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.


schlage GOLD said...
on Jan. 2 2012 at 7:22 pm
schlage GOLD, Erie, Pennsylvania
10 articles 0 photos 37 comments
I love this article. I'm not an athiest, but I believe everyone should respect the religious views of others. I also like your point of view on fate. I agree that the choices we make decide our fate, not a diagram that's set up for us when we're born.

Heather C. said...
on Dec. 25 2011 at 3:10 pm
I as well have never seen the logic in creating a fake image of someone like Santa Claus for Christmas. Why wouldn't parents want the credit for spending money on their kids and making them happy? But that's just my opinion. But God isn't Santa Claus. Far from it. He isn't one to pop in at a certain time and fill our lives with joy and happiness. Of course, He loves it when we experience joy and happiness, for it most likely comes from Him. I realize that there is a difference between faith and truth, and though it is never possible to know for sure - hmm... No, I can't say that. I can say this, though: I am only human. By no means can I pretend to know everything about what I believe. That's the adventure; always having more to learn, more room to grow. I admit, I have questioned God. I have doubted Him, and I have shunned Him. But now, my relationship with Him is as strong as ever, and I'm as happy as ever, free as ever.

on Dec. 25 2011 at 10:11 am
BlueRain BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 5 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

There is a difference between faith and the truth. Since it's currently the holidays, I'll bring up the topic of Santa Claus. It wasn't originally a Christian idea anyway, but I'll use it as an example. By the time we've all grown up, we pretty much know that Santa Claus isn't real. We've seen our parents putting the presents there by accident during the middle of the night, or we've come across other situations that have proved that. Now why would the same people who try to convince us that God is real lie about there being a Santa Claus? Even if it's just to keep us happy? It only lasts until we're about 9 or 10. And then we're all wondering "Hmm.. What else are they not telling us? What else they telling us just to keep us happy?" Because that's all it ends up being, a bunch of kids who are confused as to what they should really believe, things they don't see, or things they do see.

Heather C. said...
on Dec. 21 2011 at 2:42 am
Oh, by the way, I am a non-denimational Christian, so I'm not Baptist, Methodist, Orthodox, Catholic, or anything like that.

on Dec. 21 2011 at 2:29 am
At my church, we refer to the "leaders" as pastors, not priests. But, in response to your question, that is where faith comes in. An I believe that the Bible holds a vast amount of evidence that did and continues to exist that God is indeed alive and real. Yes, it's true, my parents did raise me to believe in that the Bible is true, but all in all, I still have a free will and it is my choice whether or not to believe. I choose to. I don't really have much explanation, because the answer is simple in my eyes. Please let me know if I didn't answer it sufficiently enough, orbit you didn't understand my reasoning, and I will try to do better.

on Dec. 20 2011 at 7:10 pm
BlueRain BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 5 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

But the truth is not the same for everyone.

If you are saying the Bible is the truth, how do you know?


on Dec. 20 2011 at 7:03 pm
BlueRain BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 5 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

Heather I have a question for you; You say that people who believe in God but not the bible aren't really true believers (that's at least how I took it) because the bible is the truth in your views. How do you know it is the truth? Other than your parents and a priest telling you?

 

TheEarlofZerces; I read about Solopsism recently in The Pleasures of Philosphy, along with other similar theories, I find it really interesting. The world is full of interesting theories.


on Dec. 20 2011 at 6:46 pm
BlueRain BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 5 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

I like the wording of this article very much. I myself am not athiest, but in all reality I should be a Christian, since my family is and I was brought up with it. I think I was in bible school almost every day when I was younger. However, the bible never took hold of me. The idea of a God and Jesus has always interested me, but not for the same reasons. Do I really believe that his sacrifice actually washed away our sins? No, but I think he made an amazing statement. And if it actually did happen that way and I'm wrong? Okay. 

But that's about as far as I go in believing in the Christian religion. The bible itself is something I've moved away from because to me it doesn't not sound like it came from a God. Not that I'm claiming to have talked to Him, but there are so many contradictions in there. I can't place my trust in the words of a bunch of men that have been dead for over 2000 years or more.

However, I agree with you in that I know that many people have the need to have some kind of faith, whatever kind it may be. It just doesn't work for me. I may believe there is a higher being out there, but whatever problems I have just seem too small for someone like that to deal with in such a big world. I draw strength from what I see, what is directly around me.

