God in America
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The fundamental responsibility of every thinking being is to think for oneself.

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 Source of all things.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Obviously something caused the Universe to come into existence. The question "Is there a God?" is the wrong question. A meaningful question would be "Is there a God that cares about humanity?". Despite all of our childish wishful thinking and willingness to turn a blind eye or attempts to rationalize the events around us, the answer to the latter question is "Obviously, no." No one has ever been "divinely inspired". No person or book speaks with divine authority. There is no divine authority. "God" is a pretend parent substitute for people who are supposed to be grownups.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when at age 7 I accompanied my father doing volunteer work at an institution for the disabled and saw things that no caring "God" would ever allow.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator non-existent.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator putting reason first. Putting faith ahead of reason is, by definition, unreasonable. By definition.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator "you can't be good without God".
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator my parents.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator critical thinking.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator we are on our own, and our motivation to do the right thing is that all we have is each other.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator interesting.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator responsible for my own beliefs and behavior. I attended my preacher-grandfather's relatively fundamentalist Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which I and my friends enjoyed solely for the socializing.
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 No different, thank The Source.
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 Stronger than ever. To remain sane in this world it is necessary to indulge in the belief that there is something eternal about those we love.

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 In my head, all of the time.
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 just refer any "believers" to my website, and we just leave it at that.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Have to bite my tongue a lot at work.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator books and more books. Science, philosophy, history.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun. And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain.

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. Cultural traditions such as religion are comprised of centuries of tiny sprinklings of wisdom into a sea of ignorance and politics intent on maintaining the privileges of those in power. The hypocrisy and hysterical defensiveness of "believers" demonstrate that their beliefs are baseless. Separation of church and state is not a war against religion. Religion is a war on reason. Putting faith ahead of reason is, by definition, unreasonable. By definition. Separation of church and state requires that there be no mention of religion in any legislation or ordinance. No "faith-based initiatives". No exemptions from taxes, ADA requirements, or any other laws of the land. The government has no business deciding which people and which organizations qualify for a "religious" exemption. Responsibility to abide by all laws applies to all employers, property owners, and employees without distinction as to their ostensible religious affiliations. The fastest growing "religion" in America is "no religion". There is no reason we should be supporting religious wars on human rights by providing churches, synagogues, and mosques with free tax-based national services or local services such as fire and police protection. Extorting acquiescence to dogma as a condition of employment should not be defensible under the law.
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 courses should be taught, with no proselytization, of course. Studying comparative religion in college is how I came to the conclusion that religion is humanity's most common developmental disorder.
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 Sparingly, but only in the context of comparative religion.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Finding common ground is good, as long as there is no intent to impose beliefs on others, and at least an attempt is made to apply critical thinking to the discussion.
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 love it. Conversations don't tend to last too long. "Believers" get hysterically defensive. Critical thinkers simply agree.
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 Doing the right thing and promoting the greater good is my life, as should be everyone's. I encourage people to think for themselves, think critically, not look to anyone else - especially not to the religious - to tell them what "the right thing" is, and to look at improving the future for everyone as the only purpose anyone really needs.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Anyone who believes in doing the right thing already has all the religion they need. Anyone who believes in imposing religious beliefs on others should not leave their homes, let alone get engaged in politics.
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 9/11 reinforced my belief in the need for worldwide freedom from religion.

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Published October 11, 2010

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