Religion reporter loses faith
A story came over the wire yesterday that immediately captured my interest because it involved another religion writer (or former religion writer).
The story really hit home.
The Religion News Service had an interesting story about a new book by former religion reporter William Lobnell.
Lobnell writes about his crisis of faith in “Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace.”
According to the RNS, Lobnell wrote that he lost his faith while covering the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal as a journalist for the Lost Angeles Times. Lobnell had been an evangelical Christian and was going through the process of converting to Catholicism when he began reporting on an Orange County priest accused of molesting boys.
The book’s premise, released just a day before Ash Wednesday, might seem like a downer during Lent. However, I found that it pushed me to think about those times that I’ve had my own crises of faith and how they were resolved.
None (and I can count them on one hand) had anything to do with a story I was reporting on. Rather they were spurred by personal disappointments within my own family and circle of friends. Some I brought on myself, a sort of internal combustion.
Each time, the resolution was basically the same: You will lose your faith if you place your hope in mankind, even yourself. Faith is placing hope in God, no matter what the circumstances look like.
Hey and often a story I worked on actually increased my faith. One in particular was last year’s story about the relatives of Stephen Beachboard, who found out what happened to him after reading my story on the Internet. I’ve blogged about it so I won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say that there are many times when faith is strengthened through the work of sharing these stories.
Sure there are some stories that are not so positive and downright ugly, so I can’t judge Lobnell. Everyone’s faith journey is different.
For those curious about Lobnell’s story, I’ve included the RNS article below.
For reporter, abuse scandal prompted a crisis of faith
By Andrea Useem
Religion News Service
What if you felt God called you to a task — and then you lost your faith while carrying out that very task?
That’s what happened to William Lobdell, a former evangelical Christian and aspiring Catholic, while he covered religion as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. His new memoir, “Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace,” tells the tale.
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