Does believing in God make you a better American?

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  • U. C. Professor Netherlands, 00
    April 16, 2017 6:02 p.m.

    Very clearly, all American history proves that religion is toxic, contentious, and always in search of victims to marginalize, segregate or kill. Let us count the the corpses in our Christian path to Patriotism. Start with the total genocide of the Native Americans, who we slaughtered in the name of (God given) Manifest Destiny.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 8, 2017 5:02 p.m.

    Since, generally speaking, "every man walketh... after the image of his own god" it depends on the kind of god you believe in.

    If your god is permissive and accepts any old kind of behavior, has mercy on everyone, and offers justice to none, then believing that will likely make you a liability to society, your "fellow man".

    If your god forgives you if you mumble a few set prayers after sinning maybe you are not so likely to resist temptation and this is not a great thing for America, or any other nation.

    If you are foreordained to be saved, no matter how big a jerk you are, that makes you, I would think, a poor citizen.

    If you can sin as long as it's against other religions..... you get the picture.

    If your god, otoh, loves everyone and offers forgiveness based on genuine repentance and rebirth spiritually (reflected in your behavior) then you may be an asset to society as you love your neighbor as much as you do yourself and yet forgive others and seek to assist in the great work of and transformation and atonement.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    April 2, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    I'm not very religious, but a country has to have some sort of common thread holding it all together.

    Our country has no cultural norms, America is disintegrating.

  • Sailor376 Oakland, MI
    April 1, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    Does believing in God make America a better place?

    No.

    Jim Jones, David Koresh, Mountain Meadows Massacre, The Crusades, Wounded Knee, the mistaken bombing of civilians in Iraq last week,,,, I could go on a long time.

    Islam does not have an exclusive on stupid, venal, acts.

    Good people are where you find them,, each adjudged for their own individual actions. If 60%,,, if 98% of the Americans questioned think a Christian belief is essential for the culture of America,,, then 98% would be wrong.

  • Baxters24321 Denver, CO
    April 1, 2017 4:29 a.m.

    I'm curious as to what the results of the survey were or would have been in Spain and Italy.

    Believing that only those who believe in your faith are "good Americans" is in itself, inherently un-American. We believe that all men are created equal. Yes, endowed by their creator with rights but those who don't believe in a creator should be treated equally and respected. Any attempt to enforce a state religion or punish religious beliefs or lack thereof is un-American.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2017 11:03 p.m.

    @patriot

    "Believing in the "true" God makes all humanity better."

    Which God is that? The God of Abraham that the Jews worship? Or the God of Abraham that the Muslims worship? Or the God of Abraham that the Christians worship?

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2017 8:47 p.m.

    "Does believing in God make you a better American?"

    Hmmm. I'm 63 years old, life-long atheist, retired Army, life-time member of the VFW, I dust off my uniform every Veteran's Day, raised my kids to serve their country, and tear up when the national anthem is played. So, my answer is clearly "no." Believing in America, warts and all, makes you a better American.

  • TimBehrend Auckland, 00
    March 30, 2017 6:11 p.m.

    "Being an American" is a legal status, no more. One doesn't need to be a Constitutional scholar to know that the founding legal document devotes precisely zero words to the issue. Discourses of what it means to be a 'true American' have to do with the struggle for power, social and political. It's as if the author of this article and/or her sources were unaware of the academic discipline of sociology and had never read a book on nationalism (one of the most written about subjects of the 20th century).

  • elarue53078 Chandler, AZ
    March 30, 2017 4:51 p.m.

    What makes a "better" or "worse" American? Is it living by and abiding by the principles set forth in the Constitution? If that's the case, then I would say the answer is no, believing in God does not necessarily make you a better American. I would however say that believe in the 11th Article of Faith, particularly the part that says "We...allow all men the same privilege; let them worship how, where, or what they may" does make you a better American, because that right there goes directly to the heart of the 1st amendment and freedom of religion. The question is, how many Americans believe in that principle? How many Christians believe it? When we see Christians who believe it is their duty to reform all legislation to be based in Christian theology, that violates both the 11th Article of Faith and the 1st amendment. Many atheists and agnostics, however, respect the practice of religion by others, and adopt an attitude of "let them worship how, where, or what they may."

