God in America
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"Pray as if everything depends upon God. Work as if everything depends on you." -St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church..... And also: "An historian who espouses the Christ-Myth Theory is like a biologist who espouses young-earth creationism. Both are in need of serious assistance." -Anonymous

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 cannot know him, he is beyond my ken, but I can try to understand that which may be understood. My current view? He has made himself manifest from the very beginning, through natural law, through existence itself... I do not believe that He is simply a being without & within the universe who loves (or hates) us 'infinitely'. He simply is, and I am unsure of applying emotional terms, any terms really, to Him. I do believe Jesus' mission was, in a sense, divinely inspired. I also believe that, if God were not real & thus not our creator, then He, as our 'creation', is the greatest idea to have manifested in the entire history of thought, and shall remain so in the aeons to come.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. I also believe that those who would so hastily dismiss the concept of God ought to abide by logic, and in doing so call themselves apatheists, agnostics, or atheist-agnostics. Pure militant atheism is about as defensible as Christian fundamentalism, both bore me half to death.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My 1st conversion experience, from Catholicism to Evangelical Christendom. It didn't last very long. Seeing as I 'de-converted' a year or so later. Nowadays, my moments of belief come softly with little emotional 'shock'. When I am able to fill a starving child's belly with good food and clean water, when I am able to build up shelters for the poor, when I can teach younger children about the world surrounding us, about the stars above and about the life that surrounds us, & when I am able to comfort those who have lost so much; it is at these times that I remember God. 1 person liked this
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Well, I was a secular humanist for around 6-7 years of my life, so I suppose that was when my doubt in God's existence was as great as it could possibly be. Not that I don't have moments of doubt of course...
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Is? Is? There are far too many blatant ones to address! To begin with, the Roman Catholic Church holds that there is no conflict between the the Theory of Evolution and the Faith. The Church does not view homosexuals as evil, nor do the majority of the congregation; we simply object to the bestowal of the term marriage (which to us has both religious and historic connotations) to unions we do not believe the term was intended for. Ten thousand accusations against the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith, and most of them are as well thought out as a speech by Dan Quayle.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yeshua of Nazaret, first and foremost. A non-exhaustive list of those whose lives I admire: St. Thomas Aquinas, Mother Theresa, My Namesake: Daniel the Interpreter of Dreams, and my beloved Mother and Father (who have given so much in support of me). A non-exhaustive list of those whose character I find as appealing as a cow's digestive excrement: Bill Maher (I absolutely abhored him even as a secular humanist), Richard Dawkins (I swear he finally leapt of the deep end; can anyone tell me if he's begun submitting academic papers in (angwy) red crayon?), Stephen Fry (about as witty as a Tolkien cave troll, he was never really funny), and Sam Harris (whoever convinced me to buy that book of his owes me $30 + damages for enduring that sorry diatribe, I daresay that if it were not for people such as he, I'd still be an atheist).
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Peace and unity to all. I certainly *hope* that some will choose to come to the Lord by faith in Yeshua and by good works.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Ehh... not much to be honest...
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My spiritual journey began as one of light (dis)interest while being raised Catholic, a short conversion to an Evangelical sect, followed by a deconversion to atheism and my reasoned philosophy of secular humanism. That was followed by what felt like an inexorable & irreversible shift away from those lack of beliefs to the faith of my childhood. As far as I can tell, my faith is here to stay as long as I still live and, yes, Think. That "slide" as my humanist colleagues called it, was not one of sudden revelation, nor one of emotional shock and awe. It simply coalesced strength and called me back into my local parish church. 1 person liked this
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Roman Catholic, then as an evangelical, then as an atheist & secular humanist. I've come back to my first faith, and as far as I can tell, my faith is here to stay. 1 person 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 My mother is an evangelical christian (no she is NOT a far-right lunatic), and my father tends to hop from a deist perspective to a somewhat agnostic viewpoint.

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 I try to abide by it at all times, and in all places. I go to Church twice a week (does that even matter?), I read the Bible (and the multitude of other works regarding God, his existence or his lack therof) as often as I can. I serve my community as best as I can, and I have served c
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 one filled with numerous Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Deists, and Atheist-Agnostics. It also counts 1 buddhist, 2 hindus, 3 Sufi Muslims, & 1 convert to Judaism among its numbers.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It can be a bit difficult. I live in a rather secular neighborhood, & most of my friends are atheist-agnostics of the non-new atheist/non-antitheist grain, they've come to tolerate me & my godbothering for which I am grateful. My former friends have cut all ties, with the exception of an occasional insult in my inbox (they used to sting quite a bit; they still do, but not as much when I came to realise that most of the letters were sorry ad hominems and not much else). I've also been fortunate enough to befriended a few people with a variety of belief systems ranging from Thelemism and Protestantism to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. I have times of doubt, no need to deny that, but I have found it possible to reconcile my beliefs with what I've learned about the world/universe.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Likely not my bookcase: Dawkins' "God Delusion", C. Hitchens' "God Is Not Great", & Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" do not (generally) a theist make. Of course they're right next to a stack of essays by Plantinga and Polkinghome, P. Hitchens' "The Rage Against God: How Atheism Lead Me to Faith", St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica", McGrath's "Dawkins Delusion", and a Douay Rheims Bible with a Rosary older than my grandfather, so my bookcase may actually detail my spiritual journey, if not my actual faith.

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 Beware where you tread, for here there be metaphorical dragons. I dislike the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and protest their irritating actions most... vehemently. (I try to be a good godbotherer, truly I do, but I am by no means perfect...)
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 At most, let it be an elective course, perhaps funded by a local parish, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc.
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 I recognize the separation between Church and State, however I do believe that religious texts should be taught as works of literature in a humanities/ theology/ philosophy/ Social Studies classes. If religion itself is being taught, it ought not to be at the behest of the State.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Interfaith dialogue is of vital importance; concepts of reciprocity, harmony, and unity are a necessity. The varied faiths of the world, in my personal view, ought to engage and intensify the dialogue between them in the spirit of ecumenism.

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Published October 11, 2010

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