Julia Sweeney - Letting Go of God

Religious faith has at least one thing going for it: it gives you comfort... as long as you don't think about it. My own intellectual journey into eventual atheism started with a serendipitous reading of Nietzsche (which also hooked me into philosophy). Once he raised certain questions, I went to 'the greats' for answers: Aquinas, Leibniz, Avicenna, Kierkegaard, Anselm, Berkeley, Augustine, Lewis, etc. These thinkers were fascinating, and had lots of great things to say, but their answers to the big question never seemed quite satisfactory... more like rationalizations of certain prejudices and already-held beliefs than real discoveries of truth.

For comedian Julia Sweeney, this roller-coaster journey of questioning and spiritual growth started when two Mormons rang her doorbell one day. In her efforts to find the nature of God, she went to Bible class, tried to become an altar boy, then a nun, became intimately acquainted with Jesus -in more ways than one :), traveled to the East and learned about the undiluted non-California version of Buddhism, read Karen Armstrong, got into Deepak Chopra and new-age mysticism, until eventually she hit upon the study of nature itself, science, and (once she overcame her previous misconceptions about it) finally started seeing the world with new eyes, full of wonder, curiosity and courage... and then she had to deal with mom and dad :)

The general story is probably familiar to many nonbelievers, but it's the hilarity with which Sweeney tells this coming-of-age story that makes this a must-listen. So sit back, relax and prepare to question, think and laugh:



And if you're curious about how things are going with her daughter, listen to what happened when she asked Sweeney about the birds and the bees...
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