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2017 3:35 p.m.

    @ RanchHand:

    You said to me: "@Meckofahess;

    I can respect that you believe something, but I absolutely do not have to show deference and respect to your beliefs. Just because you believe something, doesn't automatically make those beliefs worthy".

    Nor yours' bud!

  • glacierlake3 Provo, UT
    March 30, 2017 2:22 p.m.

    If I were to look at Utah and it's actions today and consider that of Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on the subject of religionists and his personal relationship with god and the the mainstream issue of protection of life that he used. believing and acting in god should produce a better american. but as a whole group religionists who don't believe in that of the protection of life does not seem to be getting there. I know the declaration of Independence author and as president of the United States of america does carry much weight with some people but when it comes to becoming an american he is up there in my book.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 30, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    Believing in the "true" God makes all humanity better. Believing in false Gods that call for the blowing up of jetliners and running them into buildings is just evil and destroys the human spirit.
    The key is searching and finding true religion and the true God. The truth is out there as the Xfiles used to say!!

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    March 30, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    @ranch hand

    You said its evident that christians in america dont love their neighbors.

    True in some cases, but not true in many others. I have seen many examples of neighbors being good to each other.

    Besides my quote was "learning to love thy neighbors as thyself and remove the conflict of human differences and setting aside your own prejudices".

    I didnt make a blanket statement that all christians love their neighbors, key word "Learning". Its obvious noone is perfect, even christians.

    Time to get off the Ranch and see the world its not always negative and bad out there.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    March 30, 2017 12:37 p.m.

    Like Thid, I believe that belief that all humans, after death, will be accountable to God for what they did (or did not) do in mortality can be a powerful impetus to not do wrong, and to do what is right.

    I believe people have consciences that inform them what is right or wrong. People of either traditional or *secular beliefs, and hence 'religions' *(atheism, agnosticism, pragmatism, among other "isms" are "belief systems") may, or may not always heed their conscience, their 'moral gps'.

    But personally, either the threat of hell, or the allure of heaven, have greatly influenced myself to do, or not do certain things. And, so I suppose, for those who believe in such afterlife consequences, they have influenced many of them, to either a greater or lesser degree.

    There is a scripture I firmly believe in— "Inasmuch as men do good, they shall in no wise lose their reward." Hence, I believe that God rewards good or evil according to what we do, and not just what we believe.

    Beliefs, whether religious or secular are strong things. 'Climate change deniers' have been threatened, for example, with harsh consequences, for some years.

  • Minnesota Ute Bloomington, MN
    March 30, 2017 11:54 a.m.

    As hard as it may be to believe in Utah there are places in this world, even this country, where the subject of religion rarely comes up in casual conversation. There are people who actually believe it's each persons own private business. Imagine that!!!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 30, 2017 11:28 a.m.

    @Thid Barker;

    "If there is no God, when we die everything goes black and ends, forever! Therefore, nothing really mattered at all, if there is no God!"

    --- It mattered to the little girl Misty spoke to. It mattered to the girls school that got the check. It mattered to the homeless person who got a meal at the soup kitchen.

    What a tragic existence to think that if god doesn't exist life is pointless. That is the real tragedy here.

    Your argument using the scripture is circular.

    "if there is no God, there is NO forever for anyone of us."

    --- So? Why would that make THIS life pointless?

    @Meckofahess;

    I can respect that you believe something, but I absolutely do not have to show deference and respect to your beliefs. Just because you believe something, doesn't automatically make those beliefs worthy.

    @Sportsfan123;

    Christians don't "love thy neighbor as thyself". That's evident in America today.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    @Thid "If there is no God, when we die consciousness ceases to exist and everything we did abruptly ceases to exist..."

    NO! I will leave children and grandchildren behind. Do they cease to exist when I will die? No, what I do matters for them after I am gone.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 30, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    Hey Thid Barker -

    " . . . this is pointlessness!"

    In other words, it only makes sense to do good works if you're under the domination of an all-powerful entity.

    It's senseless to be good and decent unless you are COMPELLED to be good and decent?

