Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Well, I’ve added some performances of Letting Go of God and of the Jill and Julia show and it’s going to be up on my website soon but I thought I would throw it out here on the forum and on the blog because I am so excited about it!

Jill Sobule and I are going to do the Jill & Julia Show in New York at Joe’s Pub on St. Patrick’s Day – Saturday, March 17th. I won’t be doing the St. Pat’s show I was planning to do at Largo – instead I’ll be in New York. Jill and I are also planning on adding two shows at Largo in late Feb. and early March but we don’t have the dates yet.

Then, on March 30 & 31st I will be doing “Letting Go of God” in Spokane at the Bing Crosby theater (formerly The Met). My mother finally gave me dispensation to do the shows. (This means she has given up on saving my immortal soul…) To be honest, she is being really great about the whole thing. I jokingly asked her if she would be willing to help sell Cds in the lobby afterwards and she said, “I would be telling everyone not to be listening to you! I would be the worst sales person!”

Then on April 4, in Seattle, I will be giving a speech at the American Atheist convention. I am really looking forward to attending that. Some of my favorite people will be there including Bob Price (of the book “The Reason Drive Life” among many other wonderful books.)

April 13th and 14th, I will be in Chicago at the Lakeside Theater doing “Letting Go of God.” Stay tuned for more details.

Then back to Los Angeles to do the shows leading up to the filming on May 5th.

I gotta run, tonight Jill and I are performing at The Hotel Café - just two songs and two stories.


Tom Moran said...

Cool! You'll be performing in New York on my birthday (or, as the alcoholics in the neighborhood like to call it, Amateur Night).

If there's any way I can swing it I'll try to see your show that night. I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday.

Tom Moran said...

Okay, I can think of a better way to spend my birthday -- but hookers tend to charge double for stuff like that.

Dame Wendy said...

How exciting!! Hurray for St. Pattys day, I hope we'll be able to get in. :)

Andrea said...

Chicago! YAY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"This is what it comes down to in the end: the world has no form or substance without you and me to provide them, and you and I have no form or substance without the world to provide them in its turn. We are supporting the globe on our shoulders, like Atlas - and we are standing on the globe that we are supporting ..."
"The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe" by Michael Frayn---Just wanted to pass on a new book that is getting a lot of attention in the book world. You sure have a lot going on Julia, are you still able to read? How much fun doing your show in your hometown.

Derek said...

Julia ~
I heard you speak on NPR and was very moved –
I too am a dreamer born, shaped and suppressed by the Catholic faith.
Now at 40 - my retired US Air Force/church deacon father and mother STILL worry and pray my soul will survive the damage I’ve inflict at OR onto it.

Back in my twenties I was tempted into the homosexual lifestyle, moved to Chicago, found a few careers and tried best to silence the pre programmed messages that everything I was doing was evil and wrong.

Late on Halloween ‘98, in a lesbian bar called “The Closet” I met my partner.

We still live in Chicago, hold holiday traditions at our home with our families; behave as the cool uncles and try our best to live a comfortable life that resembles the all American dream.

For my big four-o I asked for your new CD –
NOW I’m so excited you are coming to Chicago!
(PS: David Sedaris will be performing in town on Sunday - April 8th)

How cool of a line up to hear you both!!

Peace to you, your daughter and your family ~

Tom Moran said...

Derek writes:

"Back in my twenties I was tempted into the homosexual lifestyle, moved to Chicago, found a few careers and tried best to silence the pre programmed messages that everything I was doing was evil and wrong."

Judging from your wording ("temped into the homosexual lifestyle") I gather that your efforts to silence those pre-programmed messages have not been notably successful.

Bobby D. said...

New York -I'll try & catch the show but st patricks day... I plan to be face down in the gutter that day

Freewendy said...

I tried to look up the book you mentioned “The Reason Drive Life” by Bob Price and I couldn't find anything. Could you link to it?

LorMarie said...

I'll certainly try and catch your New York show.

Froggymama said...

