This I Believe

Clara - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

When I was in elementary school, I attended a Christian school, accepting that the belief in the supreme power of God was the only way to fulfill a purposeful life. I was surprised to hear that there were people in the world who did not consider God, and I thought it was a shame that the entirety of society could not accept him. But as I matured, I became more knowledgeable about the many religions that exist in the world, and realized that the faith people have in their religions is like me having faith in Christianity. Faith defines life, shapes individualism, and creates diversity amongst the world. Therefore, I believe in religious freedom.

Because people have the right to choose religion, their morals are built from their beliefs. Just as Christianity influences my decisions, different religions influence the decisions of others. I have the opportunity to attend a religiously diverse high school, where there are Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Unitarians, and many others, and I am able to see how religion impacts the daily lives of my classmates, since many have dependence on their belief systems. Maybe my dependence on God is similar to a Muslim’s dependence on Allah, in which both religions involve a trust in a greater power that is believed to control life. Even if the religion doesn’t consist of the belief in a greater power, it does, however, contain ideals that strive for betterment in humanity, and religious freedom brings that aspiration into reality.

The beauty of religion is that it brings commonality amongst certain groups of people, yet it makes everyone in the world so different. John Lennon embraces this truth in his song “Imagine.” One stanza states, “Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill or die for/ And no religion too/ Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace,” meaning that if everyone believed in the same things, then the world would have no interesting aspects amongst its people whatsoever. Lennon was accurate with his words, because there would be nothing to fight for if there was no religion, and diversity wouldn’t exist. Because religious freedom creates diversity, I strongly believe in it. And I am thankful to God, Allah, Buddha, and anyone else out there for blessing me with a society that contains a variety of people.