    Wow! I would hate to burdened by an assumption like that.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 30, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    "Does believing in God make you a better American?"

    No, not necessarily.

    Some very bad people strongly believe in God.

    "Allahu Akbar " - Osama Bin Laden

    “OBJECTS AND PURPOSES ( ARTICLE II, THE CONSTITUTION )
    . . . To maintain forever the God- given supremacy of the white race." – Klansman’s Manual

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    March 30, 2017 10:26 a.m.

    I guess I'm going to have to talk about this topic with my neighbor down the street from me who watches my place, do my chores for me every time I go out of town. Every winter he and I shovel snow from the driveways and sidewalks of our Senior Citizens in our neighborhood. I will give him a bad time about me being a better American than he is........LOL!

    What a silly topic this is. I would rather have him as a neighbor and a good friend than a lot of our "alleged God-fearing people." Thanks for the chuckle, author of this article.

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    March 30, 2017 10:19 a.m.

    There is several ways to look at this, and like some have said, you feel better when you do good things.

    Its no secret when you look at the lives of those that choose a Virtuous lifestyle their lives are starkly different to those that dont.

    And it is a fact based on studies those who do these 3 three things generally live a more productive life and contribute to society in a positive way. #1 dont have children before marriage. #2 get an education. # 3 abstain from drugs and alcohol.

    There is one mainstream religion that teaches these 3 things, and to noones surprise this peculiar group as they are referenced to sometimes, have a 7 yr avg longer lifespan, they are healthier and per capita has some of the highest percentage of educated citizens, and are very productive.

    There is a very strong case here based on this articles title, do you have to believe in god to be a good american. Well, if its not really the case, and its not, the fact that religious freedoms are valued and protected in this country it has allowed many religious groups that believe in god to become fruitful, productive citizens that have Progressed this country forward, there is no denying that fact.

  • taking a stand for truth Lehi, UT
    March 30, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    Wow! A very typical topic these days and from research by a notably left media information source.

    To all who are atheists or agnostics or have left the faith of their fathers, of course their perspective is that it makes no difference whether you are Christian, or Muslim or whatever. We get that.

    We truly live in a day and age where good is called evil and evil is called good; a day when the media are anxious to promote controversy and put down all traditional values upon which this nation was founded. Controversy sells.

    It is easy to stand in a big spacious building and scoff at believers and undermine those of faith. But I have long noted that it is much less often the agnostics and atheists who step forward and donate their time, their means, their lives, but rather those of strong religious roots and especially those of Judeo-Christian roots.

    Those who say it doesn't matter don't really know history as our constitution is based on these so-called principles. Our freedoms are rooted in such and if we turn from it we will lose our freedoms by and by.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 30, 2017 9:46 a.m.

    I have often wondered about the lives of those who insist there must be some sort of afterlife or forever existence. And what this has to do with being a good citizen is bewildering.

    Are these people caught up in the thought of afterlife so disappointed with the one we have now on this planet, that the fear there is nothing more is oppressive? Or perhaps put another way, what are they doing wrong now to hope that there is something better later? Does this even make you a better citizen?

    I don't know if there is an afterlife or not. All I know is that if I do a "good" job now it won't matter. Doing "good" makes me feel a lot better than the alternative. Now this most assuredly makes on a better citizen.

    And if there is a deity or controlling force, my "good works" will overcome a lack of belief. Because if it belief alone that gets one the reward of an afterlife, I don't want it. It is an empty promise much like super-patriotism.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 30, 2017 9:41 a.m.

    Thid Barker is doing a lovely job illustrating my point. When he says there's no point to anything without God, no point to good without God, he obviously isn't speaking about the folks that are responding "well, actually..."

    He's speaking for himself.

    So don't fear the faithless. Fear the faithful that think you should.

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    March 30, 2017 9:06 a.m.

    I think believing in a better way of life is what makes us great Americans, to stand up against terrany, to respect others as our selves is to be American.

    If you dont respect yourself first you cant respect others - its that belief and lifestyle no matter which denomination our none believer you may be that makes america great.

    Being tolerant of others and being cultured and respectful in all that we do.

