God in America
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Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense. - Mark Twain

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 a god, just like everyone imagines god. There are occurrences in the world and people seek to explain them. For some reason it seems to make people feel better to have an agent in charge; in addition we have pattern seeking minds so we not only feel better if there is agency we actually recognize patterns that appear to give us this refuge. The problem is on further examination this agency doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would like to believe in things that are factual. I make an effort to be skeptical of all claims and to apply an appropriate level of skepticism.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The realization of self, I think therefore I am. This is the basis for all other beliefs.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I hope that my greatest moment of doubt is every single moment of every day...
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Nonsense, there is no verifiable evidence of spirituality, in fact, there is no useful definition of spirituality.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator First of all you should never try to equate belief and faith. There are two types of beliefs, those based on faith and those based on reasonable factual information. I think the biggest misconception of faith and belief is that they are the same thing.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator One would have to define spirituality in a manner that is useful for this question to make any sense at all.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A healthy dose of skepticism informs ones decision making process to make sure one has all the correct information one needs to apply skepticism to claims.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believed what adults told me to believe, all children are hard wired to respect authority, as I got older I started to alter what I was told because when it came right down to it it didn't make any sense. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the whole question was flawed.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator too long, I honestly do not know why it took me so long to realize I had been given bad information.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In a number of different churches each with distinct and sometimes contradictory teachings.
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'd say skepticism is the biggest difference.

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 N/A
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 We keep things secular when we are all together most of us believe this is not only the best way to get along most of us see "religion" as a private matter.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator N/A
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator N/A
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator N/A

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 play no role in politics. I have no problem with people having beliefs but those beliefs are a private matter. We have a separation of church and state... and while people may use their beliefs to inform their decisions, that is the extent of their influence.
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, all of these children need to know the histories of the various religions.
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, this would help children to understand context to which it is used in culture.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is important if those people who do not have faith are included.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Of course, while I see it as a private issue, sometimes people need other perspectives to inform their decisions.
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 am not moved by faith I am, however, motivated to protect the rights of all people.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I think religious beliefs are certainly manipulated in 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 9/11 has had no effect on my religious beliefs.

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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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