Interview on October 31, 2022, with Aaron, who is studying mechanical engineering, outside the Performing Arts Center at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Aaron: I do. I don’t really attend church, but I find a very spiritual way of thinking about things. I like to focus on the morals taught in the Bible and follow that. I don’t necessarily try to spread my religion. I have a very personalized view of Christianity, non denominational.
How did you develop your understanding of religion?
Aaron: I developed it through my parents. My dad, mostly, he’s very religious, but we definitely have a different view on it. We haven’t gone in a while, but as a kid we went to church.
Why did you stop going to church?
Aaron: There was an incident at the church that we went to that was not a very good incident, which is not uncommon in churches, but ever since then we haven’t returned to a church.
What kinds of Biblical morals do you follow?
Aaron: Doing things the same way when no one is watching because God is watching, that kind of thing. It always comes down to interpretation, so I live by the way I interpret it.
Christians interpret the Bible differently on things like abortion. How would you interpret it?
Aaron: I would make first, a personal decision in whether or not I would, and I don’t think that me and my partner would ever have an abortion. I don’t have a partner, but in the future. But when it comes to other people, I think church and state should be separated. If people truly believe that what they’re doing is not wrong, I’m not going to be the one to change that for them. I’m not going to be the one to judge them.
Do you think you have an obligation to help people develop their morals so they pass just laws?
Aaron: There’s also the fact whether or not people want to hear what I have to say. If no one wants to hear what I have to say, then I don’t feel the need to tell them because there’s no change that’s going to happen. It’s just going to result in separation. So if someone is willing to hear what I have to say about it, then I will tell them, but I’m not going to be the one that forces on someone preaching that they don’t want to hear.
You said that you would never participate in an abortion. Do you think abortion is wrong?
Aaron: I think it’s wrong, but I’m obviously not the one to judge. I can only judge for myself.
If someone asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?
Aaron: I don’t know. It’s a hard question. At the end of the day, I think it just makes me a better person. That’s the most important part: as long as I’m a good person.
If an atheist asked you why you think there’s a God, what’s your evidence?
Aaron: Now I’m blanking about the reasons I probably came up with in the past. I don’t know. I have reasons, but I can’t really formulate them.
What if an atheist argued that, because of the theory of evolution, we don’t need a Creator?
Aaron: I don’t think science absolutely disproves God. I like to think of God as a higher dimensional Being, so you don’t know the capabilities. I think science could even support accurate Bible historical references and that type of thing. They can work together, but people like to separate them and argue against each other when they could be used together. Obviously people can believe what they want. I’m blanking on why I believe in God at this moment.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Aaron: I do believe there’s an afterlife. I believe it’s heaven because I believe the energy we have, such as emotional energy, consciousness, that type of thing, is too great to just be coincidence. So I believe that somewhere our energy is preserved and that’s where heaven is. I believe it’s in a higher dimension.
Do you think that those who commit clearly evil acts and are unrepentant share in that heaven?
Aaron: I don’t believe so. I believe that your energy on earth matches your energy in the afterlife and that decides how you live your afterlife. It’s kind of weird talking about the higher dimension and that type of energy.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Aaron: He was a historical Person. He was a peasant, so there’s not much evidence of Him. I like to think of Him as our dimension’s recreation of God. So He was God in human form Who came to earth and spread the word and obviously was hated for it. He was killed and He showed that He was God by resurrecting Himself.
Do you believe that it is true that God exists and that Jesus really came to earth?
Aaron: Yes. The Bible is a historical text. Not all of it is true, because it was written by humans, but you have to reference it and look past all the miracles and see how everything lines up. Then you choose what you believe from that.