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 I imagine God as a mythical person in the sky who people turn to in times of need.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that there is no empirical evidence that God exists. I believe that life is fulfillment enough without having to believe in religion. My morals and values come from the people that have guided me, and I want to live my life in a way in which I am a good person. I don't feel that a belief in God or religion has anything to do with that.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator belief in the nonexistence of God. I have always questioned the existence of God and was fascinated by science.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator an incredible moment of freedom. I have always been doubtful of religion and in favor of scientific facts and reasoning.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that being an Atheist means you are a bad person. More wars have been started in the name of God than for any other reason, which has resulted in the deaths of millions. Morals and values do not come from the bible. In the U.S., states with the highest percentages of atheists have the fewest murders, and the most religious states have the most murders. People use religion as an excuse to do a lot of horrible things, like hate homosexuals, molest children, and murder those who have different beliefs.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator no one. I have role models in which promote freedom of thought. My atheistic role model is Richard Dawkins. He is brilliant in that he tackles the idea of religion in a way that would change any religious person's beliefs if they actually had an open mind.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator tolerance of everyone. I do not judge anyone based on religion, race, sexuality, etc. I believe that everyone has the right to believe in what they want, and if their personal choices aren't hurting anyone, who is to say they are wrong?

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that I didn't know what to believe in. I was exposed to religion but was never forced to learn anything. I had a baptism, first communion, and almost a confirmation. Three weeks before I was to be confirmed I stopped going. I thought, "How do I know this is for me?"
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator easy. I've never been spiritual or religious. The only time I ever prayed was when something bad happened. I feel like this is how most people live in their spirituality. They only turn to God when they think something is going to happen, don't want something to happen, etc. People should instead look inward and wee what they can do in the situation. Human beings are a lot stronger than they think, and leaning on something that isn't there just makes us weaker.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Catholic, however we never went to church after I was a little kid.
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. Although my parents don't go to church, or really do any practicing of religion at all, my atheism is something completely different for them.

How I Practice My Faith

How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Atheism is not a faith. However, living this way, for me, is rewarding. To not have to worry if "someone" out there is reading my thoughts, judging my actions. I live my life for myself, however for some reason I am judged by the religious for not believing what they believe. As an atheist, we're generally extremely accepting of others, yet those same people we accept for believing God deem us immoral.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

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 There should be none. Separation of Church and state was the firm stance of the founding fathers of this country. What does someone's belief in a god have to do with what they will do for this country?
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 No. We need to teach facts in school. Homer's epic tales are taught in schools, and no one thinks of those as true, but when anyone talks about religion it is seen as the accepted form of thought.
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 There is no such thing as religious tolerance. If you're putting all of these things together it's just asking for arguments and fights to happen. Religious teachings should be left to the home and church.
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 absolutely comfortable talking to people about being an atheist. The problem is that religious people do not want to hear about why I don't believe what they do.

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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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Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual.  Major funding provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Major funding for FRONTLINE provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Additional funding provided by the Park Foundation.  God in America, FRONTLINE and American Experience are made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television viewers.
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Published October 11, 2010

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