Audiobook Review “Letting Go of God” by Julia Sweeney

This is a very funny monologue by Julia Sweeney. I’m a big fan of hers since her debut on the Saturday Night Live, especially her “Pat” gig, the unisex person. “Letting Go of God” is her journey of becoming an atheist from being raised a catholic girl.

She outlined the cruelty of the act of God in the Old Testament and she ridiculed some of stories in the Bible (Noah, Job, Lot, and etc.). These stories seemed fairly normal to me when I first heard them when I was young. They never occurred to be strange to me until she and some other atheists pointed that out.

The New Testament isn’t much better. Jesus’ family value was questioned and his hot temper didn’t come across as benevolent, though Jesus has some redeeming value about loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek. The weirdest book is none other than “Revelation,” which appeared to be Disciple John’s writings when he was on “acid.”

Sweeney’s transformation started when a couple Mormons visited her apartment about the messages from God. She soon learned about the Mormon Church came about and poked fun at that religion. Honestly, I would probably do the same had I knew about Mormon’s belief.

Sweeney was trying to rationalize the genesis as similar to the evolution. But even she was skeptical of the time/duration was way off. She likes to think she’s a naturalist rather than a atheist, a blasphemy for a catholic family. But she was equally horrified by the prospect that bad guys like Hitler would die and disappear and would not face the final judgment if there were no God.

Sweeney ended the monologue with the story about the death of her father and her coming to grip that death is the end of the life, period – no afterlife, no heaven, and no hell. She joked about what people were saying that her father was still among them after the funeral. It’s hard to swallow that how insignificant the human lives are.

Sweeney made a compelling and entertaining argument about why God doesn’t exist. It’s a heroic journey and an honest expression of her belief. I have had a similar journey myself. I must say it was neither easy nor funny.