My Religion | Teen Ink

My Religion MAG

By Sarah Milmoe, Lakewood, CO

I have a magnet on my mirror stating, “Life is not about finding yourself – life is about creating yourself.” This is the statement I live by.

Many people do not believe me when I say I am an atheist. They don’t understand that I simply do not believe in any sort of god or afterlife. I also do not believe in the devil, in angels, or in souls. I believe in myself and the strength I have gained through the help of my parents, teachers, and friends – and my own hard work.

I am not going to try to dissuade anyone from his or her own opinions either. I know that people enjoy having religion in their lives; some need their faith to help them through hard times. And some do not want the responsibility of their misfortunes weighing down on their shoulders.

I do. I abhor the idea of fate – that everything is already planned out and you have no control to change anything. If you believe in fate, when bad things happen, it is not your fault; it’s just fate. When my life is not going well, I know that it is no one’s fault but my own. When I do well in school, when I fall in love, it is not fate and we are not soul mates. I worked hard and paid attention and did the homework. My love and I simply love each other – that is all it is, and for me that is all it needs to be.

For some, life is overwhelming. How can anyone be successful and happy in such a difficult, horrible world? They need someone to help them, someone to guide them, and someone to have faith in to make sure things get better. Placing my success and happiness in another’s hands breaks my heart. I need to be successful because of my efforts. I must be responsible for my own happiness. That is what I need from my religion.

Who will ever know what the truth really is? All I know is in the same way that some have full faith and trust in God to give them hope, I need to believe I am on my own to be truly happy – for how can I create myself if I spend my entire life just looking?

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This article has 762 comments.

on Nov. 25 2008 at 1:12 am
Hmmm... last time I checked Atheism isn't a Religion. It's not believing in anything. I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm entitled to my opinion, right?

miss.bliss1 said...
on Nov. 23 2008 at 12:14 am
I am a Wiccan and a christian.

More a Wiccan thow. I hope you can discover a religion and belive in something more powerfull then you.

God bless you and may god and the lord and lady show you the way towords the right faith what ever it may be.

Support said...
on Nov. 22 2008 at 3:18 am
I just needed to express my happiness that this was written at all; I agree with you. As Erin said, some of the comments below really get to me. I'm not going to start ranting about why I believe what I believe, but believe me, I could. ;)

It amuses me, faintly, when people ask me, "So what do you think happens when you die?" or "Then how was the world created?" They act as though these questions completely destroy my whole belief system because I can't possibly answer them, when there are so many that shoot gaping holes in their own beliefs. It's frustrating, to me, that America is so taboo about atheism; there are times when you can bring it up - like now - but most of the time you just keep quiet about it. A lot of people really attack you for it.

Anyway, this was a great article! I'm glad someone had the courage to write this and submit it to Teen Ink.

Erin said...
on Nov. 20 2008 at 12:18 am
This was really well-written, as everyone else has said. Your beliefs match mine almost exactly. I'm halfway between being the Christian as I was raised to be, and an atheist. I can't make myself believe in God. The comments, to be honest, are making me a little mad. You don't sound confused, you sound like you know exactly what you’re talking about. People are assuming you haven't "given faith a chance" or that you "know nothing about God." Why can't we all just respect each other's religions and not try to convert each other or say that one way is right?

on Nov. 19 2008 at 12:29 am
alright well this is well writen and it's fine for u to have ur own opinion but i'm prayin for u because even though u think u dont need god you do so hopefully you realize that. adimire ur guts for writin this though even though i think youre confused. by the way to comment on what skie said about being a tooth-fairy agnostic, you cant see or touch friendship or true love or courage or bravery but that doenst mean they dont exist! god bless you

on Nov. 18 2008 at 12:39 pm
how can you believe when you no nothing about god. research before you dismiss .ask a pastor question . ask a believer.

i new nothing for 40 years then decided to check it out gave it a chance now i believe .

on Nov. 17 2008 at 10:07 pm
Well written. I agree with believeinhim, you are obviously confused. I disagree with your atheism, but remember, when you are caught in situation when all your life seems like a lost cause, and hope is fro aught look up to God. He'll get you me, I've been you before. Remember, God loves you.

SkirtSteak said...
on Nov. 17 2008 at 4:16 pm
Well, I feel whatever you need to do to get through.Right? If thats how you feel then good for you and Im glad that you arent afraid to show it. I do not agree with you by any means but it was nicely written and maybe you can find others that share your same views.

believeinhim said...
on Nov. 17 2008 at 12:50 pm
Well written, but i disagree. you are obviously very confused. the world didnt just pop out of nowhere. to everything, theres a creation.

ak92092 said...
on Nov. 14 2008 at 2:24 pm
you got guts. excellent writing. and i COMPLETELY agree with you about most of what you said in your piece. keep writing

allieb said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 5:12 pm
good writing but i disagree. what do you think was there before the "big bang"?

well. said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 9:36 am
It takes some courage to write something like this and this isn't badly written. In my opinion faith should be given a fair chance with regard to aetheism, but I don't believe any religion encourages discrimination; it is a personal choice after all.

on Nov. 12 2008 at 1:25 am
I completely agree- atheism is just what makes scence to me. I find religion too bookworm013, if your theory of energy needing a source is correct, isn't god an ultimate energy to create the universe? God would need a source too. The theory of beginning would HAVE to effect the god, or else it has a hole, and the theory collapses. If one says that a god was always there, couldn't earth ALWAYS BE THERE? why answer with something where the question applies? and great job on this article!

agree'd said...
on Nov. 11 2008 at 11:52 pm
Very well written, but i must point out that believing in fate is NOT a part of all religion. I personally am christian, yet definitely do not believe in fate. Beautiful work.

on Nov. 9 2008 at 1:38 am
As everyone else has said "very well written" indeed. I too, agree with you. I do not believe in anything solely, because it isn't just that. There are many things that people choose to believe in and I choose not to. Some people think that if you do not believe in god, you are merely a devil-worshiper, which as you know isn't true. But that is what they believe and you can't change it. I am glad people see that, since there is so much ignorance in the world now.

Hailey said...
on Nov. 8 2008 at 10:47 pm
Keep up the great writing, and stay true to your opinions

MoonCat333 said...
on Nov. 7 2008 at 9:24 am
I believe everyone has their own right to believe (or not believe) in what they want. I, myself, am pagan. I love learning about all religions. It interests me so much in what people put their faith into.

Humans are born with a natural craving for knowledge; I think I was born with a true philosopher's brain XD I'm glad you posted this. I'm always up for learning something new.

yepinathiest said...
on Nov. 5 2008 at 9:45 pm
this is so greatly written and im glad someone said it!! thank you!!

corynn we must be in a foxhole because im atheist, and the number is growing and although you and many religous people decide to discriminate us, would you like me to lokk down on you?

bookworm013 said...
on Nov. 5 2008 at 8:25 pm
Well written-I just disagree. There is no way that the universe was just here. What ages has to have a beginning. Energy must originate from somewhere.

corynn said...
on Nov. 4 2008 at 10:17 pm
This is America, and you have a right to your own opinion. but the world is way to big for coincidences and you won't find an atheist in a foxhole. Amen