    Compare the third world countries out there, most of them not all, are not christian based countries. Look at the middle east, there is a stark difference in quality of life between their citizens compared to america.

    Is that just coincidence ? The main populace of christian nations have progressed and prospered far better than that of the middle east and third world.

    Learning to love thy neighbor as thyself and removing the conflict of human differences and setting aside your own prejudices is what makes America great. Judeo Christian values is what this country was predicated on and you absolutely do not need to be a Christian or a believer to understand living by these virtues we all benefit, if not we all revert back to the 3rd world and the flaws of human nature.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    March 30, 2017 8:03 a.m.

    Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker who is a Palestinian Muslim. Expressed his belief that there are good and bad Muslims, Jews, and Christians ( as well I suppose people of any religion, even secular religions including atheists and agnostics).

    For you see, even atheists and agnostics have to believe in something. They don't have to believe there is a God. But they do make assumptions about things based on their beliefs. Hence, they are 'believers', not of God but of something.

    The Nobel Laureate economist, Milton Friedman, I believe, was a very good American. He talked a lot about how freedom of choice is essential. And I found out a few years ago that he was also an atheist!

    This said, I would generally, but not absolutely, side with Thid's argument. If one heeds their own conscience, I believe they will more likely do what is right. And either a believer in God or an atheist can do that. But I believe that genuine believers in God, unless they subscribe to beliefs with unjust notions, is more likely to be a better person. But professed Muslims, Christians, and atheists (among others), have all commited atrocities.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 30, 2017 8:01 a.m.

    @Thid Barker,

    If people only find it in their hearts to live and honest loving live because of the fear of there being no god, or after live; then they are not the kind of people that are going to find favor with a good god, (if there be a god) or not even with their good neighbors. So quite worrying about a possible next live and start living a good happy live today.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 30, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    @ Marxist: "But if there is no life after death such definitely does NOT mean things are pointless. If there is no life after death then what we do while we live must stand forever, for all time because we cannot fix anything after we die. Pointless? Hardly."

    If there is no God, when we die consciousness ceases to exist and everything we did abruptly ceases to exist with it so it didn't matter that our lives even happened which means our lives were pointless!
    Let me put it another way: if there is no God, there is NO forever for anyone of us. Everything we see and do, even our lives are just "accidents" with no future at all: this is pointlessness! As I look at the world and my life, I see profound order, harmony and profound purpose! I don't see pointlessness in my world! Thus I am compelled to believe in a Creator and when I bounce my grandchildren on my knee, I know they belong to me for ever! Thanks be to God!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 30, 2017 7:31 a.m.

    No, because so many people who claim a faith in God don't live their faith. Two examples -- there are more:

    Matthew 22:21: Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's

    Matthew 25:35-40: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Somehow I don't see that happening much in a lot of people who claim to be "conservative" Christians. And that's sad.

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    March 30, 2017 7:30 a.m.

    I finally put my finger on it. This liberal red herring isn't about religion at all; it's about assimilation. It's about political correctness and identity politics masquerading as religious tolerance.

    Yes, you must remove your hijab if a cop asks you to.
    No, you do not have a right to beat your wife.
    No, honor killing is not acceptable here.
    No, you may not perform clitorectomies.
    No, you may not take your holy day off, unless you use a vacation day.
    No, you may not roast a goat on a dung fire in your back yard.
    Yes, you are subject to American law.
    No, the football team will not practice at night for your Ramadan.

    All of these answers have been ripped from the headlines to illustrate the problem.

    Let's not turn this into a religious freedom question.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2017 7:26 a.m.

    As a Christian and I think a balanced thinking American, I believe we can have diverse religions and beliefs (including non-Christian) in American. But in order to make it work, EVERYONE has to show some deference and respect toward the other's faith system and the need for everyone to embrace some commonalities such as patriotism, respect for the rule of law and the American system of justice as a few examples.

    Clearly, a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu and other faiths can all embrace patriotism and a common set of shared values as Americans.. It doesn't work very well if a Muslim believes that he doesn't need to respect the Christian religion of his neighbors for example - and visa-versa.

