California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil.Interview with Alondra, who is studying child development, outside the library at Taft College (southwest of Bakersfield) on February 10, 2020.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Alondra: I would say yes. I attend mass every Sunday. Well at least I try to go to Mass when I can. Me and my husband started going two years ago together and we just got married by the church. We just got married in January. We do pray, but not as much together anymore. We did at one point, but since the semester started, we’ve been crazy. He’s a nursing student, so it’s crazy.
If someone asked you why you believe in God, what would you say?
Alondra: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I would explain the sense that I get when you believe in God, the peace that I feel that’s beyond what you see. I wouldn’t know how to answer that. I believe there’s evidence, but I also believe that it’s more in a sense of what you feel inside that’s beyond what we can measure, like what we believe here. It’s way, way beyond that.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Alondra: I would say he is the Son of God, or Savior. I would explain He’s our Savior that He came here to save us. I would say, maybe if they’re so confused, a path that you follow. Jesus is more of a path that you want to follow and stay on and try to achieve throughout your life.
How do you decide what is the path to follow?
Alondra: I guess it just comes back from when I was taught, when I was small, right from wrong. And the path just feels right. You just know you’re not doing bad things or you feel like you’re doing the right thing. You’re not being the greedy person. You’re more giving than receiving. I feel that to me, that would be the path to follow Jesus towards hopefully one day heaven or to God, to be as close as you can to God.
Why did you get married by the Church?
Alondra: My husband and I got married by the Church because we felt that we needed to show that our love wasn’t just something from this world. We wanted to have our love be under God, that felt that it was real, in a sense. We wanted to follow God more, be closer to Him and we felt that if we took that sacrament, it would get us one step closer to the path that we hopefully want to stay on. Why else? Oh, because we’re in love. But the main reason would be that, when we got married by the Church, it just felt – because we were married prior – but when we got married, when we did the sacrament, it just felt so, like, this is real. It’s under God. This is it. I think that’s why we did it, to just try to get closer to God. It just felt like we had to follow more, seek more the Bible. Follow more traditional ways. We just felt more responsible. Just more. It just felt right.
Do you think there are some things that are objectively wrong no matter who does them and how they feel about it?
Alondra: Yeah, in a sense like murder? It’s just always wrong. I’ve always said if somebody were to, God forbid, hurt my sister or anything like that, I would still not wish death upon them. I would just say murder in general. It’s just wrong.
How about abortion:
Alondra: That one is so hard. It’s so controversial. I can have my own opinion on it, like, yes, it’s so wrong, yes. But then there are certain situations where I would feel like, ‘Oh, but let’s say she was 13 and she was raped.’ That’s kind of shocking. It’s a controversial topic that I myself have not found the answer. So in a sense you would say, yes, I do go to church, but it’s hard to stick with one solid, black and white answer. There’s gray areas. It’s really difficult to see it.
But just like if something happened to your sister, if something happened to a young girl, especially if the person at fault is not the baby, it seems like abortion is still uncalled for.
Alondra: Yeah. That’s so true. I’m still against abortion, but I still have the gray area lingering on me. So I guess you can’t say that I’m a hundred percent against it because in a situation I would have to like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ If it’s other situations, of course not. But there is that gray area. Hopefully one day I’m on the right, right track and I can adamantly say, ‘Oh, a hundred percent.’ You know, that’s eventually the goal. But as humans, it’s difficult. It’s really difficult.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Alondra: I do. I believe in heaven. I believe that everything we do here on earth is what leads us to heaven, if we’re on the right track.
Do you believe there’s a hell and how do you think people can know whether they’re heading one way or the other?
Alondra: Yes. I would say if one just becomes knowledgeable with the Bible – say you didn’t have parents to teach you right from wrong – you could literally read the Bible and understand right from wrong. It might be confusing, but if you just keep reading and reading it, I guess you’d have an understanding. And it just feels wrong, when you do something, it just feels wrong, like your conscience, you can’t sleep. Things like that. I would guess people should understand that feeling and not ignore it, because it’s not leading you to where hopefully you want to be.
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