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Faithbook Joe3Eagles

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish. ~ Unknown

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I imagine god as an imaginary being, created by humans originally to explain the forces of nature, but then corrupted into a tool used by the powerful to keep the powerless from revolting against them.
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My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe that the sanity of reason will eventually overcome the insanity of religion, despite the powerful forces interested in maintaining the status quo. It will be a time when our embrace of science and reason will assign religion to the dustbin of human history, when we will look back with ridicule to this time of childish emotional neediness. 2 people liked this
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Religion can be THAT petty. While millions of people are dying of AIDS and starvation in sub-Saharan Africa, we find it more important to pray for our favorite sports team to win The Big Game. Meanwhile, an African child's prayer for a bowl of rice goes unanswered. 3 people liked this
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have never doubted the truth of Atheism. Since it's not possible to prove whether gods exist or not, there's always the possibility that I'm wrong. But if I am wrong, which religion is right? They ALL say they're "The One True Faith" (cue angelic choir). Since there are thousands of different flavors of faith, the odds of picking the right one are pretty slim. Does that mean all the billions of believers who picked the wrong faith, usually as an accident of the geography or time in history they were born into, will also burn in hell along with us godless, immoral Atheists? Well, join the party! It should be a blast! 2 people liked this
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator nothing. Period. My desire to do good works and lead a moral life is not based on the need to bribe my way into heaven, or prevent my being banished to hell. It is based on my desire to improve the lot of the people who are still here after I die. If it turns out that we Atheists are wrong, then I'd rather be partying it up with the fun people in hell than oo-ing and ah-ing at the glory of god for the rest of eternity. That sounds like it could get a little boring after the first 1 or 2 billion years. 2 people liked this
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that so many theists think of Atheism as a faith/belief system. Calling Atheism a belief is like calling "bald" a hair color, or saying "not collecting stamps" is a hobby. Atheism is simply the LACK of belief in the existence of supernatural deities. As a result, we do not worship Satan, because, like God, he doesn't exist. 2 people liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Umm, Elmer Gantry? (Look it up) Fortunately, I have no spiritual role models. I pity the people that look up to the likes of Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Pope Benedict XVI, only to see them go into spin control when they get busted. I prefer role models such as Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who based their lives and careers on reality and the betterment of mankind, rather than on swindling the suckers of the world. 2 people liked this
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There are none. One of my favorite aspects of Atheism is it's lack of mumbo-jumbo. 2 people liked this

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and God. As I grew up and learned how to think rationally, I learned that they were all make-believe. 2 people liked this
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator away from the need to believe that an invisible daddy that lives in the sky will keep me safe and warm for eternity because I'm afraid to die and don't want to accept that the universe doesn't care about us. Towards the understanding that, as a species that has evolved to the point of awareness of our own mortality, we have an obligation to overcome our instinctive fears and do what we can to improve the conditions under which we live while we're still alive to do it. 2 people liked this
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Roman Catholic, but my participation was forced by a lack of choice, having attended a Catholic parochial school until the middle of 7th grade. 2 people liked this
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That would be an understatement. Both of my parents are devout theists. My mother vacillated between practicing and non-practicing Catholicism. She was torn by her belief that the church didn't want her because she was divorced. My father bounced between the twin emotional crutches of alcoholism and evangelical Christianity. My observation of the results of the empty promises of their faiths served to solidify my Atheism with cruel examples of reality. 2 people liked this
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't have any children, so I can only speak theoretically on this topic. The one thing that I would NOT do to my children is subject them to the institutionalized religious indoctrination that most families of faith allow, happily oblivious to the emotional and psychological damage that such indoctrination inflicts on their impressionable minds. While some forms of discipline are acceptable to keep the little monsters in line, threatening them with eternal fire and damnation for the most insignificant transgressions is nothing short of child emotional abuse.
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How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator While there is no "practice" involved with Atheism, many of us find comfort and friendship in the fellowship we share. One of the main tools religion has to keep people "in the fold" is the social structure that the membership uses for emotional support. Atheists, being human, also take advantage of that same sense of community by attending lectures and debates as well as other social gatherings. 2 people liked this
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Being an "out and proud" Atheist in America may be safer than doing so in an Islamic country, but the bigotry, distrust and outright hatred is still there. Violence against Atheists by the hypocritical followers of the Jesus who preached tolerance and love of our fellow man is far from unheard of. Despite these threats, I feel it is important to give as much as I can to the promotion of Atheism as an alternative to living a delusional life. 3 people liked this
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My bookshelf! (sorry, Scott. I just had to steal that from you) 2 people liked this
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The best film that represents what I think of religion is the documentary "Religulous" by Bill Maher. There are scores of books that I could list, but I will go with "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists", by Dan Barker.
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Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Absolutely none. The nature of religion is such that it will tend to promote legislation that favors itself over any other faith, to the detriment of anybody who is not of that faith. That is why the Founding Fathers devised a secular form of government, not a Christian one, despite what current religious activists want us to believe. To quote Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, written by George Washington in 1796, read aloud on the Senate floor before being ratified unanimously, and signed by President John Adams in 1797, "... the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion..."
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Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Comparative religion, where all religions get equal time and discussion should definitely be taught. This would include past religions, which we now call Mythology. This level of perspective will teach children that all religions are myths. When the current ones eventually fall out of favor, they will also earn the label of Mythology. A great deal of the blame for American intolerance of other faiths, or lack of faith, is our near total ignorance of them. 3 people liked this
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, absolutely. They need to be presented as the works of fiction that they are. It's only through knowledge of the tenets and practices of the various religions that future generations will understand the absurdities common to all of them.
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Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Religious bigotry is alive and well among the faithful. People of different faiths will tolerate each other to a degree, but feel threatened by Atheists. In my experience, Atheists are not welcome.
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Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As long as the discussion remains civil, yes. Unfortunately, when it turns to ad hominem attacks, things start to get uncomfortable. A conversation with a theist about my atheism rarely ends civilly. I'm often hollered at for not allowing them to "save" me or they simply retreat to the "All I need is my faith" ploy in defense of the logically indefensible. 2 people liked this
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My lack of faith has no effect on my sense of morality or civic duty. They come from the environment in which I was raised and my responses to it, as well as a sense of equal justice for all and the evolutionary development of community benefit. Civic issues of importance to me as an Atheist include the necessity of the separation of church and state, and defense of the US Constitution, especially the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to protect our democracy from the evils of religious fundamentalism, which would impose a Christian theocracy upon all Americans. 2 people liked this
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Politics is the victim here, not religious beliefs. The mix of religion and politics only creates another method for the tyranny of the majority to oppress minority groups. As Steven Weinberg famously said, "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." 2 people liked this
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Due to the number of people killed by the 9/11 attacks, it has become the poster child for the rancid fruits of terrorism born of religious fundamentalism. Similar acts have and continue to occur, unrecognized by the oblivious American public, on a regular basis. Some examples of the horrors perpetrated by Christians include the bombing of abortion clinics, the murder of doctors who perform abortions, and the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, to name a few. To defend myself against verbal attacks on my vocal brand of Atheism, I've had to educate myself about all the lurid sexual escapades and genocidal atrocities demanded by God of the characters in the Christian bible, as well as the blood-soaked histories of all the major religions. While I'm more capable of discussing Atheism with religious believers, I'm often concerned for my physical safety, given the track record of some of the people who adhere most irrationally to their faith.
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Published October 11, 2010

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