Tuesday, July 24, 2007
This is a long but extraordinarily engrossing article by William Lobdell, who was the LA Times religious columnist. He lost his faith because of the job. Part of the fascination lies in the exotica of American religion. There is, for example, the Mormon Jello-O belt and it is quite amazing that former Mormons hold conferences. There is also the usual cast of high-living Holy Rollers. Equally fascinating - and equally American - are the glimpses into Lobdell's mind. In prayer, for example, he senses God has a plan for him - 'To write about religion for The Times and bring light into the newsroom, if only by my stories and example.' But the big theme is the clash between faith and institutional brutality and corruption. The suffering this causes Lobdell is acute. Anyway, just to say, this is a very rare kind of read - unpretentious, informative and moving.
PS: I just realised you have to register with the LA Times to read this and I can't work out how I got in in the first place. Anyway, it's free and worth it.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:58 am