This I Believe

Maggie - Rancho Mirage, California
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I was Catholic before I was even born. My mother was raised in the

Catholic Church and my father was raised with no religion. When my parents were married, my mother made a commitment to raise her children in the Catholic Church. My mother took the commitment seriously and has raised all of her children as Catholics. I was baptized at four weeks old, received my first Communion at 7, and my Confirmation at 15. I attended religion classes every year until I received my Confirmation. And yet, I don’t believe in God, or any other high power.

I was forced by my parents to be Catholic, and I’ve always told them there was no god, but they never listened. My mother felt that she made a promise to the Catholic Church and she had to keep her word, but she did say that once she saw us through our religious instruction, it was our decision how we applied it to our lives.

Personally, I feel that no one knows the outcome of one’s life and no “supreme” being is in control of us. We are all in control of our own destinies, and sometimes, things just happen. No one picks our future for us and waits year after year to see us fail or succeed. I do not believe that we are judged by our sins, and that we go to heaven or hell after our life on Earth. We as human beings make our own decisions, for example, if we want to go to college, if we work hard, or if we steal a car. We are all responsible for our own decisions. Those decisions are what dictate how our lives proceed.

I can’t tell you why I believe in no God. Partly, I blame it on the rigidness of the Catholic Church. It is unbelievable that birth control is frowned upon by the church. I personally do not approve of abortion, but I don’t think that Church should tell a person they are going to hell because of it. All of the hyprocracy of the Catholic Church just makes the church non creditable.

I believe that the church and religion was born out of the desire to collect money. In the time of Jesus there was the church and state. People paid their taxes to the church and state. I honestly believe that the religion of today is a business. The more members they have the more money they make. The original reason for no birth control in the Catholic Church was to build their member base. The Catholic Church has very strict rules and beliefs that keep their members coming to Church, and donating money.

I don’t want to sound like it’s incapable for people to be good. I do believe that people should live a life with morals and values. I believe that we should obey the laws of our country so that we can all live in peace and harmony. I disagree however, that we pay the price after death by being punished by God. Our punishment happens here on Earth. If you get caught breaking rules, you get punished, you pay a fine, your peers decide to not like you, or you go to jail. Our society has the punishments in place for keeping most people following the laws of our land.

My main reason for not believing in God is that when I was a young child going through my religious education I would pray to God on a very regular basis. I would pray for silly things at times and more serious things other times. My praying never seemed to change the outcome of any situation. The most disappointing event in my life was watching my grandmother and my family suffer with her Alzheimer’s. No god would make a human being go through that. I prayed night after night for my grandmother to get better or to quit suffering. No God would want her to go through that. Well, there were no miracles!

I feel very fortunate to have been born in the United States and into the family that I have, however, I don’t think that God choose to favor me over a child living in Alabama in a F.E.M.A. trailer with their mom and 7 siblings, grandmother, and other family members. I don’t think that I was chosen to be the “lucky” one to be born here instead of being a Jewish child during World War II living in Germany. I am very thankful for what I have and for where I live. I believe that I am truly one of the “lucky” one’s, but I don’t believe that God choose it for me. I was just extremely lucky!!! Religion has caused so much pain, suffering, and turmoil since the creation of man it is hard to believe that any “God” would approve or allow it no less sit and watch it happen.

And the most ironic part of this whole “religion” situation is that I cannot say that I will not practice the Catholic religion as an adult. I will most likely NOT get married in Las Vegas, therefore; I will probably get married in the Catholic Church and have to make the same promise to the church that my mother made. I will then most likely raise my children as Catholics. I will probably celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc… It is part of the “culture” I was brought up in, it is tradition. For me, the holidays are more of a celebration of family, not a celebration of religion. And so continues the “Circle of Life”.