California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Nathan outside the Performing Arts Center at Bakersfield College on February 10, 2020.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Nathan: I like to believe that there’s a God. I like to have that sense of faith. Whenever I have a problem or something, I would always look up to Him and have that sense of hope that everything’s going to be all right because God always has a plan for everything. So that’s how I usually think about it when it comes to situations and stuff. My grandma has always wanted me to go to church but usually I don’t have time to, but I still read the Bible and all that.
If someone who doesn’t believe in God asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?
Nathan: That’s a good question. The reason why I believe in it is as a sense of hope or faith, as in always believing that in the end, there’s a plan that He has out for us that’s always going to be better than we imagined. So that’s probably what I would tell him. It’s a sense of faith.
Would you encourage someone to believe in God?
Nathan: Oh, yeah. Most definitely. I believe that you should believe in God because it gives you a sense of faith that whatever happens in your life – let’s say someone passes away, or financial problems, or something along your journey, the highs, the lows – I feel like you should believe in God because once you believe in that sort of mindset, then He’s going to give you the idea of faith and hope and that in the end, no matter what happens and no matter how low you get or how high you get, it’s always going to be better than what you imagined your end to be. So that’s why I believe you should believe in God, because He’s going to give you that mindset of faith.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Nathan: Probably not, because honestly I don’t know. It’s a hard question.
If you don’t believe in an afterlife, what kind of hope does it give you to believe in God when someone passes away?
Nathan: As in, things are going to get better. You know how, when someone passes away, they say, ‘Oh, they’re in a better place now.’ If you’re believing in God or Christ, then I feel like they take that saying more serious, and be more comforted.
Do you believe in Jesus?
Nathan: Yes. I don’t go to church. So I don’t know a lot about it. But to me I feel like He’s someone who you can look up to and just hope and believe that there is one, and you can always rely on Him.
Where does your grandma want you to go to church?
Nathan: It’s one of her churches. I don’t know what it’s called. She’s always like, ‘Oh, you should go to church.’ I told her, ‘Oh, I don’t have time.’ And then for Christmas, she got me a Bible. So she goes, ‘Oh, here, read this.’ So I started reading it. I just started because of my schedule and everything, but I still need to get into it more. On social media and stuff, I look at Bible verses, you know those quotes. Those are always eye-opening because it just gives you a different perspective of life. It’s always fascinating.
How do you decide what’s right and wrong?
Nathan: I go with my gut feeling and if it’s wrong, then I know it’s wrong. If it’s right, then I always think about it in the long term, if it’s going to help me over the long term. When it comes to making a decision, I don’t think about it short term. I think about it long term. If I do this, will it help me in the long run or if I do this will it not help me. So that’s how I make my decisions.
Do you think there are things that are objectively wrong?
Nathan: Probably murder and all that, those things. But like anything lesser, probably not because everybody has their own ways of going about this world.
What about abortion?
Nathan: I’ve been taking a political science class, so we’re going to talk about that. I don’t have a side for this because there’s always two sides of every story. I don’t think it’s right. But then in the beginning, it was in a sense the women’s fault, not looking after themselves, eventually they got themselves in that situation where they could have just completely avoided it. They need to look after themselves. But, I don’t know. If I pick one side, then there’s some other sides that have true points too.
What if a woman conceives a child in rape, gives birth, and then is struggling to go to work and school so she drowns her baby? There are a lot of sides to the story – is it wrong for her to kill the baby?
Nathan: Oh, man. That’s a different situation. It’s very tough. That wasn’t the smartest decision for her to make. I feel like there could’ve been some solution to the problem other than killing the baby. If I were to give my opinion, yeah, that would be wrong. No matter how bad things can get, there’s always a way of at least coping with the problem. And with abortion, it’s probably not the best solution, but I mean, oh man, if that’s the last straw and there’s no other thing, then I guess you would say yeah. I feel like that’s wrong, so probably no. Something should happen other than just getting rid of the baby.
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