Monday, December 14, 2009

Here is the new cover of the DVD

Letting Go of God has been a completely home made operation.  It's not just a one-woman show, it was a one woman everything.  That's not completely true, actually.  I had a producer for the movie and the stage show, who did a huge amount of work.  And of course all the people who worked on the stage and film productions. But in the deepest sense, this is really a one-man-band.

I was so glad that I started working on this show just when new technology made it possible to do everything myself.  I hated that "It's Pat" had so much studio input (that didn't necessarily make it better or worse, it's just that I didn't get to make my own mistakes because of so much interference.)

"God Said, Ha!" which I was able to direct and have total creative control over is now owned totally by Miramax (Disney now, I guess.)   When "God Said Ha!" plays on cable, I have no knowledge of that.  It's theirs and they can do with it what they want.

So, when it came to "Letting Go of God" it was really important to me to handle everything myself and own it myself.  I had a chance to take the show to a large, well-known off-Broadway theater in New York, but I had to give up most of my ownership in the show and also give away rights to the film and so I said "No." (There were other factors too, like relocating to New York with Mulan and mostly figuring out how to be a mother while doing 8 shows a week - I just didn't think I could hack it.  Also, I was single at the time so I had no one other than hired help to pitch in with parenting - the whole thing was overwhelming.  I was sad it didn't play in a bigger theater in New York, but I felt I would probably lose my mind if I did do that.  I set my sights on figuring out how to film the show instead of take it to a prestigious theater.)

I began to sell CDs of my second monologue "In The Family Way" (which I also own) and to "Letting Go of God" on Amazon and I was surprised that I really liked being a small-time entrepreneur of my own work.  I liked packing the CDs and then the DVDs off in boxes as I got orders for them, and standing in line at the Post Office, and sending them to Amazon to sell.  It's all kind of silly because I could earn (well... theoretically) so much more money working on a show as a writer (I quit my last TV writers job a few years ago) and instead I had (in my mind) opened this teeny store front, like a chewing gum stand, it's so small, and I was making really nothing - pretty much breaking even - but it was mine.  Of course I still work on other things - things that actually make money -- voice overs, writing TV pilots, doing speaking engagements, so this DVD business could be my wee hobby.

I was talking to a good friend of mine, Cindy Chupak, who used to be a writer on Sex & the City (where I spent some time as a consultant) and I told her that I liked sending the CDs off in the mail so much that I almost wanted to be my own fulfillment house for individual orders. I wanted to write a personal thank you with each CD that I sold.  Cindy looked at me with a worried expression and said, "I think it would be really sad for me to think of you doing that.  If I got a CD I ordered of your show, and then got it mailed directly from you to me in the mail, well... that would make me sad for you... y'know?"

That made me love Cindy so much and laugh really hard at myself too.  Why did I want to do that?  Wasn't it enough that I was dragging boxes of CDs to the post office and sending them to Amazon?  Is it my small-world-need-to-connect or is it my obsession with minutia to the point where I don't see the forest for the trees?

I can't explain it.  I thought I would be a bigger time mover and shaker in show biz or something maybe. But, I just like the small things. I like the connection. I like that I make my product and then send it out in the world to people.  Artists couldn't do this before now - not with CDs and DVDs anyway.  I love it that I can do that. Also, I love that I still totally own things - even if it adds up to chump change, it still makes me feel I really earned that money.

Then there was this last year, getting the movie ready to show on cable...  There are all these things that have to be done, like getting closed captioning, and insurance against people like Deepak suing me for defamation (it's so ridiculous, public figures are explicitly open to being parodied or made the butt of jokes - I mean I worked on SNL so I know this, it was discussed constantly - but still I had to get insurance just for a nuisance law suit!)

In any case, over this last year it got to be sad to me. I was doing too much, more than I wanted to do myself.  I decided this was the last project I was ever going to do this way.  If I wrote a play or a book or anything again, I was going to find people who specialized in these things and get them to deal with all the details.  I wanted a publisher. I wanted a distributor.  I wanted to just be the artist again.  Enough with all this!

