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.