God in America
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"Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor all their own". - Bertrand Russell

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 God is a product of human imagination. Throughout history people, as individuals and collectively, have sought answers and guidance for the mysterious phenomena of nature, and for ways to get along with others. We would like to think that these answers can come from some kind of supernatural parent figure, someone who takes care of us, and leads us. Unfortunately, there is no good evidence that such a thing exists. We are alone in this universe, and we must find these answers for ourselves.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that the natural world and the people in it are more fascinating, inspiring, and wonderful than any religious tradition I have ever heard of.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in realizing that by adopting a religious outlook, people shut themselves off from the real world. An open investigation of the world around us is more wonderful than any religious doctrine.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The value of spirit is in recognizing that the whole of life's experience is greater than the sum of its parts.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That without a belief in the supernatural, people cannot be ethical, moral, or find meaning or value in life.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I was raised in the Protestant Christian religion, and I accepted these concepts as coming from the experience and authority of my elders.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As I became more exposed to philosophy, and investigated other religious traditions, I came to question the truthfulness and sincerity of religious leaders and doctrines.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A Lutheran.
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 Yes, I have abandoned religion and god-belief altogether.
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 Having children did not have a large effect on my own beliefs, but it did bring up new concepts of responsibility for the beliefs of another person (i.e. spouse and the child).

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 The only "practice" is in sharing good stories with friends. By stories, I mean personal experiences, books, lectures, discussions of current events, etc.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, the social traditions (holidays, food, etc.) are not difficult. The doctrinal traditions pose a problem.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It's easy. Living in the USA, religious freedom and tolerance should be celebrated.

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 Religion and politics should stay separate. Individuals should be free to practice their religion, public figures included. However, a religious doctrine should never be asserted as a basis for political action.
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 Absolutely. Religion plays an important role in history, literature, and culture. Caution must be observed that such classes do not turn into opportunities for proselytizing.
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 Perhaps, however, I think they are too advanced for most public school consideration. They could be treated in the same way that Greek or Roman Mythology is handled.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator For most of my life I was uncomfortable discussing faith. I have changed my attitude recently, and now welcome any opportunity to discuss my views.

Get Involved

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Major funding for God in America provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John E. Fetzer Institute, Inc.  Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. God in America is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
The Pew Charitable TrustsFetzer InstituteThe Arthur Vining Davis FoundationsWGBH
Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual.  Major funding provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Major funding for FRONTLINE provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Additional funding provided by the Park Foundation.  God in America, FRONTLINE and American Experience are made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television viewers.
Liberty MutualAlfred P. Sloan FoundationMacArthur FoundationPark FoundationThe Corporation for Public BroadcastingPBS

Published October 11, 2010

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