God in America
Support provided by:
tgbarton

Faithbook tgbarton

"I had no need of that hypothesis." - Pierre-Simon Laplace, in his 1872 reply to Emperor Napoleon I, who had asked why he hadn't mentioned God in his discourse on secular variations of the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter.

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 Everything in the cosmos makes more sense without a concept of God. Why imagine one at all?

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator there is no supernatural force or being.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator letting go of any concept of god.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when my father, the most pious and devout person I've known, died from cancer at an early age.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator being a loving neighbor to the rest of humanity and respectful of all the natural world.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that I cannot be a moral person without a concept of a god.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Carl Sagan.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the practice of skepticism and critical thinking.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that prayer could heal anything and so doctors were unnecessary and even a hindrance.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator tumultuous.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Christian Scientist.
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, because I'm an atheist since everything makes more sense, and therefore more comforting, without a concept of god.
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 Yes, it made me take responsibility to not fill their heads with concepts I couldn't defend or demonstrate and therefore perpetuate the delusional traditions of their ancestors.

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 constantly recognize how amazing life is and feel so fortunate to be able to recognize that fact.
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.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The biggest challenge is when someone - such as PBS and USA Weekend - assumes that everyone in America believes in God (or some similarly-supernatural concept).
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the Happy Humanist emblem on the back of my car.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series.

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 To stay as far out of them as possible.
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. When people learn about other religions, they will be better able to see what a figment of people's imaginations they are.
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, but only as literature, due to their role in history.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, to gain an appreciation of humanity's similarities to each other, regardless of faith.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Absolutely. Our worldview is one of the most important things we can discuss.
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, more so than I ever did as a believer when I thought God was responsible for others. Now I feel responsible for those less fortunate and those who can't defend themselves, including the environment, since their only advocates can be compassionate people.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Not necessarily, but objective politics are compromised by religious 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 It was the second most pivotal moment for me, after the death of my father. It made me realize that I can't just "live and let live". Instead, I need to take a more active role in breaking down the barriers between humanity created by religion so that my children can inherit a world free from such tragic acts.

Get Involved

Interested in touring your community's sacred spaces? Want to host a God in America viewing party? Visit our Outreach page for details.
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.
The Pew Charitable TrustsFetzer InstituteThe Arthur Vining Davis FoundationsWGBH
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.
Liberty MutualAlfred P. Sloan FoundationMacArthur FoundationPark FoundationThe Corporation for Public BroadcastingPBS

Published October 11, 2010

FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE are registered trademarks of WGBH Educational Foundation
Privacy Policy   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2011 WGBH Educational Foundation