Julia Sweeney’s Crisis of Faith

Here’s an unauthorized capture of the awesome bit by Julia Sweeney that This American Life aired over the weekend: Letting go of God.

Disclaimer: I, too, have invited Mormon kids going door to door in to discuss their beliefs, and found private amusement in the whole story of the gold plates and the magical translation device. So I guess I was predisposed to like this. But anyway, I do. And don’t neglect to scroll down in Norm’s posting to get Sweeney’s response, as posted on her web site, to all the people who’ve contacted her about the program.

4 Responses to “Julia Sweeney’s Crisis of Faith”

  1. Anonymous Mark Says:

    I caught “this american life” this weekend. Sweeney did a truly outstanding job and it’s nice to see the non-religious getting some representation.

    Just out of curiosity to any religious readers of lies.com, what was your reaction when Sweeney applied the amusement she felt at the “Mormon story” to the catholic beliefs she was raised with and realized the catholic beliefs were no less incredible than the mormon ones?

  2. ethan-p Says:

    Wow, how interesting! (although I found the music score a little annoying).

    One part that stuck out as especially pertinent was when she said that some people claim that without the Bible, morality would be relative and wishy washy…but in the bible, morality is relative and wishy washy. She goes on to say that our modern morality is far more loving and humane than the bible’s morality.

    I’ve brought up similar points about inconsistencies in the bible with religious friends of mine in the past. In the end, it came down to them telling me that regardless of any inconsistencies in the scripture, they were commanded to trust in God above anything else. That’s what they did.

    Really, my problems with the scripture didn’t matter, because all of our differences in opinion always came down to believing in God. All of the scripture relies on this principle. Once the ideal of a supernatural, omnipotent God is laid down (and believed in), scripture can get away with anything. If the suspension of disbelief is ever dropped, one can just point back and say “well, you believe in God, right? Then all of this other stuff must be true”.

    In a modern scientific society, where there are more than a few people like me tend to question everything and insist on evidence, is there room for God (in its current interation)? For most religious people, I think that they were probably brought up believing in something that they accepted because their parents accepted it, as well as the rest of their family. Was there ever any need for proof? Why do people just accept this stuff without questioning it? Perhaps it’s intentionally built into the religion — that any shadow of a doubt will condemn them to hell.

    I’d like to see more celeberties with similar views speak out (for some reason, people tend to listen to celeberties). I feel that the Bush doctrine (specifically the part where he says that ‘you’re either with us or against us’) is ringing especially loudly in some segments of the country…and not necessarily with regards to the war on terror. There are quite a few people who really feel that disbelief in God is unacceptable. Even George Bush Sr. publicly stated (during his successful campaign for president) “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” He refused to apologise for the statement, and his staff told anyone who questioned this ideal to (essentially) shove it. I find this sentiment to be unacceptable from a country’s leader.

    I hate to be all PC, but seriously — it’s easy to beat up on godless Americans through legislature, since most godless Americans don’t have an establishment to stand up for them.

    I hope more people like Julia Sweeny stand up and speak out. Maybe we can start to turn things around a little so us godless people can feel like Americans too.

    -Ethan P

  3. Anonymous Mark Says:

    You can go to the Freedom From Religon Foundation, their Freethought of the Day has many quotes from “celebrities” (broadly defined and contemporary and historical) who are/were not religious and not afraid to speak about it. You’ll have to backtrack through their calendar to find ones that might interest you.


    I recall George Clooney was in there, and the actress who played in “Kill Bill”, Ronald Reagan Junior…and a few others.

  4. hossman Says:

    FFRF’s calendar is searchable…


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