I moved last year and got to know the folks at my post office. I did absolutely no advertising and no publicity for Letting Go of God over this last year.  None.  And I would sell somewhere between 100 and 200 DVDs a month through Amazon.  I still like taking the boxes to the post office, I still like packing the boxes. I still like touching each DVD with my own hands before it goes off into the world.

I always wondered about the Amazon warehouses.  What were they like?  Did the people there notice and care about what people had ordered? I imagined myself working there.  I would be saying, "Oh! What a great book!  And then they got this other great book!  Wow."  Of course thinking this is a little creepy too - who wants to think people are musing over what different combinations of books and CDs and DVDs people are buying?  But I just can't imagine that it isn't happening!  I liked the image I came up with of the people packing boxes at Amazon.  I wanted to even write something about it.

I was coming to the end of the DVDs I had made for this last year, and so I had my CD graphic designer design a new DVD cover (see the picture above) that fits in more with the design of the CD.  I like this one better.  I am glad my mug is not on the cover.  I ordered the new DVD cases to be "eco" (ha! everything eco!) and it's made from recycled paper (15% more in cost!) and it's not an "avery case" anymore - that means it doesn't have the plastic inside, it's all paper.  I ordered 3000 and figured that would last for all of 2010.  And maybe even 2011 and 2012.

The movie began to show on Showtime. I have done no publicity. Showtime does not even have the artwork on their website, and no one called me about any interviews.  They have showed the movie about ten times so far.  They have the right to show it until the end of October next year. I have no idea how many times they will show it or if they'd buy the right to show it after that time.

Last week I got a big order from them for 350 DVDs!  It was so much fun taking the DVDs to the post office. Everyone I know there was so happy for me, sending off so many DVDs to Amazon.  I was once again glad I was doing it all myself. It felt like Christmas.  Hell, it was Christmas!

But then, last night, I looked and Amazon had ordered 1100 DVDs! And over 300 CDs!  The biggest order ever!!!  The status on getting the DVDs is now 2 to 4 weeks, which sucks because that means people would miss Christmas if that is what they are thinking about!  Plus it takes a while for boxes to get to the Amazon warehouse and get recorded in their system and all that.  I really want the DVDs to be there and the status to be back to "available now!"

So the point of all this boring, boring story is that I started putting together the boxes.  I will run out of the old style DVD (I have only 300 left) and begin to use the new ones.  I have about 15 boxes to send.

I realized that the Amazon warehouse that I'm sending these all to is in Indiana - it's about 3 hours away from where I am now.

So.... I'm going to drive them there myself!

I'm going to get Mulan off to school and start driving to the Amazon warehouse.  I cannot wait to go there!  I cannot wait to do this.  This is going to be awesome.  I'm going to listen to NPR or my audio books all the way.  I tried to convince Michael to take a day off work to go with me, but he can't.  He actually snorted when I asked him if he wanted to go. To me this is an adventure!

I'm still not sure if this all just makes me sadder and more pathetic, or in control of my own creative life.   I think it's probably a combination of both.  But anyway, I'm doing it.  I wonder if I'll get a sneak peak inside the fulfillment center?  Can I sweet talk my way in?  Can I see people filling those Amazon boxes?  Or will it be sad and anonymous?  Will I be gladder to do this all myself or even more embarrassed that my life has gone this route?

We will see.


Petra said...

I believe that as human beings, our innate goal in life is to connect - with friends, with family and yes, even strangers. I understand completely the feeling you get packaging up the CDs and DVDs! I get the same thrill when I package up my cards.

Thanks for the post. I found it not pathetic, but endearing.

Hope the trip to Indiana was fun!

: ) P

Kizz said...

It's an adventure! If it turns out not to be fulfilling you don't ever have to do that adventure again. If you want to do it and don't, that's the pathetic route.

Take pictures!

Daydream Believer said...

Good luck, Julia! And drive safely!

