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Atheism is a religion, just like "off" is a TV channel. - from a bumper sticker

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 a figment of people's imaginations similar to leprechauns and unicorns. This should be easy to spot in the Faithbook, since you will likely see a different description of God from each person on the system. 2 people liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that people should base their decisions on logic and reason instead of the ancient writings of ignorant nomads. It saddens me that so many people, in this day and age, still believe in an undetectable, all-powerful, all-knowing being who exists outside of space and time, and cares about our personal lives. Even worse, these people make personal, social, political, and even military decisions based on this irrational belief. 3 people liked this
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't have one. Like most Americans, I was indoctrinated into Christianity at an inappropriately young age, well before I had the reasoning capabilities to differentiate fantasy from reality. Even so, as a teenager I realized that God did not exist. My research on the topic has only strengthened that realization. As someone once told me, "If you're not an atheist, you're not reading the Bible correctly." 2 people liked this
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My loss of faith was gradual, so I can't pinpoint a "greatest moment of doubt". After realizing I was an atheist, I've never had a moment of doubt about that. 2 people liked this
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator nothing. I do not have a spiritual life, and I don't feel that one is necessary or beneficial. To me, spirituality equates to denial of reality, and I don't think that can ever be a good thing. 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 "mad at God" or "worship Satan". How can we be mad at, or worship, something that doesn't exist? Another big one is that "there are no atheists in foxholes." There are. People who don't believe this are just exhibiting confirmation bias. They heard about someone who claimed to be an atheist but started praying when his life was endangered, then extended that to include all atheists. What they didn't hear about was all the atheists who did no such thing under similar circumstances. 2 people liked this
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Matt Dillahunty from "The Atheist Experience" TV show (www.atheist-experience.com) in Austin, TX, because he grew up with faith, studied it intensively (with the intention of becoming a minister), then became an atheist when he realized that there were no good arguments to support a belief in God (or any gods, for that matter). 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 Atheism has no tenets or practices in the same sense as Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. We are not a uniform group of people following the same guidelines. We're just people who believe that the default position on anything, including religion, is skepticism. Without strong evidence to support a claim, we should not believe it. On a personal note, I appreciate that I have learned a lot about debate and logical thought processes since realizing I was an atheist. 2 people liked this

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Jesus died for my sins. That monsters lived under my bed. That babies were delivered to parents by a stork. That Santa Claus delivered presents every Christmas, and the Tooth Fairy left me money when I lost a tooth. That girls had cooties. And a host of other things that have since turned out to be false. 2 people liked this
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator enlightening, in the sense that I have realized that spirituality has nothing to offer me. 2 people liked this
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Christian. First in The Church of Christ, until my mom died when I was 10, then as a Lutheran until I was 16. 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 Very much so. My birth father believes that it's OK to beat women and molest children, which is why I haven't spoken to him in at least 12 years. My step-parents are active in their church, volunteering for the soup kitchen, singing in the choir, and (step-dad) even acting as the church's treasurer for the last several years. Discussions with my step-parents have revealed to me that their sub-conscious motivation for belief in Christianity is that they just don't want to believe in the alternative (mainly, a life without an afterlife). I would much rather know what's real and true than believe a comforting lie. 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 I do not have children, and I won't since I had a vasectomy several years ago. It would not have changed my religious beliefs, and it would be an irrational reason for anyone to change their religious beliefs. What does having a child have to do with deciding whether or not God exists? 2 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 I practice my lack of faith everywhere and at all times. 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 That depends on whether or not you count different sects of Christianity as different faiths. We don't have any widely differing beliefs in the family, aside from the fact that my sister and I are atheists and everyone else is some flavor of Christian. We all respect each other, so we either avoid the topic of religion, or we discuss it without making it personal. For the most part, my family has learned to avoid debating the subject with me, because I know much more about the Bible and Christianity than they do. 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 Internally, it's easy. I seek the truth, and I accept it when I find it. There's nothing difficult about that. Externally, it's difficult. Unfortunately, I live in a society that is 90+% religious, so I have religious people setting societal standards and public policy, and even enacting laws based on irrational religious beliefs. Luckily, the 1st Amendment offers some protection, but I also have to deal with people who think that the separation of church and state is unfair and should be repealed because "the minority should just shut up and accept what the majority wants." That is a scary attitude, and I feel an obligation to explain why it is scary, which is often difficult to do. 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 Do the bumper stickers on my car count? How about my Flying Spaghetti Monster "touched by his noodly appendage" t-shirt? My Zombie Jesus t-shirt? 2 people liked this
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Song: "Dear God" by XTC Book: "Misquoting Jesus" or "Jesus, Interrupted" by Bart D. Ehrman Film: "The God Who Wasn't There" by Brian Flemming 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 Zero. None. Nada. Zilch. I want politics to be handled by people using logic and reason as their guides, not ancient superstitions and folk tales. People who want religion to play a role in politics should move to the Middle East. 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 Absolutely. Everyone should be taught the truth about the origins and history of world religions. We need to understand the geopolitical ramifications of religious belief throughout history. Perhaps then people will understand that religious faith is not the incredible boon they believe it to be. I want to be very clear here that I'm talking about classes ABOUT religion, not about classes in religious devotion. 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 As works of literature? Certainly there are better examples of literature available to our schools. I think these texts should be taught as part of a Social Studies program, but not as part of a literature program. Surely they are very influential texts, but they're not particularly great works of literature. 2 people liked this
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Absolutely. If the various faiths (particularly the Abrahamic religions) would talk a bit, they might discover that their beliefs are not so very different. Perhaps that would curtail some of the bloodshed. Unfortunately, I don't actually think we'll ever reach a point where there is no religious faith and people have to find REAL reasons to fight with each other. 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 Of course. I am openly atheistic, and I enjoy debating religion with people. 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 I feel that I have a duty to defend the separation of church and state that is granted by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Because of this, I need to remain active in the voting process. I also use social media like Facebook and blogs to steer people in the right direction if they post something that is misleading or false about religion or religious belief. Correcting people's misconceptions is almost a compulsion for me now. 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 hope so, but I doubt it. What I mean is that I hope politicians are making decisions based on what is beneficial to the whole society rather than what it says in the Bible. Unfortunately, I don't see nearly enough of that. Just look at stem cell research under Bush; the Texas School Board re-writing history books to exclude Thomas Jefferson; the state of Kansas trying to have Intelligent Design taught in SCIENCE classes; "don't ask, don't tell" in the military; and state constitutional amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman. On the other hand, I believe that politics are constantly compromised by religious beliefs. There's no non-religious reason why two people of the same gender shouldn't be allowed to get married, or why liquor stores should be closed on Sundays in Utah and Texas (possibly others). 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 Not really. I thought all religion was crazy long before the 9/11 attacks. I've also been fascinated by relion, and dedicated to learning more about it, since long before the attacks. I've never been shy about expressing my beliefs on any subject. 2 people liked this

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Published October 11, 2010

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