"Letting Go of God" a monologue by Julia Sweeney

I did a search and didn’t see anything else about this, but I am fairly lousy at searching, so please, if there’s another thread about this, point me to it.


Anybody else heard (or better, seen) this monologue? I first became aware of it when I heard an excerpt on the public radio show “This American Life” ( www.thislife.org episode 290, “Godless America”) and laughed my ass off.

Julia Sweeney is probably best known for her years on Saturday Night Live, especially for her character androgynous Pat.

I really started to appreciate her when I saw “God Said Ha!” a one woman show I’d been hearing about for years that is now available on DVD. That was the story of how her brother got cancer, came to live with her, her parents came to live with her, then she got cancer. Surprisingly hilarious given the subject matter

When I heard the excerpt of “Letting Go of God” on This American Life I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard. Being a erstwhile religion major I could really appreciate her take on (among other things ) the Mormons who came to her door, the shocking stories found in the Old Testament and the angry Jesus she encountered when she took the time to actually read the bible ("well if no one can understand your parables…then stop teaching in parables! Even your staff doesn’t get them!)

So I ran to her site to see if there was a DVD of the whole thing. There wasn’t. But it was due to come out on CD sometime soon, so I kept checking back at the site whenever the thought would float through my mind

so I finally got it! And it’s great, more than an hour, less than two I think. It’s a story that begins with her rededicating herself to Catholicism (because of the Mormons), reading the whole Bible and being shocked, going on to slowly lose her faith while stopping off in the New Age and Buddhishm. You dopers are gonna love it! Go get it!

(and I also picked up her other CD of her monologue “In the Family Way” about adopting her daughter, which was very funny too)

My sister saw her perform it in person and said it was brilliant. I’m off to order it now!

I got it a week or two ago, it’s in the queue to be my next commute-listen. I heard an excerpt on the web some time ago, good stuff.

Thank you for that link, carlotta! My wife and I just finished listening to her “This American Life” clip, and found it quite fascinating. I think we need to get that whole CD of hers also!

Julia presented a shorter, ‘work in progress’ version of this monologue at the second ‘Amazing Meeting’ organised by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas in 2002. It was easily the highlight of the entire convention, and everyone attending was charmed and impressed, as well as being hugely entertained. Some parts of that convention were recorded and may have been released on DVD. But I don’t know if this included Julia’s segment.

I haven’t checked, but Julia has probably also presented a version of ‘Letting Go Of God’ for the Skeptics Society as part of their series of lectures at Caltech, and if so they will have a CD or a DVD of it somewhere because they tape all of them (they even have mine for sale!).

Julia is very talented, funny and perceptive, and I thnk it’s really rare to come across someone who can both write and perform as well as she can - people tend to be really good at either one or the other. She’s also a really nice person to know, and naturally very entertaining even when she’s not performing.

I heard the exerpt on TAL when it first came out, and loved it. I’ll have to pick up the whole show.

Richard Dawkins quotes Sweeney several times in The God Delusion.

I love her comment that her parents came to terms with her not believing in god, but freaked when they heard she was an atheist. :slight_smile:

I can’t find it anywhere, not even on her own website–where can I buy it?

click on “Buy CD”


From her home page you would click on either of the places where it says “Letting Go of God” That brings you to a page all about it, with a picture of the CD cover on the upper right side. Under that picture is a “Buy CD” link which brings you to the above link.

Where you can buy both “Letting Go of God” and “In the Family Way”, which I did.

Hope that helps.

Oh, I was just shopping at Amazon and see that Julia has a book coming out in 2008 about losing her faith. I preordered it!

A while back I saw her perform the one where she talks about the process of adopting her children (was that “In the Family Way”?) and thought it was great. My wife and I don’t have children, we don’t want children, and we still thought it was hilarious and touching.

And P.S. I said those very same words to her after the show, and she cracked up and was very gracious.