California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Janae, who is studying sports, in the SB North Patio at San Diego Mesa College on November 19, 2019.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Janae: Uhuh. I don’t really tell that many people. I kind of just like don’t say anything unless they ask. I feel guilty if I do something I’m not supposed to do, so everything I’m doing I’m thinking like okay, would God do that? Is that like a sin or something? I think about that so much but when people ask me, “Why did you do that?” then I don’t say that it’s because I was religious. I used to go to church. I went to church every Sunday when I was younger and then when I got into my teen years, I went to youth church and I didn’t like them, so I stopped. It’s supposed to be inviting and stuff and they weren’t really friendly to me and I was really awkward. When I was seven and eight I used to be so into it. It was my favorite thing, going to church. It was so much fun. 

How do you decide if something’s good or bad?

Janae: I feel like when you grow up, there’s just things that are unsaid that you know you’re not supposed to do. When I was growing up, I didn’t do a lot of things that I wasn’t supposed to do. I knew that, okay, I’m not supposed to touch the stove. I never got told, “Don’t touch the stove.” I just knew it. That way I was never in trouble for things because I kind of figured them out. 

If an atheist I asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?

Janae: Just that that’s how I was raised. People say, “How can you believe in something with no background evidence?” But I think that’s what faith is. If you have faith you don’t have to have evidence. I believe in the end that’s how you get into heaven or hell.

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

Janae: Jesus is the Man that watches over you and He sees what you do. He’s just a figure, a spiritual figure that you can go by. That’s what I believe. It’s faith.

Do you think only good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell?

Janae: If you do something with good intentions I don’t think it’s as black-and-white as it sounds, like, “If you murder, then you go to hell.” I don’t I think it’s like that. I think it’s like, if you murder with good intentions – I’m not saying murder people – but if you did something out of the good and you really in your heart were doing it for a good reason, then it’s not like you are automatically going to hell. People decide for themselves what’s good and what’s bad and then when you die you find out.

 What do you think about abortion?

Janae: I don’t really think that a fetus is a life yet. I think my mom, if it was her choice, she would definitely say don’t have it. But I think if God was like, “Hey, is this what you want to do?” And I was like, “Yes, this is what I really want to do,” He would let me do it. He wouldn’t be like, “That’s a sin,” just because you didn’t want to have a baby. It’s not that big of a deal.

What would you say to the argument that a pregnant woman is carrying a human being and nothing can justify killing that human being?

Janae: If you’re going to call that a life, then you could say every time a guy jerks off and lost all that sperm then those are all lives too. If you don’t care about those ones – it’s all the same.

But sperm are gametes with only half a set of DNA while an embryo or fetus has complete DNA.

Janae: I never thought about that. That’s so simple. Why did I not think of that? It’s just, it’s not alive yet. It’s just in you and you just get rid of it like it was never there.

When do you think it becomes a life?

Janae: Probably when you go to see the ultrasound and you can see the little baby.

Janae: Should we talk about gay people now? I have a lot of gay friends. I love them. I have a gay friend who’s Catholic, so. I also know my mom would so not approve of me being gay, but I think it’s just the way things are. You can’t force people to be someone that they’re not, so just try to love people for who they are and don’t impose your opinions on them.

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