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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Losing My Religion

William Lobdell

How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America
— and Found Unexpected Peace

William Lobdell’s journey of faith — and doubt — is one of the most compelling spiritual memoirs of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his late 20s when personal problems 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. What happened next 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 Street 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. Hear his remarkable story in this lecture based on his new book.

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