Dear Reader,

California colleges are battlefields for student minds.

Students’ hearts yearn for the truth, but where will they find it?

Our reporter, Mary Rose, will chronicle this battle.

She will visit a California college each week and ask students about God, good, and evil.

Below is the fourth installment of California Catholic Daily’s new feature, “Inquiring Minds.”

  • Jackie, engineering major, from Los Angeles
  • Karina, from Los Angeles
  • Outside Franklin Hall at Los Angeles City College
  • December 4

Mary Rose: Do you consider yourself religious?

Jackie: Short answer: no. I was born into Christianity. My family has a doctrine where we’re not fanatics of traditional rituals like going to church every Sunday, doing certain celebrations.

We don’t consider ourselves fanatics, but we do have a faith and no one will change us. So we do believe in a higher being, in God. We don’t consider [going to church] necessary in order to be following the right path.

Karina: Not fully religious. I do go to church every Sunday and stuff, but I don’t pray every day. I mean cause when they say, “Oh, I’m religious,” I consider it as, oh, you pray every day, you go to church every single day or something like that. You don’t curse, you don’t do any sins and stuff.

I feel like the only reason I go to church every single Sunday is because I’m doing my Confirmation. My religion is Catholicism. Right now I’m doing my Confirmation and I have to go to church every single Sunday. So I feel like if I wasn’t going to that, I probably wouldn’t go every single Sunday. Probably I would go every time there’s a Baptism, like a family is baptizing their children then I’d probably go.

Does your faith affect your life?

Jackie: Yes. I try not to go against Jesus’ principles, so I try not to sin but we’re humans. Even if we don’t do the action, we still think it, so that’s still, I guess you can say, sinning.

Karina: Well I try to not do bad stuff that I know I’m not supposed to do. I mean, I try to stay on the good side of the tracks and not go on the bad one. You’re asking me these questions and now that I’m thinking about it, I feel like I am religious. Yeah, I think I am religious.

How do you decide what’s a sin or a bad thing to do?

Jackie: Well, I base my doctrine on what Jesus said and I don’t try to focus on what His disciples did, because sometimes they don’t agree with each other. So my family and I, we try to follow His teachings, and based on that, we avoid what will not benefit us and will prevent us from being a good person.

Karina: You know, there’s this thing like, “If you wouldn’t do it in front of your parents, then don’t do it at all.” So that’s how I base it off. If I wouldn’t smoke in front of my parents, then I wouldn’t do it at all.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Jackie: Yes. I try not to do these bad actions so I won’t affect where I end up in the afterlife. I will try to go up there, but it’s up to God. I do [believe in hell].

Karina: I do believe in the afterlife and I also feel like there’s a place for those who didn’t do well. I feel like I’m going to heaven, because when I think of people going to hell it’s when they commit very big sins, like mass shootings and stuff like that. I’m not trying to say that I’ve done it recently or not – but if I didn’t pay for my bus fare, then I feel like it’s just a minor you know, minor little –

Jackie: So you believe in major and minor sins? Like white lies?

Karina: Yeah. I haven’t committed anything, like any big, drastic sins, so I think I’m going to go to heaven.

“Inquiring Minds” is a California Catholic Daily exclusive by Mary Rose.