California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Sam, who is studying business, outside the Dining Commons at Cal State Monterey Bay on January 28, 2020.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Sam: Somewhat. I grew up Catholic. I don’t really go to church that much, but I still have a little bit of faith. My mom and dad still go to church. I went to an all girls Catholic high school. We always prayed, we’d go to Mass, but I just kind of was there to be there. Not really having true faith, I’d say. But I guess I still consider myself Catholic. I never really was excited or was like, oh my gosh, God is amazing. I had this one awakening when I was in high school. We had this thing called Kairos, which means like God’s time. It’s a week retreat where you don’t have your cell phones and you kind of just open up yourself to people and just realize how many people you affect, and all the love from all the different people around and realizing people go through the same stuff you do. So that was a good time, realizing maybe there’s Somebody out there, but just the people around you have a little bit of goodness in them. And if you consider God is good, then I guess He’s out there.
If someone asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?
Sam: I’d say it’s kind of instilled in me to believe. I don’t really know. I kind of battle with that question quite a bit. But I think if I have a good day when something goes wrong, then I guess something’s going right in the universe, maybe it’s God, maybe it’s not. I don’t know.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Sam: Jesus is the son of God. I’d just give the most basic text answer.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Sam: Yeah, I do. I don’t think you have to behave in a certain way. I think I think everybody is good. But, obviously, if there’s circumstances where you kill people or like obviously something’s not right, then maybe you won’t go to the good place.
How do you decide what’s good and bad?
Sam: I think that people do have a little bit of sin in them. Obviously we choose right or wrong every day, but we don’t always choose right. We kind of just choose whatever. But I think, again, if you’re hurting someone else where it’s harmful, it’s like death or whatever, then I think that’s where the line is drawn.
What about abortion? How do you decide whether that’s right or wrong?
Sam: Abortion’s a sticky topic to talk about. I think it’s the woman’s choice. Honestly, such a hard topic to even think about, just thinking about me as a person, if I am pregnant. I don’t know, what I’d do. I don’t know, I just think life would be very different. I feel like it’s the woman’s decision or, not just the woman’s decision, I feel like it’s also the man’s. Just having a group conversation about what they should do about whatever meets the right terms.
Do you think there’s objective right and wrong or is it just opinions?
Sam: I think there’s certain rights and certain wrongs. But I definitely think that there are opinions out there because people decide what is right or wrong for themselves. So, yeah, I guess it is opinions. Because say, if you do go to the judge, it’s like the judge is judging you if you did the right thing or the wrong thing. So really, it’s up to anyone to choose.
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