Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry

New book: Losing My Religion

William Lobdell was the LA Times religion reporter for many years. In his new book, Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace, Lobdell tells the story of how he lost his faith. I assume that the essay on the same topic that he wrote for the LA Times in 2007 gives a taste of what the book offers.

In the essay, Lobdell briefly recounts his conversion at a megachurch, followed some years later by his demoralizing journalistic encounters with victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, Ex-Mormons who feel socially ostracized by still-faithful Mormons, and Evangelical preachers getting filthy rich off the gospel of health and wealth. I’m guessing the book offers more of the same, no doubt alternately gripping and sickening for most readers. I wonder if he visited with amoral technocrats in Eastern Europe or nihlistic terrorist cells to broaden his data set and put his “religion is the problem” thesis into a wider context? I’ll get back to you on that after I procure and read a copy of the book.

If you want more, Hugh Hewitt did a two-hour radio interview with Lobdell a few days ago (audio replay available at the site). If you’re one of those lucky folks who has two hours to invest in a podcast, let us know what he said.

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David H. Sundwall

posted March 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm

It was an interesting interview, but it dwelt too much on callers who were felt defensive that their faith was being attacked or tried to throw out a 30-second apologetics challenge that would somehow restore Lobdell’s faith. The book sounds very interesting and I wish the second hour dwelt more on that than just entertaining callers.
I was jogging so I may have misheard some of it but I thought Lobdell said that his critical look at Christian theology began when he was covering a story on Mormon theology and realized how ridiculous it was. Then it hit him that Mormonism’s claims were no more ridiculous than Christian theology. He didn’t elaborate unfortunately, but the book should be an interesting read.
What made the interview even more interesting is that he and Hewitt are best friends and Hewitt played a big part in Lobdell’s original religious search. Hewitt was good natured about the subject but you could tell he hadn’t given up on his friend.

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posted March 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I wonder if it will be available as an audio book?

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posted March 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I know nothing about this man, or his journey (and there are many books I would love to read before I read yet another “how I lost my faith” journey — easily found anywhere and everywhere). I read the linked article and was unmoved by his abandoning of faith. I won’t belabor this with my thoughts on trials of faith, but Michael Novak’s book, “No One Sees God” and his discussion of the “dark night of the soul” of both atheists and believers is a much more nuanced view of this struggle than anything I read in his linked article.

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Your Name

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:49 am

Dave, I came upon your site by accident… I was on the previous site about the missionary program and I was looking for an approiate link to comment as the other site was full… I am a reconverted Utah mormon… and loosing my faith was a personal experience for me… I spent my childhood in church and seminary never really grasping Gods love for me, or the atonment made possible by my Savior… I had many missionarys and sent them away, until I found a missionary that understand how to align my believes with that of the church… I went outside the church to understand truth… I found it in Eastern philosophy… I studied these principals but never felt I had grasped the full truth… My missionarys through unconvential discussions were able to combine my truth with that of my church… We all have the light of Christ within us… We as Gods children are all searching for truth… Its the basic answeres we want… Who am I… Why am I here… and where will I go when I die… I had a witness that I cant explain in words… It filled my body with love and light… I am so grateful for my missionarys and that they prepared themselves for me… to teach me… and love me, and my family… We are still close and it has been 5 years… I will love them forever… This is what the missionary program is all about… Connecting with your contacts… loving them and understanding how to cross the language barrier so that we can hear the truth… anna

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