Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
How a Reporter Lost His Religion
This is the most honest book on faith I've read in a while. Whether you are a person of faith or not, you will appreciate this book. The author openly, candidly and honestly tells the story of how he began reporting on inspiring stories, on people of faith who gave up everything to help the poor. As the author was becoming a Catholic, the priest sex scandal hit, which he reported on. This became a "body blow" to his faith, leading to a steady decline until he realized he wasn't going to church, wasn't praying, wasn't reading the Bible anymore--in short, he woke up one day and realized he could never go back.
The way he explains his loss of faith is what I found interesting and original. He argues that it wasn't a choice, but an organic, slow, and steady series of natural events that led to where he is now:
"Spiritual suicide infers that people make a conscious decision to abandon their faith. Yet it isn't simply a matter of will. Many people want desperately to believe, but just can't. They may feel tortured that their faith has evaporated, but they can't will it back into existence. If an autopsy could be done...it would be natural causes--the organic death of a belief system that collapsed under the weight of experience and reason" (141).
I especially like the beginning and end of the book, but almost the entire middle is filled with the detials of the Catholic molestation sex scandal that he exposed and reported on--which I thought was too long and didn't fit well with the memoir aspect of the book.
Losing My Religion