    We can all have our specific faith traditions or none for that matter - but we must all embrace a system of common respect and mutual expectations of being honest, law abiding, and kind to others. Any other approach that I have heard of generally doesn't work out so well.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    March 30, 2017 7:19 a.m.

    Many believers are eager to judge and condemn non-believers as being unworthy, less patriotic, second-class citizens because we admit the Emperor of the Universe has no clothes.

    so I never tire of saying they are absolutely wrong.

    Some of the most ethical, courteous, brave, decent Americans I have ever known have been non-believers. And some of the most arrogant, oppressive, un-American/Fascist people I have met have been religious.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2017 10:08 p.m.

    @Thid Barker " If there is no God, when we die everything goes black and ends, forever! Therefore, nothing really mattered at all, if there is no God! Everything we experienced, everything we loved, and everything we learned, ends, forever! Thus all things are pointless."

    Perhaps you are confusing the existence of God with life after death.

    But if there is no life after death such definitely does NOT mean things are pointless. If there is no life after death then what we do while we live must stand forever, for all time because we cannot fix anything after we die. Pointless? Hardly.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 29, 2017 10:04 p.m.

    @Thid Barker

    "My point (which I think you missed) is that if there is no God, it doesn't matter if anyone thinks they were "good or bad" and can not be defined universally! If there is no God, when we die everything goes black and ends, forever! Therefore, nothing really mattered at all, if there is no God!"

    So, falling in love, raising a family and passing along your values, bouncing grandkids on your lap, taking a spring stroll among the cherry blossoms, helping an elderly person cross the street, feeding the poor, enjoying a good belly laugh with old friends, impacting your community in positive ways are all a waste of time without a supreme being there to pat you on the back or welcome you into an afterlife? Sad.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2017 10:02 p.m.

    What makes you a good American is being a decent, law abiding, & caring human being. Belonging to any particular faith doesn't make people better Americans. Doesn't matter what faith they belong to if they aren't decent, law abiding & caring human beings.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 29, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    @ Misty Mountain: My point (which I think you missed) is that if there is no God, it doesn't matter if anyone thinks they were "good or bad" and can not be defined universally! If there is no God, when we die everything goes black and ends, forever! Therefore, nothing really mattered at all, if there is no God! Everything we experienced, everything we loved, and everything we learned, ends, forever! Thus all things are pointless. If there is no God, there is no such thing as good or bad, just very temporary and meaningless opinions! If there is a God (and I am convinced there is) then everything matters and life has profound meaning and He (God) defines good and bad and it isn't up for debate or negotiation! By the way, the Buddhists I taught as a missionary definably believed in God (several in fact)! The God most of us worship taught, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent"! John 17:3. Think about what that means! There was a purposeful creation, life is eternal and God rules in the heavens and has invited us to become like Him and live with Him forever; purpose and order and meaning in life and beyond!

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    March 29, 2017 7:28 p.m.

    Great article, Mormons and Muslims believe in scripture after the New Testament and have much in common.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    March 29, 2017 7:21 p.m.

    The article did not say you had to be a Christian to believe in God. Believing in a deity that teaches high moral and ethical principles to live by definitely helps direct the lives of those who "believe". By extension, when people learn to live their religious teachings and stop trying to exalt themselves above others, simply because of their beliefs, then they will be on the right track.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    March 29, 2017 6:23 p.m.

    @Thid Barker - Victor, ID
    March 29, 2017 2:24 p.m.
    If a person doesn't believe in God, why should they strive to be a better person? What's the point? If there is no God, then there is no point to anything! Everything is a "accident" with no purpose! Pointlessness is hard to believe!

    There are at least five religions besides Christianity which preach the essence of the Golden Rule. Some [e.g. Buddhism] do not believe that a god exists. I personally don't, either. But I still do my thing to make this world a better place. You ask why? It's not because I think that a god will bestow favors to me or not punish me as much. The point is that it makes ME feel better when I do something positive. Visits to a widowed neighbor. Picking up a cigarette butt that somebody dropped on the sidewalk. A gift of an already-cooked dinner to a single mom of four kids who just got in from an hour long commute from work. A few minutes of one-on-one conversation with an eight year old who lives three doors down. A check to a charity that pays for schooling for girls in the third world.

