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America's View of God October 8, 2010

If you pray to God, to whom — or what — are you praying?  When you sing God Bless America, whose blessing are you seeking?

In the USA, God — or the idea of a God — permeates daily life. Our views of God have been fundamental to the nation's past, help explain many of the conflicts in our society and worldwide, and could offer a hint of what the future holds. Is God by our side, or beyond the stars? Wrathful or forgiving? Judging us every moment, someday or never?

"You can't really ask people directly about their moral and philosophical worldview. But if you know their image of God, it could give you insight into why they get upset when you break the rules, or you stand up for a certain politician. Or, how they will react when bad things happen or whether they see personal morality or foreign policy in stark right-or-wrong terms."  Read more at USA Today.
Is God at the center of this discussion, or the idea of God?


  1. "They found unifying threads: Americans of every stripe overwhelmingly believe that all good people go to heaven, that many faiths contain truth and that religious diversity is good for the nation.

    Putnam and Campbell's optimistic conclusion is that we are able to live with vast religious diversity because we are "enmeshed" in networks of people we care about — your Catholic aunt, your Methodist spouse, your spiritual-but-not-religious child and your evangelical neighbor.

    The Baylor sociologists also see this.

    "With our high level of religious freedom and pluralism," Froese says, "all kinds of views of God will do very well."

    The national conversation about God, Bader says, is "much richer than showdowns between screaming evangelicals and screaming atheists. This is the way we tell the stories of the world around us.""

    The last few sentences basically screams Europe. Yeah no showdown matches because nobody cares anymore... apathy.

  2. Interesting point. Are there no more screaming matches about faith because everyone has attained a new level of ecumenical niceness or because it is politically incorrect to discuss potentially taboo topics such as what happens when you die?