God in America
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It would be wonderful indeed if a group of persons should arrive on earth who were for something and against nothing. This would be the summum bonum of human organization, wouldn't it? Dr. Ernest Holmes, "The Sermon by the Sea"

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 the one eternal, infinite, intelligent, constant, loving, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent causal energy. It is all that is.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that my reality is created by my use of the Power and Presence of Spirit as me through my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, and if I don't like it, I can change it. If I do like it, I can create more of it! 1 person liked this
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator any moment when I remember who and what I am.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when my father died suddenly when I was 15 years old. I told my brother that I had prayed to God to let Dad live, and my brother told me that God had said, "No." I turned away from a god that could say, "No."
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I am connected to all of creation, I am a part of an infinite Whole, my existence has meaning. 1 person liked this
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Religious Science is some kind of Christian sect or Christian Science or Scientology or New Age. That New Thought spirituality just doesn't exist/isn't significant enough to warrant mention (such as in "Faith in America!").
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Ernest Holmes, who drew together the great teachings of religion, philosophy, psychology, and science as they were known at the beginning of the twentieth century to develop Science of Mind, the basis of Religious Science.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the idea that I am responsible for--that is, able to respond to--my experience of life. The entire universe conspires on my behalf, and when I so choose, I am the greatest expression of Spirit I can be.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator many of the things I was being told about God were not true, or at least not applicable to me.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator and continues to be... fraught with times of great challenge and great discovery and, always, great humility.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Christian, although I don't think I ever quite bought it....
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 continues in her Christian faith, although not avidly. It appears to work for her.... My beliefs and practices are different from hers, but I don't think it's ultimately about beliefs and practices; they are, it has been said, merely the finger pointing at the moon--not the moon itself. I try to remember that it's all about Spirit, not what I happen at the moment to believe about Spirit, and live my life accordingly.

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 Always and everywhere. I am ever walking my faith path.
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 I'm the non-Christian in the mix, and when I am around the rest of the family (not often; we live far apart for the most part) I quietly yield to the majority or choose to not participate.
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 difficult to monitor my thoughts and actions to ensure they are of the highest nature--"for something and against nothing" as Holmes says--but well worth it.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a sculpture of three people supporting a fourth. All of their arms and legs are blended--no separation.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator "Surrender to the Love" by Melissa Phillipe.

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 At this time, I think we are too spiritually immature to combine religion and politics. One's beliefs will, I would hope, inform one's decision-making process, but at present we are too eager to impose our individual beliefs on the greater whole--thus causing dissention and discord, engendering fear and disenfranchisement.
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 Again, I think that our collective spiritual immaturity makes this inadvisable except at the post-secondary level, where students are at choice and have achieved at least a modicum of critical thinking skill.
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 See the answer above. At this point, to think that a person whose faith path includes such sacred writings could teach said writings purely as works of literature is self-deception.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As long as this dialogue includes people of many faiths (not just the Abrahamic three plus Buddhism and maybe Hinduism as is usually the case) and people of no faith, and the participants are truly invested in the dialogue process, then, yes, it is important. Most important to me is getting past the, "Oh, so that's what you believe!" stage and into the, "It doesn't matter what we believe if we are allowing people to starve/die of preventable disease/suffer in any way in which we could effect a change and are not doing anything about it!"
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I am utterly at ease talking about my faith path with others. It shapes who I am in this world; it is a teaching of love, compassion, forgiveness, peace, wisdom, and joy, and I enjoy sharing these aspects of Spirit.
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 It's not really a duty or an obligation--it's a privilege! I try daily to practice my belief that all of creation is an expression of Spirit, and that shows up as respect for other beings, respect for the planet, and, above all, respect for myself as a divine being.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Only if religious beliefs are weak, volatile, or easily compromised. If one's beliefs are fully integrated into one's life, then, no, at least no more than they may be compromised by engaging in any other worldly activity.
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 No--as a life-long student of life (and Life), I have long known about various faith paths. If anything, 9/11 gave me an opportunity to feel grateful that my spiritual understanding sees a bigger picture.

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Published October 11, 2010

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