Many peope think that without religion the world would go into chaos. Honestly I can believe that, which is really sad. To think that if some people didn't have a religion, they would believe they could do whatever the please just because there will be no eternal punishment in the end? It should be punishment enough that you are ruining a beautiful place that, whether it is 6,000 or 4.5 billion years old, should not just be thrown away like trash. Don't wait to ask for forgiveness later, because by then it's only for your own gain.


on Dec. 20 2011 at 5:55 pm
ErisRose DIAMOND, Ashburn, Virginia
50 articles 1 photo 81 comments

Favorite Quote:
Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori- Love conquers all let us yield to love
Sweat Dries, Blood Clots, Bones Heal, Suck it up and dance!
If they give you ruled paper, write the other way

I like how you wrote this article, you explained your point without trying to disprove or argue against other religions but I disagree with what you believe. I am a Christian but I respect that everyone should be given the same freedom of religion. If you are an atheist or agnostic or whatever you choose to believe/not believe in that is your choice. I think it is kind of pointless that everyone argues against other's religions. What good does it really do? No one should feel that they have to prove their religion, they believe in what they believe in and that should be enough for everyone else. Agree to disagree people. I disagree with one thing you said about Christians believing in a God to "take the weight off their shoulders". I believe in God and because I believe in Him I know that I can trust Him to help take my burdens from me and cleanse me of my sins. It's not a way to make myself feel better about my wrongdoings.

WordsRUs GOLD said...
on Dec. 14 2011 at 10:08 pm
WordsRUs GOLD, Jefferson City, Missouri
10 articles 0 photos 18 comments
I think you're assuming too much. Take it from somebody who gave up religion. I prayed for thanks, yes, but I never asked for my burdens to be lifted. From what I can gather, a true Christian does not test the hand of God. The simply have an unspoken faith that God is caring for them. It's different from actively putting your troubles on another.

WordsRUs GOLD said...
on Dec. 14 2011 at 10:02 pm
WordsRUs GOLD, Jefferson City, Missouri
10 articles 0 photos 18 comments
I'm pretty neutral on this subject. My only opinion is that aethism isn't really a valid religion, per se. It's a belief system, not really a religion. A religion implies that you have a spiritual connection of some sort to something. Maybe I'm just being picky, but that applying the term religion to atheism has always bothered me. And I'm not religious. This article is written rather well though. I felt at some points that the author didn't fully understand that not religions are as she describes.

on Dec. 14 2011 at 12:16 pm
bookthief PLATINUM, Concord, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." -- John W. Gardener

And this makes me respect you. Thank you.

on Dec. 10 2011 at 10:23 am
The_Earl_of_Zerces PLATINUM, Waukesha, Wisconsin
36 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
-Sigmund Freud

Just the opposite, actually. Transcendentalism states that the best guide through life is your own gut feeling and your intuition. Empiricism states that the best guide through life are facts and logic. In other words, Transcendentalism looks inwards, while Empiricism looks outwards.

JulianneV GOLD said...
on Dec. 9 2011 at 8:46 pm
JulianneV GOLD, Shamong, New Jersey
17 articles 17 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

so kind of like transcendentilism

 


on Dec. 3 2011 at 4:28 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

I am an atheist, as well. I loved this article. Before posting my own comment, I went through some of the 687 comments to see what others had to say. And, to be honest, some of them completely depressed me. Others angered me. Some even made me laugh. The majority of them were defending their own religion or trying to disprove another. This confused me, even though I knew what they were talking about and that everyone has their own opinions. I just wasn't sure why everyone always had to be right. We can't agree to disagree? I've always believed that we shouldn't be concerned about what others think. This applies in all aspects of life. I don't care if others hate me for what I believe - that there is no higher power. I don't care if they hate my outfit. I don't think we should always try to prove and disprove. Sometimes it makes us look like ignorant morons, and other times it makes us look like geniuses. Either way, it's unnecessary, no matter what your belief or religion. It's nice to be able to voice our opinions, but most of the time, it's not something we really need to do.

Kelly R. said...
on Nov. 28 2011 at 6:56 pm
I love reading a conversation that starts in a disagreement and ends with two people finding out they love the same t.v. show. So cute!

on Nov. 28 2011 at 5:47 pm
sweetdollsarah BRONZE, Hemet, California
3 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love me or Hate me it's still an obsession." --I don't know who wrote or said this quote got it off a friends school book and it stuck with me. "Pickles!" --I just say this all the time!! "It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

When you pray though arent you thanking him for all he has done for you? And asking for him to tell help you with things? Therefore taking weight of your shoulders??

on Nov. 28 2011 at 7:47 am
GodStrongKid PLATINUM, Parkville, Missouri
20 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about.

I respect you for this. I am a radical Christian but I really do respect you for this because I agree.

on Nov. 23 2011 at 9:17 pm
The_Earl_of_Zerces PLATINUM, Waukesha, Wisconsin
36 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
-Sigmund Freud

EMpiricism is the train of thought that truths in this world can be found out through observation and logic, rather than faith and taking everything at face value.

on Nov. 22 2011 at 9:39 pm
i always tought buddhism was fascinating....and whats Emiricism?