Julia, I saw "Letting Go of God" in LA a couple years ago and was completely blown away by your honesty and humor. Thank you. Since then, I've thought often of the idea that our thoughts are completely "isolated" if there is no God, if no one is listening to our thoughts. And I must say it's liberating and sad at the same time. And that's life isn't it, in it's truest form. No black and white, just a whole lotta grey. Since I saw your show, my baby was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and the devestation of it, has inspired me to believe in the power of human energy, and in a way a godly energy, the power of a collective conscience, that isn't connected to any religion, but eachother. And I guess that is a religion in a way. I've come to believe that we believe how we do because of what happens to us. For now I need more than just "us" and I've decided that the universe will provide the elusive "cure". And that gives me hope. In the mean time, I'll work my ass off to raise money and hope for my baby girl. I've lost comfort in the god my parents believe in, the god who hates gays and supports killing Muslims, so here I am, trying to find a new god, who loves my baby, my family, and accepts everyone just the way they are. And if it turns out God is just human kindness, I will be encouraged, because I can't think of anything more beautiful. With or without God, we are still here, powerful and alive. Thank you Julia for your beautiful stories that are godly with or without a god. Thank you for the biggest gift of all, making people think.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Sweeney,
I'm an atheist. Mother of four. Former Catholic. I just wanted to take the chance to tell you that I love your monologues and wanted to let you know that my eleven year old daughter is a huge fan. :)
I've recently had some "fuss" with an essay said daughter wrote, regarding atheism (http://possummomma.blogspot.com/2007/01/possum-1-makes-us-proud.html),...the ordeal has led to me seeking out other atheists blogs.

Anyway...keep up the good work! You're amazing! Thank you for giving people the courage to question those things which they once took as "gospel truth".

Anonymous said...

I just watched your "Letting Go of God" monologue on You Tube. I get
it. Completely. The moral of your story is you believe that by the age of 7 you were (and are) more intelligent than your parents.

Nice way to honor them.

conniecoyne said...

see you in the windy city

Anonymous said...

Froggymamma - I liked what you said about the power of human energy and your comment to Julia, ...that she makes us think. I hope you can find the strength within yourself and your family collective to enjoy your baby, despite the affliction. That's got to be tough!

I need to get the LGOG CD for sure. I saw Oprah's shows regarding the "Secret" and thought it was applicable to my so-called enlightenment (Is that better than spirituality?) The fundamentalist Christian's don't particularly like it because it allows people to experience heaven in their hearts without of course all the gobbildy-gook about accepting Christ and you will be saved junk. I think the Secret has been out for awhile....and I don't mean deoderant. LOL

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

Though I know you're just being smart, I can't help but respond. That has nothing to do with intelligence. Some of the most intelligent people on Earth can't shake away indoctrination, and Julia simply pointed out through a humorous observation during her childhood that as a child she understood her religion differently than her parents because she had not had the years of indoctrination yet. And even if it was some put-down against her parents as you see it, it was funny and enlightening about her childhood. From your shallow observation, you neglect to notice the love Julia has for her family, and the perfect way to remember them is through truth and honesty in how she sees her past. If Julia did think she was smarter than her parents at that time, that's her prerogative, since we as people don't have to like and approve everything about our parents. That whole idea of honoring them is biblical and nonsensical anyway.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

Your argument that indoctrination (or socialization) is the reason for faith is nonsensical. Here’s why:

You would argue that my faith, for example, is due to my indoctrination at the hands of my parents. You would then have to argue that my parent’s faith is due to their indoctrination at the hands of my grandparent’s. My grandparent’s faith is then due to their indoctrination by my great-grand parents…

And so on, and so on we can move backward until we come to a point where we cannot move back any further. Who indoctrinated the first person?

And if you want to be intellectually honest you cannot answer “nobody” because remember – your entire argument is based on indoctrination. On the experience of socialization.

Also – you are correct. Honoring your parents is biblical.

