Interview on March 8, 2022, with Damaris, who is studying business administration, outside the Student Engagement Center at Mission College in Santa Clara, California.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Damaris: No, I used to be. I feel like there’s a lot of hypocrisy in religion and I feel like it’s too strict, like every day having to abide by what you’re supposed to do. I believe in morals and principles and in what the Bible says, but we live in a fast-paced world, so there’s not always time to be completely devoted to God every single day, 24/7.

Do you go to church?

Damaris: No, I don’t.

Do you believe in God?

Damaris: Yeah, I do. Definitely.

If someone asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?

Damaris: Because of creation. Things didn’t just appear one day. The sun rises every day. There’s a higher power. I believe in the higher power. I believe that God created the universe because it didn’t create itself.

If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?

Damaris: Jesus is God’s Son, His only Son. He came to this earth as a perfect Man to give humanity another chance to live because we’re all imperfect humans and because Jesus is a perfect Man, He came to this earth to balance imperfection. I don’t have a lot of knowledge, but the knowledge I have is based on the Bible. So based on the Bible, God’s first creation was Jesus and that was His Son. He created Him and through Him, through Jesus, He created everything else. He created earth, the universe, everything on earth, and He’s His first creation. 

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Damaris: I believe that the earth was created for humans to live forever on it. But because humans became imperfect, because they disobeyed God, then they grow old and they die. God told Adam and Eve to obey and He told them specifically if they didn’t obey, that they would die. They disobeyed, so they grow old and they die. I believe that God will resurrect the righteous ones and the unrighteous ones, so that they can live on earth like it was originally planned. There is life after death, here on earth. 

Do you believe in hell?

Damaris: No. I don’t believe in hell because I believe that God is love, so if God is love, why is He going to have a place of torment for His children? That doesn’t make sense to me. So I believe that if people do bad or do evil, I believe that they will be judged accordingly because an evil person or person that does bad can repent and God is merciful and God can forgive him, but that’s on God. That’s not for us to judge whether a person is repentant or not. We’re all imperfect and we all make mistakes, why should they live a life in torment? That’s not what God intended for us. 

Is abortion a sin?

Damaris: Yeah, because you’re ending a life. You’re given the responsibility of a life and you’re ending it. I know it’s very sensitive. I’m not saying I’m against abortion. If someone aborts, I’m not going to judge that person because I don’t know what that person has been through. But personally, I wouldn’t do that, regardless of the situation. Because there’s many reasons that someone may get pregnant, rape is a big one, I can’t put myself in that person’s shoes and say, “Oh, how dare they?” No, because I don’t know what they’ve been through. I don’t know that feeling so that’s why I wouldn’t judge, but I am not for it.