What do we believe? And for God’s sake why?
These are the thorny questions that Lewis Black, the bitingly funny comedian, social critic, and bestselling author, tackles in his new book, Me of Little Faith. And he’s come up with some answers. Or at least his answers. In more than two dozen essays that investigate everything from the differences between how Christians and Jews celebrate their holidays, to the politics of faith, to people’s individual search for transcendence, Black explores his unique odyssey through religion and belief.
Growing up as a nonpracticing Jewish kid near Washington, D.C., during the 1950s, Black survived Hebrew school and a bar mitzvah (barely), went to college in the South during the tumultuous 1960s, and witnessed firsthand the unsettling parallels between religious rapture and drug-induced visions (even if none of his friends did). He explored the self-actualization movements of the 1970s (and the self-indulgence that they produced), and since then has turned an increasingly skeptical eye toward the politicians and televangelists who don the cloak of religiouos rectitude to mask their own moral hypocrisy.
What he learned along the way about the inconsistencies and peculiarities of religion infuriated Black, and in Me of Little Faith he gives full vent to his comedic rage. Black explores how the rules and constraints of religion have affected his life and the lives of us all. Hilarious experiences with rabbis, Mormons, gurus, psychics, and even the joy of a perfect round of golf give Black the chance to expound upon what we believe and why—in the language of a shock jock and with the heart of an iconoclast.
“To put it as simply as I can,” Black writes, “this is a book about my relationship with religion, where my—dare I say it?—spiritual journey has taken me…what it’s meant and not meant to me, and why it makes me laugh.” By the end of Me of Little Faith, you’ll be a convert.