    That's good stuff. That's not "pointless".

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "No, my point is that if there is no God, it doesn't matter if a person is good or bad! No consequences for being good or bad; pointlessness!"

    No eternal consequences, sure, but in the here and now (which incidentally comprises the entirety of the existence to those who believe that to be the case) there's certainly consequences for being good or bad.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 29, 2017 5:31 p.m.

    "If a person doesn't believe in God, why should they strive to be a better person?"

    If one needs a god to be a good person, to treat others as they would want to be treated, I would consider them neither good nor moral. When I was in the Army we had a term for those who conducted themselves a certain way only to garner the approval of the sergeant--usually at the expense of the rest of us. I doubt the DN censors won't allow me to share it here.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 29, 2017 5:09 p.m.

    Alexis de Tocqueville searched far and wide for the secret of American democracy. He eventually found it: "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

    In fact, William Penn stated that "If we will not be governed by God, we will be governed by tyrants. " Thomas Jefferson likewise stated, "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." In addition, George Washington said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 29, 2017 4:39 p.m.

    "Does believing in God make you a better American?"
    ______________________________
    My answer is absolutely not.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 29, 2017 3:55 p.m.

    @ Kalindra: No, my point is that if there is no God, it doesn't matter if a person is good or bad! No consequences for being good or bad; pointlessness!

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2017 3:32 p.m.

    @ Thid: You ask why someone should be good if they don't believe in God - this implies that you are good only because you fear punishment or seek reward.

    Why not be good because you are human and are dealing with other humans?

    You are a fellow human being - I don't need the fear of punishment to know I should treat you the way I want to be treated. I don't need the promise of a reward to know to care for the earth.

    Scientifically life is rare and precious and should not be taken lightly - no belief in a God or Goddess or gods or goddesses required.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    March 29, 2017 2:50 p.m.

    Which church is the correct one for being considered the True American Church?

    Once this is decided, whatever shall we do with all the heretics?

  • The True Open Minded Mormon Draper, UT
    March 29, 2017 2:35 p.m.

    I'm confused what AM radio and Trump have to do with this topic. I might even suggest that the person from Everett WA commenting on a UT newspaper thread regularly posts unGodlike comments.

    I believe there is a scripture that talks about a beam and a mote. Might want to look that one up

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    March 29, 2017 2:35 p.m.

    The answer to the question about being a better American is a resounding YES, but only if you actually live the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 29, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    If a person doesn't believe in God, why should they strive to be a better person? What's the point? If there is no God, then there is no point to anything! Everything is a "accident" with no purpose! Pointlessness is hard to believe!

  • DougSegesman Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2017 2:15 p.m.

    "Does believing in God make you a better American?"

    No.

    It simply makes you an American.

  • Zulu Time Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2017 2:03 p.m.

    Somewhat similar to Ernest T. Bass, I believe I became a better person and American when – always having believed in God and still believing in God – I came to the conclusion that:

    I’m no better than anyone else;

    my religious views can’t determine how others should live;

    someone having a run of bad luck isn’t being punished by God;

    I should help everyone regardless of their views on religion; and

    a better world is a progressive world that helps more people.

    I believe coming to these conclusions helped me become a better person irrespective of whether or not I believe in God.

    I hope and trust Ernest T. is not suggesting that holding these more enlightened views and believing in God are mutually exclusive.

  • CMTM , 00
    March 29, 2017 1:46 p.m.

    RE: Cheesecake. Q. Does believing in God have anything whatsoever to do with being an American? No, all people, E.g..,

    We were guarding the perimeter(with armored vehicles) of the USAF base near Vietnam, when we were told some missionaries were in the area. They were feeding the starving Laos mountain people. They were told that the enemy army was in the area.

    Many years later via computer, I learned these Vietnamese Catholic nuns from a nearby orphanage came back several times and were caught and hung by the Viet Cong.

    “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”( James 1:27)

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 29, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    I put this short of thinking in the same box as "you can't be moral without God".

    That is, it's all projection and has nothing to do with the people it's supposedly about. A person voicing this belief is saying that if they lose their faith, that *they* wouldn't be a good American.

