Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Godless America

Many people contacted me to let me know that there was an outstanding episode of "This American Life" this weekend. The subject was "Godless America". In the first half, they debunked the myth of American as a Christian nation. In the second half, they played a segment of Julia Sweeney reading from her play, Letting Go of God.

It was fantastic. If you have not heard it yet, do yourself a favor and follow this link to hear the archived show for free.

I sent this message to Ms. Sweeney:

Dear Julia,

I want to thank you so much for sharing your story on "This American Life" last weekend. I have not read your books or seen your shows, but "God Said Ha" has been on my Amazon wish list for quite a while now, and I greatly enjoyed your appearance on "Politically Incorrect" several years ago when you beat up on poor Victoria Jackson.

Stories like yours have always been very interesting to me. You see, I was raised an atheist, by two atheist parents. I'm a fourth generation atheist on my father's side, and my three year old son will probably be the fifth generation. I never had to go through the uncertainty and soul searching of wondering "What if there is no God?" -- although I did once wrestle with the question of "What if there is?"

I thought it was interesting that your first question after you decided there is no God was, "You mean Hitler just DIED? He didn't go to hell?" I have always approached this question a little differently, since I wasn't brought up a Catholic. According to many Protestants, everyone is equally a sinner, and we are saved only through faith. I like to ask them, "What if Hitler accepted Jesus before he died? Isn't it possible that he's in heaven now, while many of his Jewish victims are in hell?"

I am an active member of the Atheist Community of Austin, where we have a weekly TV show ( and internet radio show ( If you're ever in Austin and don't mind doing a little charity appearance, we'd love to have you drop by.

Russell Glasser

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