by David Driscoll Â© 2008
Letting Go of God is a heartfelt, moving and entertaining study by Julia Sweeney of her own personal struggle with religion.Â Julia is known mostly for her work on Saturday Night Live between 1990 and 1994, where she created theÂ androgynous character Pat.
Unlike many of the recent popular (and excellent) books on atheism (such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens’ God is not Great), Letting Go of God is deeply personal and non-confrontational.
Her monologue starts out with a discussion Julia had with a pair of MormonsÂ who knocked on her door one afternoon.Â During this discussion the tenets of Mormon belief are outlined and rightfully criticized by Julia in a very humorous way.Â As you listen to her monologue you can’t help but laugh at how silly the religion sounds but it is also a great foreshadowing of how she will come to see her own religion, Catholicism.
Eventually she starts talking about a series of Bible study classes she took at her church and how the more she learned about the Bible the more disillusioned she became with God in general.Â In one poignant moment after she has completed her Bible classes, she is driving past a group of ladies walking to church, carrying their Bibles and wants to yell out to them “Have you ever read that book!”
At this point Julia has given up on the God of the Bible and of the Catholic Church and sets out to find “her” God by studyingÂ Eastern religions, New Age religions and even reading most of Deepak Chopra’s books.Â Her conclusion after all of this detailed research is that all religions have serious issues and particularly that “Deepak Chopra is full of shit!”
As one can guess by the title, Julia, after a long and honest struggle, finally gives up on her belief and becomes a true freethinker.Â This CD and the upcoming DVD is a great resource for anyone who is struggling with their faith and wants to hear a voice of reason that isn’t abrasive or condescending in any way.Â I can’t recommend it enough to anyone in this situation or anyone that just wants to be entertained by a brilliant spokesperson for the freethought movement.
David Driscoll is co-host of the American Freethought podcast.