- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper (Feb. 24 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061626813
- ISBN-13: 978-0061626814
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #704,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America—and Found Unexpected Peace Hardcover – Feb 24 2009
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About the Author
William Lobdell has been a journalist for 25 years, winning many state and national awards. In 2008 he left the Los Angeles Times after a long tenure. He is on the visiting faculty at the University of California, Irvine. He is married with four boys.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Another poignant extract (p.244): "I had changed in another way. I saw now that belief in God, no matter how grounded in logic and reason, requires a leap of faith. Either you have the gift of faith or you don't. It's not a choice. I used to think that you simply made a decision: to believe in Jesus or not. Collect the facts and then decide for your self. But it's not that simple. Faith is something that is triggered deep within your soul - influenced by upbringing, family, friends, experiences and desires. ... Faith can't be willed into existence. There's no faking it if you're honest about the state of your soul."
It is largely Lobdell's sincerity and cognitive humility that make his story so interesting; he never claims to know all the answers, only that the one he once relied on no longer works for him. A very good read for atheists and believers alike, I think the church needs to take to heart stories like this and rid itself of the corruption, hypocrisy and disingenuity that cannot possibly be harmonized with a God-based mission.
As someone who has experienced some of the very same happiness and despair through formal religion, I felt like Lobdell took the words right out of my heart. Throughout the narrative, I found it so easy to understand how and why Lobdell reacted to certain experiences and facts: good, bad, and ugly.
I think the book is written in such a way that even someone with unshakable faith could come to understand the validity of nonbelievers. Doubters or straight-out atheists are often condemned for being selfish, taking the easy way out, or not making enough of an effort to be open to spirituality or conversion. This book makes a powerful case for faith being simply the suspension of intellectual reason that is NOT a matter of choice. Similarly, disbelief is merely a truthful declaration that some altered reality does not exist for a certain person.
Doubters out there, particularly those who once had deep-rooted faith, should find great comfort in the story of this kindred spirit.
I believe ALL practicing religious people should read this book and seriously contemplate what about a church's structure, lack of oversight, and apparent prestige invites corruption, and what can be done to reform this corruption. Efforts MUST be made to establish real congregations that are not wrought with atrocities, hypocrisies, and irreparable damage to the youngest and most vulnerable of our world. Without TRUE (not band-aid) reform, I cannot see how on earth any religious institution could continue to survive, much less thrive, with any shred of integrity and credibility, now that the truth has come to light.