California Catholic reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interviews at CSU Northridge with Erika, who is studying psychology, outside Sierra Hall and with Jada, who is studying criminology, outside Eucalyptus Hall on April 17, 2019.

Erika

California Catholic Daily/Mary Rose: Do you consider yourself religious?

Erika: Not really. I believe in God but it doesn’t affect how I live. I go to church sometimes. It’s a Catholic church.

If an atheist asked you why you believe in God what would you say?

Erika: I don’t know. I’ve never been asked these questions before.

Do you agree with what the Catholic Church teaches about abortion?

Erika: Not really. I think it’s a woman’s choice.

What would you say to the argument that no one should have a choice to take away someone else’s life?

Erika: I’m not sure.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman. Do you agree with that?

Erika: No. Everyone has the right to love someone, no matter their gender.

If everyone has the right to love someone, does someone have the right to marry a child?

Erika: No, I don’t think that’s right. If it’s a child, he doesn’t really know but, if it’s an adult, he’s pretty much clear on everything.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Erika: I think so. I think probably everyone goes to heaven.

If someone asked you, “Who’s Jesus?” what would you say?

Erika: I don’t know.

Jada

MaryRose/California Catholic Daily: Do you consider yourself religious?

Jada: Oh, so-so. I believe in God. It kind of gives a perspective in life, pretty much like a moral guidance.

When you say “moral guidance” what do you mean?

Jada: Kind of like a little guide to how to live life and how to treat people differently. What’s good and bad, stuff like that. I come from a family of Christians. I read the Bible.

Do you think the Bible applies today and we should do what it says?

Jada: I don’t know because some of the guys are kind of questionable. That’s why modern people have kind of fallen away because people are starting to realize some of the things are really immoral in hindsight. Like they said thou shalt not murder but we can stone people who abort and people who are gay and people who steal. There’s also, in other words, you should treat everyone with respect but yet some of the Bible implies that you should treat women like property so it’s kind of just questionable at times.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Jada: Yes, I do.

Do you think everyone goes to heaven?

 Jada: It depends. I think some people do, some people don’t. I know some people who saw their family members from there. There are some people who actually went to hell and then went back to heaven, stuff like that.

How do you get to heaven?

 Jada: I think just don’t be an ass. That’s the only way. Just don’t be an ass, don’t be hypocritical. Kind of like there are some priests that when they died they saw of them in hell too, and it’s like yeah, don’t use God’s word just to make yourself appear better than people because that’s not how it works. Or in general, even if we don’t believe, just don’t be a bad person.

How do you know what’s bad? Does it come from the Bible? 

Jada: There’s some things that are like, these are bad, but yet in the Bible are fine. Like Islam, apparently, they do use certain things from the Bible, like stone the gays or the whole rape thing, they pretty much follow all those rules. It’s in the Bible and it says it’s fine, so it’s like some things are contradictory some things aren’t. It’s just so confusing at times.

If someone asked you, “Who’s Jesus?” what would you say? 

Jada: He’s the Guy that died for our sins. It’s the Guy that is God’s Son or, technically, God reborn in a way. He’s the One that is trying to guide our people to becoming a better person and get to heaven.

A California Catholic Daily exclusive by Mary Rose.