God in America
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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 A man who has a comforting and benevolent appearance. Someone who is loving and welcoming.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In the Holy Trinity. That Jesus Christ died and rose again for my sins and all other believers' sins.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator When I hear stories of miraculous events such as the teenage boy who fell into icy water and was submerged for about twenty minutes with no permanent damage to his body or mind. I know there must be a God when things like that happen.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator No specific time. Every once in a while a feeling of doubt washes over me because sometimes it seems impossible that our God is as powerful and almighty as He truly is.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Everything to me. Without it, I would have eternal damnation.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That we're all judgmental, rigid, and unwelcoming. This is not the case. Sometimes Christians in general just get a bad rep based on a few radicals.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Barbara T. (family friend) and Cheryl H. (late family friend)
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator All those who accept God into their hearts and repent of their sins will be saved from eternal death. We will receive eternal life and joy after our earthly suffering.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the same thing I believe now.. I believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and that Jesus was sent to die for our sins.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Filled with ups and downs but has overall always been an important part in my life.
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 No, not really. We are all Lutheran and attend the same church. I think I'm a little more conservative and accepting of certain issues such as homosexuality.
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 I am not a parent yet. I believe having children will draw me closer to God because I will have to put even more trust and faith in God than before.

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 At my Lutheran school everyday and in church on the weekends.
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 No. My entire family is Lutheran and has always been Lutheran.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Going to a Lutheran school and being raised in the church has allowed me to live my faith easily throughout my life. College next year will most likely be a huge adjustment as I am going to a public university, but I am confident that I will be able to make that leap.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the many crosses that we have hung up on the walls. Family prayers before meals. Love and compassion.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Oceans by Hillsong United

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 personally believe politics should mirror our Christian values. The world would most likely be much more peaceful and less corrupt than it is now.
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 I think they should be offered for any children who would like to learn more about certain religions, but they should not be forced. No adolescent responds well to being forced into anything, much less religion.
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 Once again, I believe it would be nice to include these works of literature in optional religion courses, but nothing should be forced.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, I believe it is. This allows us to be aware of others and their beliefs. This allows us to truly see a person and love them for who they are like God commands us to. This also allows for better discipleship if we are well educated on the other religions of those around us.
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 and no. I think it is easier in a safe and open environment such as my Lutheran school and church. It is much more daunting to speak of my faith in a public setting or to strangers.
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 Yes I believe that I, along with all other Christians, possess the duty to show love and compassion to all around us with judgment or prejudice. We also have the duty to share the beliefs and values of Christianity in hopes of educating and converting others.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, at times I think they are. There are many political issues that are quite contrary to what God has commanded us to follow. Following politics over God's commands leads us away from our beliefs.
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 I was very young when 9/11 happened so I cannot truly compare and contrast my beliefs prior to 9/11 with my beliefs post 9/11. But I can say that situations and events like this cause me to believe even further that it is important to share our beliefs with one another in attempts to understand and love one another.

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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.
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Published October 11, 2010

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