Robin said...

I love the "handmade" aspect of your DVD. I went to Amazon to order it, because I have to have my own copy (and watch it as often as possible on Showtime!) The fact that you are personally involved makes it all the better!! Yay!! road trip to Indiana!!!

HarperHogwarts said...

I understand what Cindy Chupak was saying and it is funny, but it would be pathetic if you were sitting in a corner signing each CD out of desperation, sweating, pleading internally that everyone would buy another one. Instead, it's adorable! Wait, is that condescending? No, I mean that your love of the connection is heartening and inspiring.

You have such a unique perspective. I never would have thought of the people loading the boxes at Amazon--it's just a big anonymous warehouse to me. But you have brought it to life in a way I've never thought of. Of course now if I ever buy anything embarrassing I'm going to be ashamed. So, thanks for that. (just kidding) Have fun today! I can't wait to hear your report back!

Janet said...

If I can order directly from an artist or order through a larger distributing company, I will ALWAYS order from the artist.

It would be awesome if there was a way to order directly from you in addition to ordering directly from Amazon.

Eddie O'Reilly said...

Part of what makes "Letting Go of God" so compelling and genuinely appealing is that it's your personal and intimate story. It's only fitting, therefore that you should be so personally involved in its production and distribution.

BTW - Weather permitting, I love road trips and NPR makes an excellent driving companion. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I think your delight in having a role in distribution is just a reflexion of how much of your heart and soul you put into your work.

You aren't peddling Amway, you're sharing a very personal and touching journey in your life. With knee slapping humor infused in it to boot! It takes incredible talent to be so raw, so close to the bone, and get the giggles going at the same time. You aren't any where near pathetic. :)

Mel said...

I've often imagined a little Amazon factory man in a polyester suit with a clipboard; as he pores over the details of my order, he has a bemused look (possibly with nose-twitching) and makes a judgment on my character based on the cd or book that I have bought. This man takes extensive notes and keeps files. :)

I'm looking forward to hearing about your Amazon experience!

Letting Go of God was so inspiring to see, and I am glad to know that it comes so directly from you.

Marcia said...

It makes me smile to think of you enjoying boxing up the CDs and DVDs and mailing them off. Hope the road trip is fun! :)

Deb O'Neil said...

I stumbled on your show on TV and cried towards the end. No one has captured my own journey so eloquantly. I am a writer, and now feel no need to say, what you expressed so completely. I feel free from the pressure to say it, now that you have done it for me.

I am a fan, and will be here everyday with you, to travel this journey we call life without god. You are loved for your honesty. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations I'm very proud of you for standing up and saying these things!

Anonymous said...

Just check to make sure you are going to the correct Amazon location. Amazon had a location in Munster, IN near Gary but I believe it's been closed. The biggest is in Whitestown, IN about 20 miles N. of Indianapolis and there is another near the Indianapolis airport. I suspect the location you need is Whitestown.

Sadly, I suspect Whitestown got it's name at a time when African Americans were migrating north after the Civil War. Use your imagination...

Anonymous said...

"Julia Sweeney Fan Club" group created on Facebook. said...

Naw - not pathetic... I was pretty sure you recorded this JUST FOR ME anyway, nice to know the copies I have ordered were somehow processed by you! I am giving the audio version of this to folks as a Haooy New Year (with a bottle of Pacific NW Pinit Noir) and instructions to open the wine, turn down the lights, and listen without distraction. So, now you know yet another way your efforts come full circle!

sg said...

Indianapolis is ALWAYS farther from Chicago than you think it is.

Chris said...

Speaking of books the Amazon guy (or gal) would raise an eyebrow at, I can't stop thinking about the books on the bookshelves behind you on the show. To me, they are the supporting cast. Is there a list somewhere of those books?

Lanie said...

