn’t realize that the majority of the people (the congregation) are probably decent people who don’t even know about the corruption that is going on in their church. This is something that my family has seen time and time again…that there are only a few people who cause a great deal of trouble in the church and the rest of the people are unaware of what is happening.
The title of the book indicates that he no longer attends church, but inside the book he also indicates that he no longer even believes in god. I’m not sure he really has completely stopped believing in God, because near the end of the book he indicates that he prayed to God (claiming “just in case I had been wrong about this whole God thing”). Well, that would indicate he does still believe in God…I think he just needs to realize that his beliefs about the nature of God have changed. Also, he indicates that he no longer believes in an after life. I found this an odd conclusion to come to, because he didn’t really explain how he came to that particular conclusion.
I think that this man believes he has finished his spiritual journey and doesn’t realize that in actuality, the journey will encompass his entire life. Even though it does seem likely that he will never return to a church setting, it seems unlikely to me that he will retain all of the beliefs that he has right now. He seems the type to be very passionate about whatever his current beliefs are, and he will likely have just as much conviction about his next change of opinions.
Overall, an interesting read, but readers be warned that you may be offended by what opinions he expresses, particularly if you are a member of the religious communities that he pinpoints.