Julia Sweeney

I’ve made mention before of how much I loved seeing the one-woman show by Julia Sweeney (a.k.a. Pat from Saturday Night Live). The show is called “Letting Go of God” and it’s one of the best stories I know of someone going from religion to atheism. If you haven’t heard it yet, an excerpt was broadcast on NPR’s “This American Life” a while ago and you can hear it here:

[tags]Julia, Sweeney, Letting Go of God, God, NPR, This American Life[/tags]

  • Siamang

    I love julia. This is a great show. Better to see it in its entirety, this clip doesn’t really do it justice.

    A lot of the warmth and humor are from other parts of the show. Her tone in the piece as a whole is less confrontational and more spiritual, in a way.

    As an atheist, I often feel as if I’m conversing with the image of God in the popular imagination. She literally converses with this God in her play. It’s a medium is the message thing. God is the other character in her one-person show. And that’s the entire point. He’s “there,” but not really there.

  • Eliza

    I got to see her perform 1 hr of her 90 min show a few months ago when she was in Seattle – then she and Ira Glass (host of “This American Life”) sat on stage and talked for another half hour. Siamang’s comments are right on. She comes across as respectful, and thoughtful, and there is more of a spiritual awareness to it than I had expected. (But no wavering in her conclusions.) She told some funny stories about the show afterwards, and said that she likes going to church (Catholic) for the pageantry and ritual. Ira Glass was quite clear that he is an atheist, & was also funny. He was somewhat negative about religion in their discussion, whereas Julia Sweeney was neutral-to-positive.

    I also found it interesting that the theatre, which seats 2000+, was packed. The audience was for the most part interested and appreciative, though a noticeable number (~10%?) left at intermission. I’d never been in a room with 1800 atheists and atheist-sympathizers before, so that was a new and encouraging experience in and of itself!

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