California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Damon, who is studying sociology, near the Community Health and Wellness Center at City College of San Francisco on October 23, 2019.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Damon: I guess more agnostic. I’m kind of in the middle. I know my mother, she’s Christian, but I’m just in the middle, kind of thinking about my own things right now. I can’t really commit to one religion, not at this moment, but maybe at a later point in life I will. Right now I’m just kind of in the middle. I used to pray a lot and my mom would make me do children’s Bible studies. We never really went to church which is an interesting thing. I think we only went to church one time in my whole life. But yeah, she got me a little children’s book that had all the Bible stories in it and we would occasionally watch little cartoons for kids to know about the Bible, but beyond that not really, not much. I don’t pray. Sometimes we would pray, but beyond that we never were really super religious. My house was never a super strict religious household.
Do you think you have morals from your religious background that an atheist wouldn’t have?
Damon: Not really. I think it’s just a case-by-case basis. I know a lot of Christians that – of course it’s kind of a thing that Christians can be hypocrites, but also I know a lot of people that are atheist that also aren’t so great either. It’s more of a personality thing, not just a pure “if you follow this doctrine or religion then you are a bad person or a good person.” It’s more of a personality thing, at least in my opinion.
Do you believe in God?
Damon: It’s kind of complicated to me. I think there is a lot going on. There might be. I think there are certain things that science can’t entirely explain yet, like how the universe was created. There might be some otherworldly explanation for that. I do think there is an afterlife of some sort. I don’t think we just die and that’s it. I think there’s a lot more going on than most people would be willing to admit or acknowledge or, at best, they’re just ignorant about it. I don’t pretend to know all the answers but I think anyone who claims to know everything for certain is wrong. I just try to keep an open mind and I wish other people would too, with this kind of thing. Because a lot of it’s open to interpretation so we don’t know everything. We still don’t know if we’re the only beings in the universe and we’re probably not. There’s a lot going on that we don’t know about yet and we are still discovering things.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Damon: First I would ask them what they think about Jesus to kind of get where their mind’s at and then I would tell them what I could and then I would suggest to them to do some research. Because ultimately that’s what I want people to do, do your own research and make up your own mind. It can be hard for some people because sometimes they’re in environments where they’re kind of pressured to be a certain way or think a certain way. But I think it is good to go out of your way and search up stuff and learn things on your own from time to time so you can form your own opinion more objectively, instead of one being forced upon you. That’s where my mind leads me if someone asked me that.
What do you think about abortion?
Damon: I think it’s complicated. I’m not a woman, so I can never have a baby, so personally I don’t have much stake in it, but I do think no one should force anyone to do something they don’t want to do except in extreme circumstances, unless it’s to harm somebody else. But besides that, I think it should be up to the individual woman to decide if she wants to have an abortion or not. I’m learning more and more that things are complicated circumstances are complicated. There’s very few instances where there is a clear right and wrong.
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