    So don't fear non-Christians being immoral or bad Americans. Fear the faithful that think you should.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 29, 2017 1:27 p.m.

    Does one believing in superstitions and magic make them a better American or just a better dupe.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 29, 2017 12:56 p.m.

    One could easily argue that if there is no creator, men (and women) may not have been created equal, and that each man, woman and child may not be endowed with the unalienable rights enumerated above.
    Or, one could argue that there is a god (that of which there can be no greater) but which is nonetheless not the same as our creator, which could well be natural processes. Not only that, but we've proven time and again that our supposed inalienable enumerated American rights are quite alienable, not infrequently in the name of, or with the approval of, god. Or so we claim.
    This article isn't seeking an answer to a question of philosophy, the love of wisdom. It is an argument in petitio, seeking premises to the conclusion already determined. That's why the first graph compares shared values and not a belief in god but rather a culture grounded in christian beliefs (not the same thing as belief in god) as markers of national identity. In any case the graph favours shared values.
    I can't prove god doesn't exist. That transitory substance, American christian values, does exist as a concept. Whether believing in it makes America better...

  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2017 12:47 p.m.

    Q. Does believing in God make you a better American?
    A. No

    Q. Does believing in God make you a worse American?
    A. No

    Q. Does believing in God make you an American?
    A. No

    Q. Does believing in God have anything whatsoever to do with being an American?
    A. No

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 29, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    Oh I get it --
    More of the AM radio about you can't be a REAL American unless you cow-tow the Trump lies...

    BTW -- Donald Trump is the polar opposite of what "God" is supposed to be.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2017 12:32 p.m.

    How does believing one has to be Christian to be American differ from believing one has to be Muslim to be a citizen of some other country?

    How does believing laws and education should be founded on Christianity differ from believing they should be founded on Islam?

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 29, 2017 11:56 a.m.

    If one does not believe in god, a supreme being, or a creator, how should we view this statement?

    We hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    One could easily argue that if there is no creator, men (and women) may not have been created equal, and that each man, woman and child may not be endowed with the unalienable rights enumerated above.

    Belief in a supreme being does not guarantee that the believer will believe and strive to act in accordance with the full statement above. But, at least the believer admits the premise is correct, and is more likely to acknowledge that the truths are self-evident and the rights enumerated are unalienable.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 29, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    Believing in a deity can make someone a better person, but not always. Religion can help people find a virtuous life, then sometimes it is used to justify unethical or immoral behaviors . Religion can help people find their empathetic self, then sometimes justifies our selfish prejudices.

    The idea is not that religion in and of itself makes someone a better person or better citizen. It is more what any given person does with that religious belief or lack thereof. I know good, patriotic, morally upright folks who are both religionists and atheists.

    Being a "good" American does not correlate to belief in any given deity, nor does the absence of such belief. What people think though, as the various surveys show, is that there is some sort of correlation. Just because you believe a thing to be true, does not make it so.

    That is the problem with these kinds of articles.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2017 11:02 a.m.

    Believing in God can make one a better person, hence a better American.

    It depends what one does with that knowledge.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    March 29, 2017 11:02 a.m.

    Not all religions are equal. Most religious beliefs supersede nation patriotism.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    March 29, 2017 10:57 a.m.

    In July of 1787 our new nation deliberated over expansion, particularly what to do with the area surrounding the Great Lakes. They came up with the Northwest Ordinance.

    In Article Three, they declared their intentions for education. They wrote: "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind..."

    Religion and America? What do you think?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2017 10:52 a.m.

    I became a better person and American when I stopped believing in god. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone who does believe, but I most definitely became a better person.
    A bigger picture of the Universe and other humans helped me realize my religious views cannot determine how someone else should live. I no longer believe someone who has had a run of bad luck is being "punished" by god for not living up to someone else's standard.
    I believe in helping everyone, not just those who share similar beliefs in my neighborhood.
    I definitely believe a progressive view of the world helps more people than a regressive view.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 29, 2017 10:27 a.m.

    If you "think" so, then yes.

    "As a man thinketh, so is he..." God, Proverbs 23:7