I so would've gone with you! You know why? One of those CD's belongs to me! I ordered it on Sat with my Amazon gift card bil got me for my birthday, and it wasn't due to ship out to me until January. Well, today I got an email saying guess what? My Julia Sweeney "Letting Go of God" CD is coming earlier than planned! I should get it my 12/24. Who know if I would've gotten on the turnpike towards "Chicago" instead of "Cleveland" this morning after dropping off Connie at school, I could've met up with you at the Amazon warehouse - in my mind, it's obviously the halfway point between Chicago and Toledo, and you could've jut handed it to me.

I'm not sure if I would've did the "I-just-met-Julia-Sweeney-and-peed-my-pants-in-public" thing before or after you handed me my CD, but other than that, the fantasy is all worked out.

Anonymous said...

Julia, you should have given us a little more warning -- we could have arranged a meetup with you in Indiana ... perhaps at a rest stop LOL ;-)

Bad news about the lives of Amazon employees

Jeff Milner said...

In case they don't let you in, here are some photos I saw posted to the net just a week ago of the fulfillment center.

Tricia said...

I saw your piece on showtime over the weekend and was riveted. Time and again I felt like I could be saying your words. Thanks for being more than a voice, a voice of reason.

I am thrilled to discover you have a blog.

And, that your piece is available on Amazon, I will order a copy for myself. I can't say that I have a single family member that would even listen to it, because of their "faith". But I do know a handful of friends who will.

I'm inspired by your integrity and strength.



Sarah said...

Not everyone in Indiana has the "In God We Trust" plate. I'm happy to say you can also get one that looks like the state flag, which is of course what I did!

Glad to hear your Indiana trip turned out OK in the end!

Andrea said...

I'm looking at the amazon page... and it says IN STOCK.

Did your going-there-yourself ploy work? :D

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled by those who take the words of the Bible and twist them so they can sell DVDs. Specifically, remember when Julia remarked about Luke 14:26 (about "hating" your parents, sisters, etc.), the passage is really saying not to love them more than the poor man, the criminal, the lost, etc. It is saying that you can't just love your own life and serve ONLY your family. It means to be selfless and serve both, especially those that need to be made aware of God's presence in their lives. I challenge you to read the Bible and do some investigating. God knows we are intelligent and says some complex things. Anyone who reads it on the surface and mocks it because it suits their natural instinct to be selfish, is buying into the lies that the enemy whispers in your ear. I know, I believed them once too. Satan is the greatest car salesman on earth. he will make you laugh, stimulate you, REASON with you, and do whatever it takes to make you think that life should be nothing but EASY and FUN. But that's not reality is it? Life is tough, and God wants to give you the tools to navigate it, knowing your true worth. To think you already know it is false, because you doubt yourself sometimes. Not very concrete. But He ALWAYS knows! Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. I mean, look at it! Sweeney is selling something just like Bill Maher! It's a trend to bash God because it sells! God doesn't want money from you or to brainwash you. He wants you to be free from yourself! Its human selfishness that's taken the freedom He's given us and turned the Earth into the selfish place it is! Look into the concept of free will. That is the next step in the investigative process. You are the princes and princesses of a kingdom greater than your own. Be broken of yourself, and be free!

Matthew said...

I truely feel sorry for you. You have no idea what you are talking about in this monologe. You don't even have a baby's grasp on absolute truth. I feel sorry for anyone who orders this for learning or entertainment. It is garbage. I watched it on television until my stomach was wrenching in pain becuase of wanting to vomit from this jibberish and nonsense. I pray that you will find a church who teaches absolute truth of God and isn't in it for themselves, but is in it for God. That will help you understand the Truth.

Anonymous said...

