Monday, August 25, 2014

The State of Faith in America Panel with Larry King

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In this episode of Larry King Live, Gus Holwerda (film maker) Dr. Lawrence Krauss (American theoretical physicist) - who created the film The Unbelievers - were joined by Michael Beckwith (American new thought minister & author), Christian actor David A. R. White, and Jay Bakker (pastor, speaker and author).

Nothing new here - but it's interesting to hear Beckwith spar with Krauss. It's also interesting to hear Jay, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, talk about faith vs. belief (dude has some serious tats).  I'd like to see the film Krauss helped make, The Unbelievers: What Are You Willing to Believe?

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This aired on August 20, 2014.

The State of Faith in America Panel with Larry King



According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, religious disaffiliation in the U.S. is at an all-time high. A panel of religious leaders and nonbelievers joined Larry King on his Emmy Nominated show Larry King Now to discuss this trend and what it means for the future of faith in America.

The Unbelievers is a film directed by Gus Holwerda featuring Lawrence Krauss (American theoretical physicist) where they traveled across the globe speaking publicly about the importance of science and reason as opposed to religion and superstition. Both Gus and Lawrence were joined by Michael Beckwith (American new thought minister & author), Christian actor David A. R. White & Jay Bakker (pastor, speaker and author) on this recent episode of Larry King Now.

During the panel the religious leaders and nonbelievers evaluated the presence of religion, or lack thereof in Hollywood. "Sex, violence, and religion. Those will sell, and I think Hollywood cares about what’s going to sell. I don’t think they have an agenda, except making money. Religion is a guaranteed way of making money in Hollywood," Lawrence Krauss remarked.

Physicist Dr. Lawrence Krauss also discussed the public's perception of atheists and claims that a research study finds that atheists are viewed in the same vein as rapists. Whereas American New Thought Minister Dr. Michael Beckwith weighed in on why much of the world’s unrest is derived from religion.
  • The episode is now LIVE on Ora.tv and Hulu.com (episodes premiere daily 5pm EST)
  • To watch the interview, click here: http://on.ora.tv/1pbUUyl

Clips:


Are Atheists Viewed In The Same Vein As Rapists?
Physicist Dr. Lawrence Krauss discusses the public's perception of atheists, and claims that a research study finds that atheists are viewed in the same vein as rapists.

I’d Call Myself A Christian Agnostic
Jay Bakker, son of famed televangelists Tammy Faye & Jim Bakker, discusses his progressive outlook on religion & what his popular “Emerging Church Movement” stands for.

Why The Decline In Religion?
Larry’s panel of believers and nonbelievers analyzes a recent Pew Study that says religious disaffiliation is at an all-time high in America.

Surface Level Believers Are Those Who Fight
American New Thought Minister Dr. Michael Beckwith weighs in on why much of the world’s unrest is derived from religion.

Religion Is A Guaranteed Way Of Making Money In Hollywood
Larry’s panel of religious leaders and nonbelievers evaluates the presence of religion, or lack thereof, in Hollywood.

Quotes:


LAWRENCE KRAUSS
"I just ask questions and I want people to think for themselves. And just asking, 'Maybe we don't need a god'—you get called a strident atheist. And somehow that's viewed in our society as a bad thing, for asking questions. But asking questions is what it's all about." — on society being quick to label and write off atheists

"This cosmic Saddam Hussein—if you do something he doesn't like, it's not as if he just tortures you for a few years. It's for all eternity. That doesn't seem to be love." — on the Christian god being a "loving" god

"You cannot, in this current time, say you're an atheist." — on the impossibility of electing an openly atheist president

"The Bible was written, basically, before people knew anything." — on whether the Bible is reputable

GUS HOLWERDA
"I could never buy into it. It was never something I could believe in, so I cast it off at an early age." — on choosing to be atheist

"You can't, with one hand, use science and reason to defend your position about god, and with the other hand, say that the laws of nature can be suspended any time there's a miracle."

MICHAEL BECKWITH
"I had the record for converting Christians to atheism on our college campus."

"I had an encounter with what I call 'love-beauty.' I didn't call it 'god' because I didn't believe in god. The presence was so profound and so real that it altered my character. I can use the word 'god' again, but it's not the god you read about in the Quran or the Bible."

"When I use the word 'spirituality,' I'm speaking of verities like love and peace and harmony and beauty. Those are spiritual qualities. [...] when they become active in you, your character changes."

"If you remain at the surface of just being a believer, a zealot, 'I just believe this' on the surface, then you think that your religion is better than another person’s religion. You’ll fight for religion. But if you actually practice your religion, you don’t end up fighting or thinking yours is better." — on truly practicing religion versus accepting it on the surface

"The Bible, to me, is an evolution of human consciousness. We don't call it the word of god. We call it people who were inspired by the presence of god."

DAVID A. R. WHITE
"I've never wavered from knowing, at the end of the day, where I'm going and is there a god." — on his faith

"I gain my faith, my belief, from what the Bible says about god. Ultimately, Christianity is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's what it's really about."

JAY BAKKER
"Christians are doing enough to destroy themselves just by going against each other over theologies. [...] I'm not really worried about the new atheists as much as I am other Christians."

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