Julia Sweeney: The Real Housewife of Wilmette?

The Chicago Tribune‘s Mary Schmich has a nice column today about actress Julia Sweeney. It focuses on what we already know (and love) about her: she’s left Los Angeles (physically and mentally) to become a mother/wife in the north suburbs of Chicago and she’s thrilled about it.

She’s still an atheist, too. But just as she left her celebrity status in LA, the article points out she’s ready to drop her status as an atheist poster girl, too:

When “Letting Go of God” premiered on Showtime in December, demand for the DVDs soared. She loaded a couple thousand copies into her minivan and drove them from Wilmette to the amazon.com warehouse in Indiana to be mailed.

But, just as she outgrew Pat, she has outlived her persona as “atheist girl.”

“I’m not an activist,” she said. “I’m trying to get off the whole atheist racket.”

Which, I presume, means she won’t be performing the monologue live anymore. That’s a shame. There are still so many people I know who would benefit from seeing her in person. On the upside, the DVD and CD are fantastic and they’ll always be available.

You can’t fault her for her decision. There were a couple years when she was performing, it seemed, at every major atheist event. I’m sure that gets both exhausting and old. You just want to move on after a while because you’ve been saying the same thing so often.

I’m fortunate to have been able to meet Julia and her daughter a couple years ago (in Iceland, of all places) — definitely one of the nicest people ever:

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  • Being labeled as any one thing can get old fast.

    I am a young, white, married, mother of two, in Indiana, who is an Atheist. Sounds like I am more alone in that specific category than I thought. 🙁

    Do women tend to be less vocal about their Atheism?

  • Vas

    “It focuses on what we already know (and love) about her: she’s left Los Angeles (physically and mentally) to become a mother/wife in the north suburbs of Chicago and she’s thrilled about it.”

    Really!?! Is this the “friendly” in TFA? So what exactly is this all about? Are you suggesting all atheists hate Los Angeles and love Chicago? Are you implying that anyone who stays in Los Angeles, (physically and/or mentally) is because of this single fact not worthy of “our” “love”? Are we now required to support or be thrilled about motherhood, marriage, suburbs and Chicago to meet your definition of atheism? Just what exactly makes you think it’s a fine idea to disparage Los Angeles, and what is so great about leaving Los Angeles anyway?

  • Tim

    Anyone reading this from the Boulder/Denver area can catch Julia next month at CU-Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs, April 5-9. Details are at our web site – http://www.colorado.edu/cwa — all talks are free and open to the public.
    Julia is a good friend of longtime CWA participants & organizers Jim Emerson and Phil Plait, and we’re excited to have her as part of our conference (especially as she’s just recently decided to limit her public appearances).