Julia, I just watched your "Letting Go of God" special on Showtime. I was so moved by your words. I, too went to church and bible school as a child, but as I grew into adulthood, I began to question the existence of God. Once I had heavily researched Darwin's theory of evolution, as well as other scientific evidence, i came to the same conclusion you did. I truly believe that the world would be so much better off if religion didn't exist. Thank you for affirming my disbelief in God. And I think you're very brave in admitting your feelings publicly. I admire that. Also, I love your work as an actress. You're very talented, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I watched Letting Go of God last night and it really helped me with some of the struggles I had with believing. My scientific left brain knows the truth, but my very creative and imaginative right brain wants to believe there is something more...something to hold on to. I think knowing the truth is more important than holding on to a lie. You are very brave, and you helped me with my own journey. We won't know until it's all said and done, but I think that when we die, we will simply be free of pain. That in itself is a comforting thought. So, we will keep living our lives as the moral and wonderful people that we already are, and hope that the people around us enrich our lives as we do the same for them. I help because I want to, not because I think there is a God upstairs who is keeping score. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving my conflicting thoughts some peace. You are wonderful!

Brown Sparrow said...

Hi Julia, I just caught "Letting Go Of God" on Showtime today and I really loved it. I didn't even know it existed until I stumbled on it while channel surfing.

Dempsey said...

Try not to listen to the bible-thumpers. I see several have left comments here. Some people simply refuse to listen to reason. They will always stubbornly hang on to their beliefs, even though deep down they know God doesn't exist--can't possibly exist.

Here's a little religious nut story: My daughter came home one day from playing with the neighbor girl. She told me that her friend's mother would not allow her to read Harry Potter books. Guess why? Because they have to do with magic and witches and wizards. I later found out that this lady belonged to the catholic church, which is infamous for having perpetrated the witch hunts. The Catholic Church commissioned a man named Heinrich Kramer to write "Malleus Malficarum" which means "The Hammer of the Witches." This was a guide on how to identify and kill witches. I find it interesting that they believe God magically created the universe and mankind, but get all freaked out by supposed magic from others. This lady that denies her children from reading the wonderful tales of Harry Potter, were she alive during the witch hunts, would have been right there at the fireside screaming "Burn, Witch Burn!"

Roger Craig said...

Just caught "Letting Go of God" on Sho and I was knocked out! I spent a good portion of the show nodding my head in agreement. I felt like I was right there with you in the room. Amazing stuff, Julia. Thank You so much.

Malar Gandhi said...

Hi Julia,

Had a chance to watch your monologue 'letting go of god'. I am so thrilled:)

Coming from the family (Hindus), I was always a problem'...they asked me to have my own 'view' but still to participate and practice Hinduism along with them. All I could say is 'when we were young we had small toys, for grown-up its just bigger toys (Hindu deities)'!

I like the way you corelated real life stuff to knock down few 'many people suffer more than the Jesus did'.

An 'Atheist' is the word best described me.

But to strike conversation with others, I experimented with my own key words':) From Atheism, at one point I jumped into 'Buddhism'! Thought it is in middle path, very you said, now painted much like hinduism!!!

Atheist, Radicalist, Scientology' Pastafarian' and now 'Naturalists' sounds so appealing and very appropriate.

Cody Casterline said...

Whoah, how did I miss the DVD coming out? I just went to grab one from Amazon, so maybe I'll get one of the ones you drove over personally.

While your peers in the entertainment industry may think your personal involvement in your work is "sad", I think taking pride and ownership in your work is great!

I'm looking forward to seeing (as opposed to only hearing) the show performed!

fondfire said...

This was a trip to read! I had no idea how much love was behind that CD when I ordered it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Just because you cannot see, touch, comprehend or understand God doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. And just because you don't understand why God created this world, the people on it and all of nature doesn't mean God dissappeared. Even Einstein, with all of his postulations and theories, still believed in God, although not a personal one, to the day he died. Do you think he had all the answers? ---of course not. Scientists tell us that atoms are some the smallest building blocks of the known universe. Have you ever seen an atom? No? Well either have I, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Do scientist know everything about atoms? No, they don't, that's why its called atomic theory. And although atoms can't be seen or felt scientists believe they exist. But what made the atoms?--atoms that make up our entire Universe? --scientists are silent about that. My point is that even those who claim to know the universe and its creation cannot descibe how the smallest of elements was created. The fact is that God is the energy (light, fire, electricity and so on) and the motion (gravity, movement of electrons around the nucleus of an atom) that holds together the universe and makes life posible--- we humans have no explanation for and can't understand or describe that energy completely and probably never will. Yet nearly everyone can acknowledge that atomic and subatomic energy does indeed exist---so why can't God exist as well? With that in mind, I can safely say that God and atomic energy will continue to exist whether or not we choose to accept them or not.

