Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Losing My Religion

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Losing My Religion

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

by William Lobdell

Losing My Religion by William Lobdell X
Losing My Religion by William Lobdell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2009, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church
The tide of sexual abuse cases against Catholic Church officials took its toll on William Lobdell, causing him to abandon his faith altogether. Surprisingly, however, this may not be a widespread effect. According to a recent survey, while membership in most religious groups has fallen during the last two decades, the Catholic Church - whose halo was severely tarnished by the scandals - lost fewer members than mainline Protestants* and Baptists.

The Church may not have suffered significant losses in the number of faithful who call themselves Catholic but, almost a decade since news of that first lawsuit hit the headlines, they are still being hit where it hurts - in the pocketbook. As Newsday reporter Bart Jones reported just recently, "In Los Angeles, the Roman Catholic archdiocese cut its central staff in half and sold its 12-floor headquarters. In Tucson, the diocese sold 85 pieces of property in the Arizona desert. In Davenport, Iowa, church officials posted a 'for sale' sign on the bishop's residence - then moved him into a modest bungalow."

Apparently lawmakers in New York are still taking a dim view of the personal hardship imposed upon innocent children - who are now adults - by abusive clergy and their passively complicit superiors. They are looking to follow the lead of states like California and Delaware who have suspended the time limit to file a lawsuit alleging child abuse. Needless to say, the Church opposes the legislation on the grounds that it could conceivably bankrupt its coffers.

In a ripple effect the Catholic Church's actions have seemingly cursed other religious groups as well. A number of Orthodox Jews who contend they were abused by rabbis when they were children are joining Catholic survivors in a push to pass this legislation. This is forcing the Church to turn to Jewish officials to bolster their opposition.

On a more personal level, good priests have had to alter their behavior when it involves children. In a 2003 interview Anderson Cooper asked Reverend Thomas Reese, former editor of America magazine, how the scandal has affected him and other priests he knows. He replied that he would not hug a child after mass anymore and knows several good priests who have also abandoned the practice because they fear their actions could be misconstrued.

*Mainline Protestant denominations are those that arrived in the USA with historically significant immigrant groups; they include the Episcopalian (English), Presbyterian (Scottish), Methodist (English and Welsh) and Lutheran (German and Scandinavian) churches.  They are sometimes referred to as mainstream or heritage churches.  Apparently the term originates from the Pennsylvania Main Line - an unofficial region of suburban Philadelphia made up of various affluent towns built along the old Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Article by Donna Chavez

This article is from the April 22, 2009 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: New World, Inc.
    New World, Inc.
    by Simon Targett, John Butman
    When we think about the founding of America, we typically envision Pilgrims in black garb and boxy ...
  • Book Jacket: New World, Inc.
    New World, Inc.
    by Simon Targett, John Butman
    When we think about the founding of America, we typically envision Pilgrims in black garb and boxy ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ensemble
    The Ensemble
    by Aja Gabel
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital ...
  • Book Jacket: The Electric Woman
    The Electric Woman
    by Tessa Fontaine
    In 2010, author Tessa Fontaine's mother had a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, leaving her with a...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Comedown

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

A blistering dark comedy that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.