California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interviews with Janiesha, who is studying nursing, outside the LA Southwest College Bookstore; and with Jessica, who is studying child development, outside the LA Southwest College Library on October 2, 2019.
Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily: Do you consider yourself religious?
Janiesha: Yes, because I’m Christian, right? I used to go to church when I was younger. My brother is a pastor.
If an atheist asked you why you believe in God what would you say?
Janiesha: Well everybody has their own feeling if God’s real or not. I just know he’s real. I just know.
If someone asked you, “who is Jesus?” what would you say?
Janiesha: A man that died upon a cross. That’s a hard question. I really don’t know. I haven’t been to church in a while so I don’t know about that one.
What do you think about abortion?
Janiesha: I don’t believe in abortions. It’s a life. Isn’t an abortion killing a baby? Yeah, that’s why I can’t do that. No.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Jessica: Not really. I want to say yes, though. I went to a Catholic school, kindergarten through 8th grade, and in high school I went to a public school. I forget, but I don’t really pray as much as I should. My family is Catholic.
If an atheist asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?
Jessica: People talk about it all the time, about the story of Adam and Eve. I do question it a lot because of the whole dinosaur thing. I’m like, “where did it come in with Adam and Eve? Who came first, the dinosaurs and then Adam and Eve, or?” So I wouldn’t know what to say to them.
Do you agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion is always wrong?
Jessica: I see how their argument is, how they say the fetus has a life because God put in that life but I don’t agree with that. I feel like everybody has their own situations. Sometimes it’s better to just go through that than put the kid out there and have that kid live a terrible life. If they’re the type of person to keep going and not give up and are motivated, then obviously they’re going to keep pushing for that kid, but if they can’t even take care of themselves then you’re putting that child at risk. Mistakes do happen. Sometimes you are smart about it, but stuff does happen. For me, I know if I brought a kid into this world, I can’t even take care of myself, honestly, and putting it into that kid, that’s too much. Can I tell that kid to get up every morning and go to school when I don’t want to get up every morning and go to school? I think I have to get myself first, everything first, and then have a kid, if I have a kid.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Jessica: I do but I don’t know what it is and I think that’s so scary. Because you don’t really know until you go. People do sometimes go and then they come back and tell their stories but you’re hearing it from them, not really going to see it. I guess because of the Catholic thing, they put into your head heaven heaven heaven heaven and when I would think of heaven as a kid I would think of our priest waiting up in heaven as God. When I got older, your mind just goes on and starts thinking of everything. You can think for yourself. Now I think, where do I go? Because if there’s a heaven and there’s a hell, and I heard of purgatory, how does it look? Are we all really good in heaven like they say, like everyone’s good, everyone’s perfect? It’s kind of hard to believe because here, no one’s perfect, we all make mistakes. It’s hard to think of a world where we don’t make mistakes. How does that look? People say you see your loved ones, you see everybody. I find that really crazy. I don’t know, it’s just really weird. And then there’s other people who say reincarnation. Sometimes I’m like, it’s weird, you’re dead, your eyes are closed. If I close my eyes, all I see is black. If I go to sleep, all I see is black. That’s how I feel like it is. The only way I can figure it out is if I die. I don’t want to figure it out.
Thank you very much. I have stuff to think about now.
California Catholic Daily exclusive by Mary Rose.
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