RVGuys, Newt Perdue said...

I just watched your monologue. It was a brave thing to do. Today in the USA, admitting you are unsure or unwilling to believe in a God is tantamount to saying you were a communist in the McCarthy era, or like you said, worse than admitting you are gay (I'm not saying you are gay!). Further, I was impressed with your reasoning and research. Not to mention your ability to pull a 2.25 hour monologue off with such humor and seriousness at the same time. You've got a new fan. Thanks for being willing to stand up to those majority of people that take everything they believe from their peers without critical thinking it through on their own. I hope you don't get too much negative reactions that affect your career. (Say goodbye to the American Legion speech engagements though). Thanks for sharing.

RVGuys, Newt Perdue said...

Anonymous above said that scientists take atoms on faith, just like others should take God on faith. I'm sorry but a physicist will tell you he has tools to probe atoms and recognize the results of the probing. They have theories that when exercised behave just as expected. cause and effect. Tell me how many prayers have gone unanswered. No cause and effect. It's nice to say that God is energy, light, etc, but that's not the moral God of the Christian bible. I think all of us would like there to be a God that would be there for us when we needed him, but it just ain't so and we are the better for it. Just my opinion. I could be wrong.... I doubt if I or anyone else will know for sure.

Unknown said...

I have always admired you, Julia. When I was younger i had crush on you watching SNL. Anway, wanted to say that you talking about how you loved being a small-time entrepenuer reminded me of reading Marx (I'm a social work doctoral student and this semester have had to read more Karl Marx than I ever thought I would) Marx theorized that people were happiest when they had control over their own labor rather than the proletariat giving their labor to the captialists for a petty fee. Simple idea but oh so true, and perfectly demonstrated in your writing. Love reading your blog. Fellow atheist,

Richard said...

It's not whether you believe in God. It's what you do about it either way.

Anonymous said...

I'm giving You a standing ovation from my couch! I love how thoughtful you are! Yes, You've probably heard this all before, yet I hope this meets your eyes, and makes you feel good:)
Showtime is playing "Letting Go of God", and I just watched most of it, for the first time.(Turned it on in after it had begun.) I'll watch it again.
I wonder if you get a lot of Pis*%d off Christians on here... It doesn't matter in the end- You found the Beauty and Depth of LIFE and I applaud you for that. My step father (raised Catholic) is an Atheist... I honestly can NOT understand how any Catholic can buy into such NONSENSE!
I do wonder what you make of Quantum Physics?? I would LOVE to hear your view points of that! And did you see "What the Bl#$%P do we know?!"? That's my favorite 'avenue right' now. I went through a phase where I too was an Atheist, believing that church and God were all just BS answers for death.
Now, after studying religions, I've decided to trust my own Consciousness:) I like going into a meditative state and traveling to Quantum Universes and alternate dimensions. Fascinating Indeed.
Other than that, I'm just a boring single MOM, of the best 8 year old Son ever! He is the LIGHT of my heart. Who knows, you may hear of him: Jazer James Kenyon-Great Actor and Singer! (He's in both Theatre and Private Vocal lessons). Mulan- if you're reading this, My Son is a Great Catch! :) Handsome too.
If you get bored, and want to respond, or my son's jazerjames@gmail.
May this find You and Your Family with Happy Hearts <3
Chelsea, in Billings Montana

M.A.S.H.fest said...

We here in Winnipeg are holding a film festival and your film, "Letting Go of God" is playing in August. We're thrilled about it!

Joshua said...

For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. -2 Peter 2:21

Anonymous said...