It is a good idea and a sign of respect and love. I fail to see how this concept is “non-nonsensical”. If you had children, I’m sure you would like to be honored by them. Even if “being honored” to you means “a freethinking atheist child.”

And as this must be the case, then you must admit that you agree with at least one sentence of the bible.

And I suppose that is a start.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

True, true. Nothing is wrong with honoring your parents, and it is not nonsensical. I didn't word that correctly, and you definitely caught me on that. Good parents should be honored by their children, and I hope if I do have children someday that I'm seen in their eyes with respect and love, even if they think that there are ideas of mine that do not make since or check out logically.

However, a line from the Bible does not excuse everything your parents say and do. I know a good many parents who are not the greatest of people (as society sees them) who would love for their children to honor them. That's not to say at all that Julia's parents are bad people. But I do not feel that Julia is not honoring them, like you hinted at earlier.

Indoctrination only occurs after the first person who comes up with the thought. Of course the first person isn't indoctrinated. That's the point! Someone has to come up with the idea first. The argument becomes whether that person is inspired by the divine or listens too hard to the voices in his or her head. (No, I'm not saying the person is necessarily crazy. Everyone has thoughts and ideas.) Also, that's not to say others don't come to the same conclusions later on, as well. For them, indoctrination is not necessary, though it can focus and drive the direction of their conclusions. To only look at indoctrination the way you have does not take into mind other factors of influence, some even I might have missed. Your parents may have came up on their own with the same ideas of the Bible, without the need of your grandparents, but that doesn't mean your grandparents would necessarily have came up with the same ideas on their own and would have needed an outside influence to direct them. Generally when I think of indoctrination, I think of a mass collection of people pushing a thought that does not necessarily come naturally to a human, such as with denominations of Christianity or Buddhism or Shintoism or native religions. Yes, people are inspired to create these beliefs, but generally not everyone will come up with the same beliefs on their own, and thus would have to have the ideas taught to them.

But do look at Julia's situation again. Indoctrination does play a part, since her parents indeed believe in what they are saying, most likely from having gone to church for a long time, or at least lived in particularly religious families. Because Julia was still young, without the message strong in her head yet, she had a different perspective on the situation. As she grew older and more religious from indoctrination and acceptance of what her family and elders told her, the ideas had more time to sink in, which she accepted because she had no reason not to, because of trust in her family and their faith. Trust plays a major part in indoctrination. You can tell me anything you want, but that doesn't necessarily mean I believe in you if I don't trust you. If I do, I'd give it serious thought, more likely accepting it if I believe that you believe your argument is sound enough.

Also, I never said that the Bible didn't have any good ideas. If you read it long enough, you can come out with some great messages, and I know friends who have had their lives changed because of the Bible. And of course there are certain messages that I happen to believe in. But good messages do not mean the Bible doesn't have its problems, particularly with the argument that Jesus must be the son of God, or that there is a God. (Though I suppose anything's possible. :) ) And many of the good messages from the Bible humans could come up with on their own. The reason many don't come up with them on their own is because religions beat our minds to the punch. The first people to come up with religion (or better yet, morality before that) had the chance to use their minds. After that, it's indoctrination and variations on indoctrinated thought.

And no, I'm not an atheist, just agnostic. I live my life like an atheist, but this is a recent development.

Anonymous said...

In Spokane!! Where? How do I get tickets?

Sus in Spokane

Anonymous said...

Any chance of ever coming through Denver?

Anonymous said...

Sorry that was supposed to be from
Proud to be an Atheist

Anonymous said...

For anyone interested in the book Julia mentioned, there's a typo in her reference (this isn't a criticism, simply a statement of fact).

The book is actually called The Reason-Driven Life (emphasis added).

No, I haven't read it, but here is a link to the foreword written by Julia!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey all -
This is great! I really love Julia...she really is saving me a lot of footwork. Anyway, I'm preparing rooms for all of you on your upcoming extended stays...I've got an especially "hot" place for Julia, though...see ya soon!