California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Bella, who is studying psychology, outside the College Center at College of San Mateo on October 23, 2019.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Bella: I did pretty heavily growing up, but now – yeah, in a way. It’s just not really connected to one religion, so I can’t really call myself a Christian or something. As I’ve come to really learn about all the other religions and everything surrounding that, I’ve been able to be thoughtful about what I’m doing throughout my day. Like the food I’m eating, just feeling grateful, just be more mindful about everything basically. And just when I see beauty, I can see something divine about it. I grew up Catholic. My dad still goes to church, but I still wouldn’t want to go back to those churches, like the church that my dad goes to. I just feel like I’ve really drifted away from all those sort of views and the group of people who follow the church or Catholicism. I personally don’t agree with a lot of the things and I just can’t support something that I don’t really agree with.

What do you think about the Church’s teaching on abortion?

Bella: I really don’t think it’s theirs to decide. A lot of people who are against abortion are followers of Christ or whatever. I’m pro-choice, of course.

What other things do you disagree with the Church on?

Bella: I would say like the LGBTQ community, how they don’t support that as much. I feel like some branches of Christianity has really made God something that they can use themselves, like kind of change, so it fits their agenda. There’s so many things in it, like the way they preach and the way they teach kids about the religion.

How do you decide what’s right and wrong?

Bella: I really think that all the religions are all the same. They have the same basic like Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. They all have the same basic stories. It’s all the same. I understand how Christianity fits this group of people or how each one is culturally different so I think that has a big impact on it, as well. I believe the cultural beliefs get tied into it. I view God more as like within all of us. It’s just more us human beings or like everything, nature, animals, and everything divine and beautiful. 

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Bella: Oh yeah. I think that may be like those who aren’t good like their souls aren’t at rest or like they’re just not pure at heart or whatever or they didn’t do well on Earth their souls maybe would be stuck on Earth. and whoever did well and ask for forgiveness or whatever at the end of their life I feel like there’s maybe some sort of incarnation then going on, something happens with that.

What would the Church have to change for you to come back?

Bella: For them to convince me to come back, or change some things, I would really like to see a change in how they teach kids starting off with religion. Maybe have more acceptance towards others and show them that there’s not just one, they can explore many. 

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