God in America
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Find your own North Star and let that guide you...don't hitchhike a ride to reason in a vehicle fueled by false promises and driven by a lunatic with a learners permit! - Me

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 The same way religious people imagine god: a big, white, bearded bully in the sky hiding from everyone!

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In sensible ideas and opinions that come from your mind, not your imagination.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Every moment my kids look up at the stars and say: who do you think lives there?
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Doubting my own strength to defend my position against yours. 1 person liked this
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Believing in ME, what is inside me and what I am capabale of doing with my life. My spirit is my mind, my actions, my thoughts and my words.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Atheists are accused of denying god but the only thing I am personally "guilty" of doing is disagreeing with your religion. 1 person liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator ANYONE who is brave enough to stand with me against religion.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That I don't have to pretend to believe in what you believe just because you say so. I am responsible for adhering to my own rules, my own morals and my own ideas of what is right or wrong because really, humans ARE pretty good at being good, without the "help" of punishment and damnation! 1 person liked this

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In everything the nuns told me and what the church threatened me with. Then I grew up and discovered that Jesus, God, Allah and Yahweh all hang out together with Santa and the Easter Bunny in that landfill of wishful thinking minds.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Countless hours spent filling my mind with the ideas of Dawkins, Harris, Maher, MacFarlane, Shermer, Barry, Ferguson, Hitchens, Pullman and Sagan!!!
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A Parochial student in Glasgow, Scotland where your two choices of religion were Protestant or Roman Catholic. I didn't have to attend church to be exposed to religious doctrine because it was literally beaten into us everyday in school when we began the day with the Lords Prayer and begged forgiveness from the nasty teachers bloodying our knuckles for things like burping unexpectably in class!
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.
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 This is how I became an Atheist. Throughout my pregnancy and at the moment I laid eyes on them at birth, I KNEW, with absolute certainity and without a doubt that my husband and I created our children.

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 minute my feet hit the ground in the morning until my head hits the pillow at night.
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 My family is a mixture of my Atheism, my husbands I-Don't-Give-A-Sh@#-ism, my daughters Be-Nice-To-All-ism and my sons Jedi-ism.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In a small town in Wyoming, it is very difficult because I am not amongst like-minded individuals whom I can discuss and exchange thoughts or opinions with. I have no Atheist friends, even worse my childrens friends are outspoken Christians proudly professing their belief in their god and Jesus. In my childrens schools, Christianity is promoted and advertised. I compare living with Atheism as to the first people in the 1980's living with AIDS. But the one thing I am proud of, with respect to how I am "living" with my beliefs, is I don't hide it and I am raising my kids to not allow themselves to be bullied or persuaded by their peers. I'm trying to teach them that "living" with their unique beliefs is nothing to be ashamed of.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Tables strewn with books, newspapers, magazines and articles about everything thats going on in this world.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Billy Joel: Only The Good Die Young because "...I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun!!!"

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 I compare Atheists to the first women demanding voting rights, the first black people marching for equal rights and the first gay couples asking for recognition in marital unions. For too long, Anglo-politics and Christian policies have defined what ought to be legal and what ought not to be legal based on THEIR books. The role of religion in politics is the most unequal, biased and prejudiced treatment of human beings ever and should be done away with. I hope the Atheist movement is at the forefront of this cause.
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 Only if the courses are informative discussions concerning the impact of every religion known to have existed.
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 Should Humpty Dumpty or Rumpelstiltskin be required reading in High School? No. The Bible, Torah, Quran or the Book of Mormon are not works of literature. They are not even works of educational fiction, like say Huckleberry Finn or Of Mice and Men. Religious books are brutal idealogies recorded in manuscript with the intent to manipulate, control, decieve and oppress people into agreeing with the authors egomaniacal musings.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator You mean like between Isreal and Palestine? Or Northern Ireland and Great Britain? No. The thing about faith is that it only AGREES with what it BELIEVES. Faith does not discuss, respect or appreciate opposing views. Interfaith dialogue...now there's an oxymoron!
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes I do feel comfortable sharing my ideas with others...especially the ones who sound like they just stepped out of a time machine! The religious people who have no qualms discussing their "fear of god" or their "love for Jesus" are my favorites! I think most Atheists are shy though. As a group we share a common, polite gene that keeps us from proselytising to others. However, when the subject is introduced, I am not afraid to tell my side of the story:)
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 I have a desire to find others like me, which is so unlike Christianity. Religion seems compelled, with a sense of duty I suppose, to put their beliefs not only into action but down other peoples throats. I don't want to convert or "save" anyone. I just want to talk about what's possible, what is discoverable and what is factual. To help me do that, I read or listen to every word that falls out of Michael Shermers mouth because that man has taught me something that sums up my Atheism perfectly: Choose the idea that makes the most sense. He didn't say those words exactly, but I think his Baloney Detection Kit alludes to that:) I would very much like to put THAT into action.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, religious beliefs encourage politicians to lie about their sexual orientation or whatever other secret they are keeping from the voting public. But it's a Catch 22 because political decisions are compromised by engaging in religion. And only an Atheist President can undo that particular damage to our Constitution.
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 My son was born on September 10th, 2001. I called my husband early the next morning from the hospital to (a) make sure he was getting our daughter ready for preschool and (b) let him know that our son was nursing and sleeping quite comfortably. My husband interrupted me and said: "[Honey] are you watching the news?" I said, "No." He told me to turn on my t.v. but I replied I couldn't as I was still in bed. He said: "[Honey] you gotta turn on your t.v. now." At that moment a nurse walked into my room and immediately turned on my t.v.! Everyone has a 9/11 story and I think each persons story has had an impact on our thoughts about religion, especially "other peoples" religion. For some, 9/11 told them all they needed to know about the Islamic religion. Funny how religion is biased that way huh? My 9/11 story gave me the courage to discuss my religious beliefs with anyone who asks.

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Published October 11, 2010

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