Thursday, March 26, 2009

Satisfactions of the Faithful

A contemplative and studious man, journalist William Lobdell spent many years reporting the "religion beat" on the West Coast.

In Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America--and Found Unexpected Peace, the father of four recounts his evolution from practicing Christian to a life "without a personal God in the equation."

Lobdell's faith took a dramatic turn during the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic church nationwide and which he covered.

The events coincided with his Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) training within a local parish and prompted continuous introspection.

He writes,
Faith is something that is triggered deep within your soul--influenced by upbringing, family, friends, experiences, and desires. It's not like registering to vote, checking a box to signal that you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Christians often talk to those who have fallen away from the faith as if they had made a choice to turn away from God. But as deeply as I missed my faith, as hard as I tried to keep it, my head could not command my gut ... Faith can't be willed into existence. There's no faking it if you're honest about the state of your soul.

Graphic novelist Craig Thompson deals with similar issues of faith and its wrenching extremes in Blankets.

The book details growing up with devout parents; his conflicted feelings about religion; the typical teen angst of fitting in; and finding his first true love at a Christian camp for teens.

Jules Feiffer commented, "In the purest narrative form [Thompson] tells a highly charged personal story, crammed with pain, discovery, hijinx, penance, religious conviction, and its loss ... that which goes awry in life, goes well as art."

No comments: