California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interviews with Vanessa, who is studying nursing, near the administration building and Sofia, who is pursuing illustration, outside the Gym at Irvine Valley College on March 4, 2020. 


Do you consider yourself religious? 

Vanessa: Not religious, but spiritual. It’s more of like karma and just being one with yourself, being at peace with things, understanding that things happen for a reason. I don’t know if coping is the right word, but it helps me in my daily life understand and be more okay with things that happen. I was Catholic growing up, so I do have those kind of morals instilled in me, too. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Catholic religion is a great religion to get behind, or Christianity, I think they all have good intentions. I don’t know if necessarily all the followers follow those intentions, but I don’t think anything’s wrong with religion. I just found it wasn’t for me and I didn’t really align my morals and my belief system with the Bible necessarily. When people started using religion for political reasonings and gains is when I found myself questioning my religion a little bit more. Along with there’s a lot of misogyny within the religion, at least around my community. I also found that I didn’t really have as strong a voice as I would like, because you can only have such a strong voice if you’re like a youth minister, a priest, you know? Aside from those roles, your voices aren’t very loud in the community. So I just personally was like, there has to be something more than that. 

But you still hold Catholic morals? 

Vanessa: Yeah, I feel like it gave me a good baseline, like the Ten Commandments and stuff. I think they’re all really great baselines and I think they’re well-intended and stuff. I don’t take them as literal as most Catholics do, but stuff like friend thy neighbor and you shouldn’t cheat on someone. Those I do align with and I think it’s very inspirational. I don’t take them as literally, but I do appreciate how inspirational a lot of Bible verses can be. 

What about the Church’s stance on abortion?

Vanessa: That is one of the reasons why I couldn’t really stay with the Catholic religion too much. I think it’s kind of hypocritical, because a lot of people who are pro-life use an exact verse from the Bible and I think when you’re using the Bible or your religious views to impose on somebody else, especially when Jesus never really imposed His religion, He invited people and he gave free will, I think it’s kind of hypocritical. I feel like the best you need to do as Catholics is help them out in their situations. And I don’t think necessarily telling them what to do would be helping them out necessarily.

How do you decide what’s right and wrong?

Vanessa: It really just aligns with my morals. It’s kind of like the golden rule. Like I wouldn’t want someone to do it to me, I wouldn’t do to somebody and vice versa.

Do you believe in an afterlife? 

Vanessa: I do. I don’t know if it comes in the form of reincarnation or if it comes in the form of heaven, but I definitely don’t believe that it just ends there. I think there’s a little bit more to humanity and more to life as a whole, and I’m not denying or agreeing with heaven and hell and the purgatory, but I think life has a purpose and that purpose will be fulfilled in the afterlife. 


Do you consider yourself religious?

Sofia: I’m Christian, so yeah, I would say yes.

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

Sofia: It’s like mostly science, I suppose. Evolution doesn’t really make much sense to me. It doesn’t really make sense that we came from nothing. Especially since a lot of the laws of science say that too, like the second law of thermodynamics. It’s like, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Well, if that is true, then how did the universe come to existence? If there was nothing in the beginning, then nothing can come from nothing. It’s just a theory and they still haven’t really found much proof for it yet. So to me, Christianity makes sense.

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

Sofia: In the Christian faith, Jesus is considered to be the Son of God. And He is part of the Holy Trinity. So there’s a Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but They are all One. So I kind of think of it like split personalities. That’s not very accurate, but it’s easier to think of it that way. Jesus is one of those personalities, He’s the Son and He’s the One who came to save us from our sins. 

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Sofia: Yeah. I believe in an afterlife. It would be kind of sad just thinking there’s nothing after this. 

How do you decide what’s right and wrong? 

Sofia: I’ve raised my moral code from the Bible and just, honestly, common sense. Stealing, lying, murdering, we all know that’s wrong, and we all know that mostly just because we have a conscience. The question is, where does that conscience come from? I believe it comes from God because God gives us our conscience because we were made in His image. So that’s where I believe that our morals come from.

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