California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Matt, who is studying video production, near the Robert T. Dixon Planetarium at Riverside City College on January 15, 2020.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Matt: No, I don’t. I gave Christianity a try for about a year in 11th grade. I have some family who are very into it and they’re just very good nice people all around. I wanted to try to understand more their worldview. I’m not against it, but I felt bad. I started feeling guilty over a lot more things. I was still a high school boy. I’ll say that I think it does have benefits, but there’s also a lot of guilt and shame that comes with it if you really try to stick with it. It was the Pathway Church. I think with the world as rotten as it is, there’s something so evil, then there has to be a contrary force to go against it, too. I guess you could say I’m agnostic, leaning toward there is a higher power.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Matt: I think so, yeah, because it might sound a little crazy, but I feel like sometimes I remember things that I didn’t do or I relive an experience that I know obviously I wasn’t around for, say around early to mid-1900s. I just feel like it’s very small fragments of memory that come back from that time frame. It is unfortunately likely real. I personally don’t ever want to live again so I would hope there isn’t one, but there’s a ton of accounts and stories people having visions or even crossing over or shortly dying. My aunt, when she was younger, she fell out of a treehouse and I think she said she felt like she died for a few moments. She saw herself kind of leaving her body. Stories like that stack up. There likely is something, yes.
Matt explains his views on the afterlife.
What do you think about abortion?
Matt: I think it’s a matter of responsibility. I know it’s kind of a cop out, but a case-by-case. If a girl was raped and it’s an unwanted hell spawn then obviously it should be vaporized. But, as it is, we have a bunch of contraceptives and we’re adults so we do have to be more responsible and know what we’re getting into with that. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand the gravity of the situation so they run off and make mistakes. Personally I was unplanned, my mom has said as much. Kind of a messed up thing to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it was for most people.
Do you think abortion ends the life of a human being?
Matt: As long as there’s a heartbeat, then yeah, it’s a living organism. Does it offend me or bother me? No, it really doesn’t.
What do you think about drunk driving?
Matt: I think it’s reprehensible because it’s putting others’ lives at risk. A 2000 pound steel death trap. It just shows a general lack of care for your fellow person. It’s very irresponsible.
Couldn’t someone say that abortion is showing a lack of care to your fellow person?
Matt: It is, yeah. It is definitely uncaring. I think being raped is the very big supporting argument for it. Without it, I mean it’s a cruel act no matter what. You are killing a baby, a very small fetus. We’re very far gone at this point for most to be okay or neutral with it, me included. I’m no exception. Some countries are still very against it. West Coast United States, very liberal California, it’s just part of the social politics.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Matt: I’d say he was the perfect figure. He was an exemplary role model for his time and the people around him, which later got him killed, I guess.
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