Now that I finished Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It, I’d like to share 7 Quick Takes about –
Why You SHOULDN’T read Something Other Than God:
2. You’ve been a Catholic all your life and really don’t see what the big deal is or care about why anyone else would want to become Catholic after living as an atheist most of her life.
3. You think the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception and abortion are totally backwards and enslave women and their bodies and you don’t understand why in a sane world someone with Jennifer’s life-threatening blood clotting issues exacerbated by pregnancy would still decline the use of contraception or sterilization.
7 reasons why I did read and like Something Other Than God
If you don’t fall into any of the above categories about why you shouldn’t read Something Other Than God then maybe should read it – just for fun.
1. As I answered to a friend who asked why I recommend it, I love hearing about and reading about other people and their stories. As a cradle Catholic, my religion was given to me – which I am very thankful for. But I’ve always wondered what it would be like if I’d never known it and then suddenly discovered it. Reading Jennifer’s book is like enjoying listening to a new friend tell me her story and getting a tiny glimpse at what it is like to discover and fall head over heels in love with God, Christ, and His beautiful Church.
2. Honesty. Jennifer shares very honestly why she chose to be an atheist and why she pretty much thought Christians – especially Catholics – were insane. Although it took time, I really admire that because she prided herself as a rational thinker, she was open enough to take an honest look at the whole “God” theory and the Catholic Church – even if she did think the whole idea was completely ridiculous.
3. Her openness to share her questions and invite others to respond through her blog. I like that she intentionally sought out people whom she could dialogue with respectfully and intellectually.
4. Her family. Wow. Even though her dad is an atheist and her mom a former Catholic-turned atheist (agnostic?), they were always open with her about religion. They didn’t want religion forced on her by anyone including themselves. However, when she started investigating theism and Catholicism, they respected her and even encouraged her and have continued to be incredibly supportive of her and Joe and their family – even if they don’t necessarily agree. They are genuinely happy for her happiness.
5. Her husband, Joe. Another wow. Much like my own husband, he seems like the type of guy who once he sees something and understands why it makes sense he accepts it and believes it – just like that. While I (and from what I can tell Jennifer) on the other hand have to circle around and around and then around again before I finally decide it’s safe to land…and even then I still continue doubting and questioning. I was really impressed with both his ambitious drive and his ability to give all his dreams up and begin living a new life once he saw how the Catholic Church really is THE Church Christ founded and remains a part of. I really appreciate that Jennifer included a peek into his own conversion story into hers.
6. Excellent writing. This is going to come out sounding badly but I love her writing and have always thought she was talented but I didn’t know she could write this well! I mean I follow her blog and enjoy her funny crazed-mommy banter and occasional deeper posts but this book was something else. It was like peeling back the in-the-moment blog-writer layer and seeing something even more astounding. I only hope I could write a book like this as well as she has done. (Although it would probably take me double or triple the time it took her…if my mind is still alert by then!) Reading Something Other Than God is like reading a fictional thriller and theological brain stimulator all in one – and enjoying it!
7. Of course my favorite part about reading Something Other Than God is that it made me think. And I love thinking – even it does make my brain hurt. I’ve been going through a sort of “questioning” time with my Faith. Not doubting per say, just re-thinking and trying to re-understand things with a new perspective and understanding I didn’t have growing up. As I read through Something Other Than God, I was surprised more than once when she shared her questions about God and the Church that were almost verbatim to the ones that have been creeping around my brain lately. The answers she found gave me new direction and hope and relief to know that I’m not the only one who wonders about certain things. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Something Other Than God was “life-changing” for me. But I could see how it could be for others – especially those who “shouldn’t” read it. But I can say that it has inspired me to continue on the journey of rediscovering my Catholic Faith and searching deeper for God.
Ok well there you have it friends. 7 reasons why you SHOULDN’T read Something Other Than God and 7 reasons why, on the other hand, maybe you SHOULD.
(P.S. this post contains affiliate links which means you send pretty pennies for our family when you make any purchases via the links.)