California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Jesús, who is studying computer maintenance and repair, and Reyna, who is studying early childhood development, outside the Student Services Center at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo on November 18, 2019.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Reyna: I’m Catholic. I would say I’m religious, but not as much. I do go to church once in a while, usually on Sundays, but I do believe in God. I don’t know if it’s for a lot of Hispanics, but my family, since we are Catholic, we always follow the first communion, the confirmation, and all of that. Me and my brother had to do our first communion and we actually had to go to church every single Sunday and actually had to listen to what they were saying and then report back to the teacher.

Jesús: Not really. I’m actually Christian, I come from a Christian background. My grandmother, she’s the one who got me into reading the Bible and things like that, not that I do it now. I do go to church Fridays and Saturdays. I used to go Fridays and Sundays. Christianity is more baptism and “holy dinner” or “the resurrection dinner” or something like that, I think it’s called in English.

What do you think about abortion?

Reyna: I feel like they shouldn’t even have abortion because if you’re bringing a child to this world, you should have it. If not, then don’t even bother to have one in the first place. I love kids so, if someone gets an abortion, that feels really sad. If I could, I would adopt that child because that child needs a life.

Jesús: My thoughts on abortion are really just let people do what they choose. It’s their life. If they decide to go back on abortion, that’s their choice. I mean I’m really: freedom of doing anything. Whether that’s because I’ve been with a really restrictive mother to this day, or whether it’s because everyone has their own choice, everyone can choose what to do. Do what you will, do what you choose, pretty much.

Reyna: It’s a free country, anyone can do whatever, but if they’re going to bring a child into this world, they should just have it. They shouldn’t want to give up their child. I understand when you are really young, like a teenager, you probably make mistakes.

Jesús: I see where you’re coming from because my mom could have legit aborted me because of my disability. Doctors have said I was never going to be able to walk or that I could have died just from being born. I was – I want to say five months early, I could be wrong. Premature. My mother could have aborted me if she wanted to because she was nineteen at the time she had me. Thank the Lord that she didn’t abandon me because I don’t know where I would be now.

Why do you draw the line where you do, saying that it’s okay to kill a baby before they’re born but not after?

Jesús: You’re really making me think at this point. You really are. I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s the mother’s choice and I’ll probably never know the mother’s choice or I’ll probably never know her true intentions. Or the father’s choice for that matter, if they both decide they want to have this kid. I really wouldn’t know what to say, to be honest.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Jesús: I’ve struggled in believing in that sort of stuff. I do believe it and I’ve heard many perspectives of it. I don’t really know what type of afterlife to believe in and if there is any at all. I’ll see once I pass away from this world. Those are my thoughts on it.

Reyna: I believe that we’re all going to die and basically we’re going to go happy with God and live life with God how he wants it.

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

Reyna: I haven’t really thought of that.

Jesús: I’ve never really thought of that. 

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

Jesús: I would just say it’s because of my religious upbringing. Really just my grandmother, because my mother wasn’t all that: “read the Bible, do this, do that.” Or: “if you don’t go to church you’re going to be cursed, you’re going to suffer at the hands of the devil.” But it’s been somewhat forced on me. I wouldn’t really know how to put it any other way. That would pretty much be my only answer: just my upbringing and what I’ve been taught to believe. What I’ve been taught is right and wrong. You’re making me think outside the box here. Thank you very, very much.

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