Sunday, September 15, 2013

'Letting Go of God' Analysis

For World Religions, I was required to watch a TED video by a woman named Julia Sweeney called "Letting Go of God". I encourage you to watch the video for yourself first, then to read my analysis. The link is here

I was not enamored with this video.  I not only felt like it had no real discernable point, but I also had a problem with a lot of the things that Julia Sweeney said.  First of all, the age of reason for Catholics is different than the age of accountability that Baptists have.  The baptists have an age of accountability because they do not believe in original sin or infant baptism, so they must have an age at which one becomes “accountable” for their actions. Catholics practice infant baptism because they, like Lutherans, believe in original sin. 
Rather than the Church deciding that kids can start sinning at the age of seven, “the Church does not define the age of reason as seven years old. Rather, the Church does not obligate Catholics under the age of seven to observe laws which are merely ecclesiastical.” (Blackburn, Jim)  In this way, the age of reason is the age that young Catholics will go through first communion, be accountable to canon law, and be “eligible to act as witness to a marriage, as sponsor at baptism or confirmation, and as a party to the formal contract of betrothal”.  ( Delany, Joseph. "Age of Reason.")
She states that she was a Catholic as a child, but she never specifies whether she is as an adult, though much of her terminology and lack of answers to basic questions of faith lead me to believe that she is not.  One thing that she said that really bothered me was what she said about women and motherhood.  When Ms. Sweeney was told by the two Mormon boys that the greatest gift that God had given women was the ability to bear children, she laughed at them.  I believe that much of our society today has lost an appreciation for motherhood, partly as a result from the extreme end of the feminism movement.  I believe it is downplaying a crucial part of being a woman to degrade motherhood.

When Julia Sweeney finished off her story about the Mormon evangelists by saying that Catholicism is just as crazy, she made an extreme statement without providing and supporting evidence for her theory.  In addition to making an arbitrary statement, she also never truly explained the point of her lecture.  She finished by asking herself rhetorically whether she “knew” that God loved her or “felt” that God loved her.  As a speaker trying to convey some point and as someone involving theological and philosophical point in their argument, I think that she did an extremely poor job of conveying whatever idea she hoped to bring to us.


  1. Good analysis, sweetie.
    Her voice though. I couldn't listen to it.

  2. Amazing, isn't it, how the ignorant can become such vocal critics of what they do not know. The trouble is less about the mind that cannot understand, than the heart which refuses to believe.