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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 do not imagine God. Gods do not exist. As humans, we would do so much better if we let go of our superstitions and used that mental energy to focus on the present world and other people. To live your life in hopes of some better, eternal life after death is nonsense. Once you die, there is nothing. You are just gone. It is only logical to live the best way possible and do everything in our power to ensure the planet's survival during our limited lifetime. 3 people liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that man controls his own life. There is no unseen force waiting to reward or punish your every action or inaction, only natural reactions - cause and effect. Destinies are not pre-laid out. We are our own creator. 2 people liked this
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when I realized how frequently religion has been used as the excuse to abuse human rights. I was never a believer per se, but did not feel the need to label myself as an Atheist until standing up for LBGT rights in the U.S. People's belief in God is the only roadblock to equality. This made me open my eyes to how God is used to justify all kinds of cruelty world-wide, by nearly every religious sect. 3 people liked this
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator never, really. I've played the part of being a "maybe believer" in god (and gods). I knew I was play-acting to fit in with one group of people or another. It is so much better being proud of who you are and free of imaginary friends that hold you back from progressing as a human. 2 people liked this
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Atheists are immoral, angry people, incapable of love, or random acts of kindness. In actuality, studies show that Atheists are happier, kinder, and form stronger relationships than our religious counterparts. God doesn't make you a good person....you make you a good person. 3 people liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator non-existent. I have no one specific role model. That said, there are many brilliant Atheists throughout history and presently who I admire for their ability to speak up about being Atheist, their fight for secularism in government, and braving the world where they are considered villainous simply because of their disbelief. 2 people liked this
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that there is no tenet/practice/teaching. I freely get to live my life, the way I choose, without fear, without shame. 3 people liked this

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in Santa Claus. Wholeheartedly. I thought Santa was the best thing ever. Once I realized he was imaginary, stories told and actions imitated generation after generation, it wasn't easy to realize that all mythology, including modern religions were also quite fictitious. I was 8. 2 people liked this
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator interesting. At 16, I tried on Catholic shoes for real, attending teen focused Cathechism. I found it foolish and hard to disbelieve. I was also "Pagan" for a few years. Looking back, I realized that I didn't so much believe in any deities the way other Wiccans or Pagans did...I did like the ritual of performing rituals...it gives a person a sense of control - which is probably the same emotional feeling many religious people get by prayer or attending church. I quickly realized that I didn't need such crutches. Humans are naturally inclined to ritualize...so one should do it for well being (such as meditation, doing a hobby you enjoy, even a set routine). We like patterns. However, liking patterns as a sense of well being, and believing that by doing these patterns you are going to "get an eternal reward"or" problem sovled are not the same things. 2 people liked this
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator (allegedly) a Catholic. My parents always said we were Catholic, but we never attended church nor did I attend cathedcism. I was baptized and that was essentially my religious background. 2 people 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 I don't think so. My parents still claim they're Catholic, but it is obvious to me that internally they are truly Atheists. They raised me to be who I am, a person of non-belief. A good part of my non-belief was learned from them based on how unimportant religion was to them. 2 people liked this
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 No. I worry more because I feel many Christian churches today are very cult-like. I would not want my children falling prey to that. Yet, despite my fears, I don't raise them to believe or not believe. I am doing my best to instill the importance of knowledge and teach them how to think critically. This will help them make the best decisions for themselves...and if one day that leads them to belief, so be it. 3 people liked this

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 Every day I am a live...I am proof that science makes sense and gods do not exist. 2 people liked this
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 In our house, we are all atheists. Well, my husband, myself, and my 13 yr old son. He's made his decision :) I won't speak for the preschoolers yet. We will teach them to be critical thinkers and as such, I hope they will see the folly that religion is. However, if they choose to believe, I will respect their decision. Much of my extended family are Christian. The majority are Catholic. When I attend dinners or events, I am very respectful of their beliefs. I attend church weddings, etc. I do not participate in their prayers. My parents, for some reason, feel the need to identify themselves as Catholic, but have not been to church or raised my brother and I to believers in the 40 years I've existed. The more I engage my parents in conversation, it is obvious they are truly atheists, just fearful of the label. 2 people liked this
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is difficult to be a minority in a world that is so predominantly religious. Socializing can be difficult because often a person of religious belief does not want to associate with an Atheist. Religious people fear atheism for some ungodly reason :) 2 people liked this
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator my bookshelves. I think you will see a theme here, if you have many atheists create a page. For some reason, we just LOVE books: philosophy, science, literature. We love knowledge. 2 people liked this

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 Religion should have no part in politics. 2 people liked this
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 The only class that would be acceptable would be a comparative religion class. One that informs students of ALL the world's religions. The only age group I would find such a class acceptable for would be the highschool level where the children are of a maturity level to actively differentiate between fiction and reality. In any other aspect, religion should be kept out of the public sector. 2 people liked this
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 No. They are not literature, not quality writing such as great novels. These religious texts have little value to modern society. Again, the only time religious texts should be used in public schools is as reference during a comparative, all encompassing (including Greek and Roman mythology) religious class. 2 people liked this
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would say between differing religions or sects of religion sure - as most religious sects dispute the other sects. They all do need to find some common ground that's for sure! As far as Atheists go, no. I have tried to attend interfaith events, such as one supporting gay marriage in my area a few months ago. They wanted to pray. Not protest. Not engage in conversation regarding what we can do, or why LBGT people should be accepted in totality. To me, it's more important to engage people in conversation and take concrete actions. Prayer is a lazy person's way of saying "Look, I did my part." 2 people liked this
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 completely open about being an Atheist. Many people struggle with being open about their non-belief because religious friends and family would cause them distress. I am lucky in that I do not have that kind of family. I have always been allowed to choose my path and have been accepted for who I am. Because I have that strong support growing up, I am very secure in discussing my atheism with the general public. 2 people liked this
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 Because atheists come up as the most hated minority group in America, I do feel the need to put my beliefs in action. I have joined several national organizations (such as American Atheists and Coalition for a Secular America). I have started my own local group: Siouxland Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers. My group gives social support and outlet for like minded people. We also participate in many community events to help the positive image for Atheism grow. I also feel that it is my duty to be a watchdog and make sure many areas of Religion/Politics/Law/Domestic Policies do not become intertwined. 2 people liked this
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would say that politics are more compromised by politicians engaging in religious beliefs. 2 people liked this
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 The only thing 9/11 did was solidify that people do crazy, crazy, unspeakable acts in the name of God. Granted, there will always be bad people doing unspeakable things even if you took their God away. A terrorist leader isn't driving by god...but by his desire for power and control. He just lucks out by getting to use God as a way to motivate the masses to do his bidding. If you disrobe the Priest who was a pedophile, he would still be a pedophile. He was a pedophile before he entered the priesthood..but he did use God as a way to disguise or hide his perverion from the public. He used God to keep his victims more silent. I have always been interested in mythology. Because of that, I am educated in many ancient and all the modern religions. 9/11 did not change that, nor does it influence my comfort level expressing my atheism. 2 people liked this

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Published October 11, 2010

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