Interview on February 24, 2022 with Marianne, who is studying communications, near the Child Development Center at West Los Angeles College in Culver City, California.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Marianne: Yes, I’m Catholic. I grew up Catholic. We went to Mass every Sunday, went through catechism, made all of our sacraments, Communion, everything, but now just as an adult, I feel like I don’t have as much time to practice and be involved. So I still pray and everything. I just don’t attend Mass as frequently as I feel I should.
Do you think there’s evidence for the existence of God?
Marianne: I don’t, especially because last semester I took an anthropology class and that made me more skeptical just because, “Oh there’s so much proof of this, but no physical proof of this other thing.”
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Marianne: I would say He’s the Son of God and He died for our sins.
Do you think it’s a positive thing to believe in God?
Marianne: I think it is. Yeah. It’s definitely a positive thing because I feel like it grounds most people, gives people faith that things will be better, and instills morals more than just not believing in anything.
You said that religion instills morals, but what about Christians who differ on the morality of some things, like abortion?
Marianne: In my philosophy class, I’m learning that some groups or communities have their idea of what’s right and wrong. And another group might think that their belief of what is right and wrong is completely skewed. But most religions can say, “Okay, murder is bad.” That’s a common one. Abortion, that’s a bit more controversial. But if you’re growing up believing that you will be sent to heaven or hell for certain things that you do, then it will prevent you from doing certain things and it will help you to think that, “Okay, I need to be a helpful person, a good person.”
How do you decide on abortion?
Marianne: I would say, yes, it is a living being, so I am against abortion. Of course there are situations where I think some people should be able to. So, rape, things like that, then definitely. Although it is somewhat immoral, I think in that situation it would be okay to do.
What changes? If it’s wrong to kill a baby, what makes it okay to kill a baby in the case of a woman who’s pregnant through rape?
Marianne: I think it would be more harmful or damaging to that woman to carry the child of her abuser or rapist. I think that would be more damaging to one’s soul. It sounds terrible, but you have to kind of pick and choose.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Marianne: Hmm, yes? Question mark? I feel like most days I do, but some days I do have doubts.