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Faithbook schmidthollowaycs

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. ~ Galileo Galilei

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 More than a moral compass, God is the spark of love and imagination and goodness in all of humanity, manifest to us in the way that resonates with each of us the most, whether in the Divine Feminine or Masculine, whether as a personal or impersonal spirit, whatever moves you to be better than you are. 1 person liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe that we were created with reason and a conscience that we might always seek to know more about this universe we find ourselves in, and to always do our best to leave this world a little better for our having lived in it. I believe we were created to love and be loved, to share what we have, to take care of each other. 1 person liked this
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Every single day. 1 person liked this
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Bringing meaning, joy, love, and humor to my everyday experiences.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That we blindly obey whatever the Pope says. God expects us to use the brain and conscience given to us to examine everything we are told, because we know that every clergyman has just as many prejudices, intellectual failings, and temptations to act in contradiction of God's law of love as the rest of us. 1 person liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the Divine Mother, in all her forms and manifestations.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Sacraments that bring meaning and depth to both the mundane and profound moments in life, to birth and death, the passage into adulthood, even our everyday foibles and human failings.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Catholicism was the only true church and was the only religion that taught the truth. I believed that the Bible supported everything the Catholic Church taught. However I also believed that God's most essential attribute was his love for humanity, and that he wouldn't condemn a majority of his children just for wanting to serve him under a different name in a different religion. I believed that Jesus was God and that he was always there to listen when I was in trouble. I always felt that the Blessed Mother and my personal guardian angel would protect me from all harm. I believed that crosses and holy water would ward off danger, and that the Church's moral code was just the most logical way to have a happy life. Singing hymns could always make me feel better, whether I was afraid or sad or lonely.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A process of enlightenment. I am an avid reader, and I devour books on religion and spirituality. But it was the history books that have most shaped my faith, because most of the religious claims I had believed were based in false claims about the history of the Bible as scripture and Christianity as a religious movement.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a devout Catholic. We attended Mass every single Sunday. Unless you were vomiting (present tense; it didn't matter if you'd been sick the day before), you went to church. I loved my catechism classes every Wednesday night, and when I got older I went on youth retreats. My parents are devout, but liberal, and I have always known that they would accept me no matter where my faith life led me. Still, it was always expected that I would keep a moral code, especially of chastity, abstinence from drugs or excess alcohol (my parents didn't necessarily care that I drank underage, but did not approve if I was in a dangerous situation or one where I might get arrested). I was always expected to treat others with love and respect, especially those who were marginalized by the popular crowd. I have never heard a racist, homophobic, or bigoted remark from either of my parents. My family is devout in faith, but they could never be radicals - they have too finely tuned of a sense of humor. 1 person 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 am no longer as devoutly Catholic as the model set for me by my parents. I no longer attend Mass regularly or believe that the Catholic hierarchy has any God-given authority. Still, no matter what I've learned about the history of Christianity and the Bible, I still believe in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, in holy water and rosaries, in praying to the Blessed Virgin, my patron Saint, and my guardian angel for help. 1 person 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 I attend Mass sporadically wherever I am, whether at home visiting my parents or in a neighboring town visiting somebody else. The priest in the town where I live has instituted an archaic and sexist prohibition of female altar servers and lay Eucharistic Ministers, and I cannot bring myself to attend Mass where he is the officiant.
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 My parents and siblings are all Catholic and mostly married to only Catholics. I married an ex-Mormon whose family is full of different traditions. But none of them (besides the Mormons) is really devout, so the subject hardly ever comes up.
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 embrace a religion that is still staunchly patriarchal, hierarchical, homophobic, and sexually repressed. And yet it is impossible for me to let go of my Catholic heritage, of the beauty of the rituals and richness of history and traditions, and even the inside jokes and peculiarities that have shaped who I have become as a person my whole life. I will always be Catholic. Even if I never go to Mass, I will always be a Catholic. But it's hard, knowing so much about the history of the Church, how the doctrines came to be, how the Bible was canonized, not to see it all as a big lie. 1 person 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 The pictures of my deceased family members and loved ones. My Catholic faith emphasizes that the living can maintain a relationship with the dead in the Communion of Saints, that we will see each other again, and that the dead hear us, can help us through our day to day trials, and celebrate with us in our daily joys and triumphs.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Books: The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux; Songs: On Eagle's Wings, Be Not Afraid, Here I Am Lord, All Creatures of our God and King, The Servant Song, The Summons, Love Has Come, Companions on the Journey; Films: For the Bible Tells Me So, Fishers of Men, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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 Every person whose faith contains a moral code will inevitably vote or (if they are in public office) legislate according to that moral code. However, one cannot hold one's own moral code above any other in the law without a clear rational benefit to the state and/or the individual citizens.
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 Absolutely. We live in a pluralist society in which a majority of people espouse faith in some form or another. Religious prejudices and bigotry abound, and it's largely because nobody even knows what their own religion teaches, let alone any other. Only when we educate people about the truth of each religion can we begin to truly show tolerance and respect for each other.
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 Yes. All of these have had an unbelievably massive effect on the history of the world and have shaped societies around the world significantly. Ignoring them in schools is like ignoring electricity or motor vehicles. Pretending they're not there only exacerbates religious intolerance and bigotry.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Most people don't know much about other faiths, and it is the source of a great deal of prejudice and bigotry. People need to know that they can work together toward common goals for the benefit of society.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 no longer feel the need to defend any and all attacks on Catholicism, because I know most of them are true. It's not as stressful as it used to be, because I no longer feel that I am personally being attacked. I no longer feel the need to assert the superiority of my faith over others. Sharing the things I've been learning and exploring is quite easy for me.
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 I firmly believe that God intends us to love one another as he has loved us. With that in mind, I strive not only to care for others' immediate needs (such as giving to charities that feed the hungry) but in fighting to end systemic and institutionalized injustice, to educate others about cultural prejudices that make injustice possible, by vocally sharing my views on being a feminist, an LGBTQ rights activist, a lactivist, an intactivist, a home birth advocate, and an advocate for self-harm and suicide awareness and prevention.

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Published October 11, 2010

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