God in America
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"Revealed religion has no weight with me." [Benjamin Franklin]

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 having created the universe and then left it to run its course.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that there was a God who made the universe and wound it up like a clock; however, it now runs of its own volition; the clockmaker is gone and therefore does not respond to man.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when I realized revealed religion was hearsay at best.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in January 2010, when a group of supposedly traditional catholics from St. Benedicts Chapel in Chesapeake, Virginia showed me just how hateful christians really are. I didn't practice anything for a short time after that, until I met some mormon missionaries. I found over the next few months that mormonism is false as well. That led me to ask myself what I really believe. I found through further study that Deism most closely fits what I believe and from there studied the writings of famous Deists. 1 person liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Benjamin Franklin
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There is no specific creed or dogma to believe, outside of the clockmaker theory.

My Faith History

My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator from baptist, to catholic, to mormon to Deist.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator baptist.
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. My parents and entire family are christian. I have chosen to part from those beliefs due to the hateful, judgemental practices.

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 My faith, if you call it that, isn't a single act or series of acts one day per week. Practicing my faith merely entails walking out the door in the morning to see the mountains and flowers. I do not need a building, with walls and roof to know there is a creator and I don't need a creed or guilt trip to know there is a difference between right and wrong.
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 Aside from myself, all of my family are practising southern baptists. Being a Deist myself, there is no blending of traditions. I participate in family gatherings and such, but do not attend services with them.
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 very easy to live my faith. It takes no special effort and requires no special understanding. It only requires the use of one's reason and common sense to know that the earth and all that is in, on and under the earth was created and set on it's course. We can also see that no further involvement of the Creator has occurred and that He must be out there somewhere watching His creation continue unimpeded.

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 and must be kept separate from politics. Religious, theocratic dictatorships have been the cause of much pain and suffering in the world, currently in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Politics is a realm suitable only for the use of reason and common sense, but nothing more.
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, reigion should not be taught in schools. A child's parent(s) should be the one(s) to choose if and when a child is exposed to 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 No, these mad-made books should be kept out of schools. They are seriously flawed and even contradict themselves in places.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator On to the extent that religious wars are avoided.
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. I subscribe to the clockmaker theory, previously explained here. I don't know if there is an easier way to discuss my faith or any other. Due to the use of reason and common sense, my faith is much easier now to discuss than before.
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 No. I do not believe I have any obligation to share, force or otherwise compel others to believe as I do.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator No. The only problem I have is when religion and politics are melded together and people start pushing their way as the right or only way. In the United States of America, we are free to believe and practice as we so choose. Religion should and must be kept separate from 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 I have investigated a number of religions since I was 17. I discovered in each one that the core of the religion was man-made or man-centred or both. In Deism, I have found what I a searching for. The belief in a Creator, without the necessity of believing anything else. If I choose to believe anything else, that is up to me, but the only thing I need to believe is that there is a Creator. I actually feel more comfortable expressing my beliefs. This is due to a number of reasons, but the main two are the lack of a creed and man-centred traditions and the clarity found by the use of reason and common sense.

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Published October 11, 2010

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