William Lobdell,
Losing My Religion:
How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America & Found Unexpected Peace

(Harper, 2009)

William Lobdell's journey from believer to nonbeliever is the best book I have read in the past 12 months. The subject matter is engrossing and the writing is world-class.

As a new believer in Christian doctrine, Lobdell saw that the huge topic of religion was not getting the correlating amount of press and prayed to God that he would be able to write religious articles full-time. His prayers were finally answered, albeit many years later.

His investigation and reporting on Catholic priest sex abuse and mega-church preachers over time eroded his faith. Through years of reporting on hundreds of stories, he noted a wide chasm between the views from the pulpit and the actual behaviors of the believers. Further investigation showed him that atheists -- as a whole -- were more moral than believers. For me, I believe the final straw was the bishops who turned blind eyes toward the sexually abused youngsters.

Losing My Religion is the most honest book I have ever read. With that said, I am a believer for several reasons. This book did not turn me into an atheist nor cause me to question my beliefs. However, after reading this, I can fully understand why others -- and especially Lobdell -- would chose to release their belief in a god or gods.

book review by
Michael L. Gooch

28 August 2010

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