California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Isis, who is studying biology, by Olmsted Hall at UC Riverside on January 15, 2020.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Isis: Yes. I don’t practice it that often, but I still believe in something. It’s like I can refer to something when I’m in a difficult situation. It’s like a support, not  physically there to tell me what to do, but it’s just like a thought. I do go to church. Not often, but I do go. My family is Catholic. 

What do you think about the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion is always wrong?

Isis: I don’t agree with everything that the Church has to say because of society, I guess, how it influences us to think out of the box, not just thinking that is set. So I don’t completely agree with them deciding some things over our life. But I still try to follow their path.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Isis: I believe in an afterlife and it’s basically you don’t actually die. Your body dies, but your soul is still alive. To get there, not causing any harm to anyone is kind of the basic of going that path.

What if somebody said abortion causes harm to someone because someone has to die in every abortion?

Isis: I don’t think that’s right because everyone deserves to live even if it’s the smallest thing. I disagree with abortion.

What if someone said a woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her body?

Isis: I would agree with that because other people don’t know what that person is going through, so only she gets to decide what is beneficial for her.

What if someone said that the baby should get a choice?

Isis: The baby is part of her, so I guess it’s right for her to make the choice for the baby.

How would you describe Jesus?

Isis: It’s not a fictional character, but it’s like that aspect of it. Like you’ve never seen Him, but still know of Him and believe in Him. that’s how I would describe Him.

How do you decide what’s right and what’s wrong?

Isis: Something is bad if it has bad consequences and something is good if it brings you positive outcomes.

What if a young mother drowns her two-year-old and then has positive consequences like more time to work and go to school?

Isis: That’s a tricky question. I don’t know, it depends on the situation. It is bad to kill someone but I don’t know. I’m kind of confused on what I would respond to that.

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

Isis: To give people hope, because in the world today it’s not that positive and there’s a lot of bad things happening. I guess just believing in something gives people hope that not everything will be good but at least the majority of things will be good.

Do you know anything about Pope Francis?

Isis: No. No I don’t. 

If someone brought up the priest sex abuse scandals and asked you how you could go to a church where something like that had happened, what would you say?

Isis: I’m not related to them. They made their own decisions to do that. Even though they are part of my religion, I don’t feel like I’m connected to them in a way that what they do affects me personally and what I believe. 

If you enjoyed this story, consider making a donation to support Mary Rose and the Inquiring Minds column, so that we can continue to provide this insight into the religious beliefs of California college students. You can do so by visiting our Donation Page.