California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Autumn, who is studying history and political science, outside the Student Services building at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California on March 9, 2020.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Autumn: Spiritual. Meaning like chakras and meditation and just energy, stuff like that. I don’t pray or anything. I think there’s a God, but I don’t believe in the Bible. So I just think there’s a higher power. I just don’t know what that power is. I was raised Christian. My mom, I wouldn’t say is super, super Christian, but she’s a believer. She prays every night. She doesn’t like going to church because church drama, so she watched little Bible study programs and stuff on Sundays and she used to have us pray every night. She used to have us bless food every night. But when I got older and more curious, I started thinking about other possibilities and then there’s this dude and I started reading his books about spirituality, basically Egyptian religion. I got pretty into that. That was the one that just made more sense to me overall. I’m still researching it and everything, so I’m not really sure where I stand on it. That book taught me how to meditate. The very first time I meditated, I swear to God I wasn’t high or anything, it was just the s*** I was seeing. There were visuals. There was a voice. I think it was me, but it was like a subconscious thing, basically s*** he was describing in the book. And ever since then I’ve been doing it and each time it’s the same thing, not the same thing, it’s more enlightening every time. I figure things out about myself. It’s more like a self enlightenment thing. He says that we all need to reach a point of the higher state of mind because there’s things that we forgot over time.

Does it involve a moral code?

Autumn: This is another thing that I like about it is that there’s no rules. Well, I guess there’s one. It’s you have to be receiving and giving unconditional love in order to officially really reach that higher state of mind. Because it has to do a lot with your energy and what chakras are open to certain s***. That’s pretty much it though, you just go your own way with it. 

Do you believe that certain things are objectively wrong?

Autumn: No. Well, murder, stuff like that. But the whole sex before marriage thing, I think you can do what you want. I think that women should be able to get abortions and that people could be gay, trans, whatever, whatever it is. And I think that people should just be okay with it because it’s not really your life. There is nothing you can do about it.

But what if someone thinks that the actions will hurt the person committing them – shouldn’t they say something?

Autumn: I think that really just depends on the situation. I think a lot of times from the outside looking in, yes, it may seem like the wrong thing to do, but you never really know until you’re in the situation. For example, with the whole abortion thing, what if a woman is raped. She just doesn’t want to have that memory around all the time. And then what about those who just can’t afford to have a kid? And then people say that there’s like an adoption and everything, but the adoption system’s messed up. It messes a lot of kids up. So I mean, if you have that option and you could do it legally, so it’s safe and you won’t hurt yourself, I think that’s okay. I think that’s the right thing to do if it’s in your best interest.

Earlier you said murder is objectively wrong. What if someone argued that every abortion ends a human life and so nothing can justify it?

Autumn: I used to be kind of more pro-life because in terms of that, but at the same time I don’t know. I’m not going to say it’s not a human, but what if it didn’t want to be born? We don’t know that either. I just think of it in terms of a responsibility thing. If you’re responsible enough to know that you’re unable to take care of your child because of the situation you’re in, or if you’re raped,  or if you just don’t want a kid, I’d rather take an abortion over a child being born into a family that doesn’t want them. There’s a lot more damage done there. Sometimes.

No one has a perfect life. Everyone is hurt or “damaged” at some point – that doesn’t seem like a good argument for abortion.

Autumn: I don’t know. I’m pro-choice and pro-life, but I feel like there should be restrictions. I don’t think that abortion should be banned completely, but I think it should be restricted to certain times. If you’re going to wait until you’re in your f***ing second trimester and then want to abort, I think that’s pretty f***ed up and that shouldn’t be allowed. I think if you make it that far, you should be forced to keep that baby because you had a whole bunch of time to think about it. But I mean, if it’s some accidental thing or if you were raped or you feel like you really just cannot handle the situation at all, I think they should be able to make that decision. It’s the same thing as saying, I have authority over my child when they’re kids, I make decisions for them because I feel like they can’t make decisions for themselves. If you really want to get technical, it’s the same thing: I’m going to make this decision for you and me. That’s her baby, her body, it’s her kid.

But you wouldn’t let her kill her born child?

Autumn: No, no, no. That’s wrong. That is murder. Inside your belly, no. What happens when you take away that choice? Some people really still feel trapped and then they start looking, they go to an extreme to get rid of the kid. Now you got two bodies. If you could do it medically and safe, give them that option. I feel like more people will be hurt taking away that option, taking away that choice.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Autumn: Yeah. I have mixed emotions about it. I want to believe there’s an afterlife, but it’s just one of those, I got to see it to believe it things. It’s what I was taught.

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.