You sound like you feel great. Loose 10 pounds and you'll feel even better.

You write a great essay (call it a blog if you wish). I try to read you regularly.

Bob M

Anonymous said...

I SO enjoyed your storytelling this evening...It is truly a loss to millions of people that we will no longer enjoy your contributions to the entertainment business. You are VERY good at what you do.

Anonymous said...

Lesbo Julia Sweeney makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

You are the reason of the lost souls of GOD, and the reason the love of ower creator is being lost

Anonymous said...

I don't usually like to respond to ignorant posts but Dave and Anonymous above challenge my resolve. Julia, I know you often go through doubts about your feelings and when you read people like these you may intensify your feelings, but I feel you are the few that have the guts to say what so many of us don't. There are millions of "nice" and well-meaning people that believe in the myth of God, but a few are so ignorant that they cause the bad decisions of governments, the white sheeted responses to their ignorance and the suffering of so many. Luckily, most religious people let us go our way without punishment. I'm hoping that the ignorance that the people of the United State show in electing officials based on their religious fervor and ignorance will subside as more of us get educated. Thanks for the entertaining, but at a much more basic level, your emotional honesty in sharing your thoughts with as many people as you can. In your "retirement" poke your head out ever so often and keep the rest of us honest.

Gregert Johnson said...

I watched LGOG yesterday. I had heard an excerpt on NPR a while ago, but it hadn't included the story of your Mormon visitation. Having heard that now, I'm prompted to add 2 cents of my own:

Years ago, back in the 60's in fact, I was walking in the Stadtpark in Vienna when I stopped to examine an easel that had been set up in the pathway. Almost immediately a young man appeared at my elbow and asked me in German if I was acquainted with The Book of Mormon. I replied, "No - uh, nein." "You're an American!" he exclaimed, and proceeded to tell me that he was from Salt Lake City, and had been sent to Vienna on his mission. I then was treated to the entire saga, including the conflict between the Lamanites and the Nephites. He added, however, a detail that was not included in your treatment: to punish the Lamanites for their inherent wickedness, God turned their skins a darker shade, which, of course, is why the Indians ("Native Americans", in PC) are brown. But in time they have become more "morally regenerate" (no doubt through contact with the whites), which has caused their skins to become progressively lighter. "And do you know," he concluded, "I know Indians who are as white as any cousin of mine!"


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Unknown said...

You are amazing. Two years ago I became agnostic in thought and within the last year or so I have evolved into full fledged atheist reasoning. As I am sure you do, I think of Richard Dawkins as a great man, but I now have an equally great woman to look up to. Julia Sweeny you are a Genius and a wonderful talent. I just watched your show, "Letting Go of God", on Showtime and then again on the internet. I am in awe of your ability to speak from the heart. You speak in an intellectually stimulating yet easy to follow and entertaining manner. I've seen your work on SnL and to be quite honest it was nothing like this. Even back then I could tell that you were a talented performer but after I watched "Letting Go of God" I realized that Julia Sweeny is really something special. You are truly amazing Julia.

p.s. I'm single.... :)

You're Sincerely Admired,

Woody from New Orleans

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just finished watching "Letting Go of God." In fact, I watched it twice today, once by myself and later with some family. It was brilliant and a story that had to be told. Atheists in this society feel they have to hide, so coming out is a great thing for the rest of us. I really related to your dedicated introspection during your journey for knowledge. Good luck to you and your family.

SolarRich said...

The answers to all of your questions about God can be found in the teachings of Meher Baba.
To believe in God or not believe does not matter to God. All he cares about is that you are thinking about Him. It seems like God is on your mind all of the time. This may indicate a very high spiritual soul.
You certainly show great compassion for your friends and all people.
This of course is the most important commandment, to love God and to love God in your fellow man.

dug said...

Loved "Letting go of god." You made it great and a connecting experience. I remember you saying "sometimes the invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Is that your quote or did it come from Delos B. McKown? Just curious - he seems to be credited with it, but only recently.

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