Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America

Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America

by William Lobdell
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Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America by William Lobdell

William Lobdell's journey of faith—and doubt—may be the most compelling spiritual memoir of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his late 20s when personal problems—including a failed marriage—drove him to his knees in prayer. As a newly minted evangelical, Lobdell—a veteran journalist—noticed that religion wasn't covered well in the mainstream media, and he prayed for the Lord to put him on the religion beat at a major newspaper. In 1998, his prayers were answered when the Los Angeles Times asked him to write about faith.

Yet what happened over the next eight years was a roller-coaster of inspiration, confusion, doubt, and soul-searching as his reporting and experiences slowly chipped away at his faith. While reporting on hundreds of stories, he witnessed a disturbing gap between the tenets of various religions and the behaviors of the faithful and their leaders. He investigated religious institutions that acted less ethically than corrupt Wall St. firms. He found few differences between the morals of Christians and atheists. As this evidence piled up, he started to fear that God didn't exist. He explored every doubt, every question—until, finally, his faith collapsed. After the paper agreed to reassign him, he wrote a personal essay in the summer of 2007 that became an international sensation for its honest exploration of doubt.

Losing My Religion is a book about life's deepest questions that speaks to everyone: Lobdell understands the longings and satisfactions of the faithful, as well as the unrelenting power of doubt. How he faced that power, and wrestled with it, is must reading for people of faith and nonbelievers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061626814
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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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Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Dulcibelle More than 1 year ago
This was a very thought provoking book. Lobdell is an excellent writer and this book was very readable. It was interesting to read how a person loses his faith while reporting on religion. I found myself wanting to reassure the author that "religion" and Christianity are NOT the same thing. I found myself thinking that perhaps he was trying to get his answers in the wrong place. Many of the people he interviewed about faith were important in the "church". I think if he had spoken to more of the laity he may have gotten different answers to his questions. I know I had different answers of my own to most of what bothered him. However, when it comes down to it, faith is just that - faith - and it can't be measured or learned. You either have it or you don't. I'm sorry about the author's decision (by my beliefs he made the wrong one) but I'm glad he's at peace with his decision. This book would make a very good book club or Bible study read. It raises interesting questions about faith and religion. However, I don't know that I would recommend it to someone suffering from their own crisis of faith until they had reached their own decision.
Confusion More than 1 year ago
When I picked up this book from the shelf, I was surprised to find positive reviews on the back of the book from prominent Christians as well as skeptics and atheists. Both the chairman of the board of "Christianity Today," Rev. John Huffman, and Christopher Hitchens agree that Lobdell's account is honest, gut-wrenching, and worth reading. Not all of you will agree with the conclusion that Lobdell, a former "Born-again," Evangelical Christian comes to by the end of the book: that there is no god. Not all of you, skeptic and religious person, will accept the logic that led him to this conclusion either. (As Lobdell, a reporter covering the "religion beat" for years for the LA Times, was preparing to convert to Catholicism, the Catholic sex scandal broke. As part of his work, he thoroughly researched the scandal and interviewed and met many of its victims. The pain and suffering he saw, coupled with the Church's responses to the victims, played a large role in his decision to turn away from religion.) Even if you don't agree with Lobdell, you should still read this book if only to understand why somebody would make such a shift in theological perspectives. You cannot help but empathize with him as he chronicles his journey. His writing is simple and clear, but thoroughly evocative and engrossing. This book is really a page-turner. It will make you think about your own beliefs, and about how moral your life really is. My only quibble with it is that there is no bibliography or appendix of sources at the end of the book (why I knocked it down to 4 stars for "Research"). It is obvious that Lobdell has done his research, and he mentions some sources within the text itself. It would have been nice though, if he had included a formal list of sources that we may look toward. "Losing My Religion" is a very passionate and relatable personal reflection. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in religion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He makes a case for losing his religion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellent insight into the unraveling of one's faith. great for those questioning their own faith or for those who believe their own faith is strong but would like to know what would make anyone turn away from god.
shbarefoot More than 1 year ago
This is honesty - in a way most of us are afraid to reveal. As a faith-filled reader, Lobdell's story has given me permission to seek more deeply and ask my God 'why'? I recommend this book highly - to people who want to find real faith.
RobM More than 1 year ago
After several trusted, book-reading friends recommended this book, I found it disappointing. Lobdell rightly condemns the Roman Catholic Church for its sins and correctly observes other denominations are just as guilty. But by basing his judgment on faith and religion on those areas, he misses the whole point on faith in God and the greater questions which faith asks. Lobdell's indictment of the church rings true but his faith experience seems shallow at best. I would recommend this book to those looking for ammunition on the church as an institution not to those looking for questions about faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
William Lobdell's journey from believer to nonbeliever is the best book I have read in the past 12 months. The subject matter is engrossing and the writing is world-class. As a new believer, Lobdell saw that the huge topic of religion was not getting the correlating amount of press and prayed to God that he would be able to write religious articles fulltime. His prayers were finally answered albeit many years later. His investigation and reporting on Catholic priest sex abuse and mega-church preachers over time eroded his faith. Through years of reporting on hundreds of stories, he noted a wide chasm between the views from the pulpit and the actual behaviors of the believers. Further investigation showed him that atheist - as a whole - were more moral than believers. For me, I believe the final straw was the bishops blind eyes toward the sexually abused youngsters. Losing My Religion is the most honest book I have ever read. I am a believer for several reasons. This book did not turn me into an atheist nor cause me to question my beliefs. However, after reading this, I can fully understand why others and especially Lobdell would chose to release their belief in a god or gods. I have seen a few Amazon reviews that rate this book less than 5 stars. It seems the rating is based on their own view of the supernatural and really has little to do with the quality of this book. That is sad because they may be keeping others from reading of the best tomes in years. I hope you find this review helpful. Michael L. Gooch - Author of Wingtips with Spurs:Cowboy Wisdom for Today's Business Leaders.
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Skeptical-DoDo More than 1 year ago
This is a excellent book and brings into it many of the struggles I had to make in the same direction. Its honesty with the subject matter is stark and refreshing. The tug of war with ones self on matter of faith and reality is brought home in masterful prose. I heartly recommend it to anyone with and without faith to understand the journey from faith to life with out God.
gin-gee More than 1 year ago
I have kept my Catholic faith because of its rich history and because of the communion of the Saints. Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II are two of my heros. Terrible things have happened throughout history. Faith lives on in the faithful, even in the toughest of times and situations. I believe this author's faith journey is not over.