I am not religious. I haven’t believed in religion since I was 11 years old, but I still find myself praying on occasion. When I honestly cannot think of how to solve a problem, praying will lead me to the answer. I am not religious, but I respect religion. I respect that some people hold a heavy faith in something they cannot see and sometimes not completely understand. What I cannot understand, is how today a massacre on a church became the part of the top 5 mass shootings in American history and the number one mass church shooting in American history. A small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas filled with a Sunday service that was meant to be like every other Sunday. It wasn’t. Over 20 people lost their lives today while exercising their beliefs. I can sit here and pray to God, asking him to help their families through the suffering they are going through, and I will. I will because that is how I am going to respect people many did not know existed until today. I am also writing this. I am writing to anyone out there now terrified to express their religion, even if the shooter’s motives were not anti-religious. I am writing to anyone who is scared of what is coming to this world. I can type how there is very little chance this could happen to you. 1 in 1 million would probably be that chance. It won’t stop the fear. What I will type is that you can’t let that fear dictate you. The second you do, anyone who has ever done massacres such as this and even those who undoubtedly are out there planning, win. If we let those people win, then we lose everything he believe in and fight for. We don’t go out and enjoy concerts because of Vegas. We don’t go to colleges, because of Virginia Tech. We don’t spend time with our family, friends, and neighbors at church, like today. That would be an incredible boring and frightening world, wouldn’t it? Who would want this kind of world? Not many, if any at all, I hope. To achieve a different world, we have to keep living. Continue thriving on what we have here and now. Never stop living. The second you do, they win.
I’m not religious, and I stand with a hefty number of ones who aren’t. Tonight though, we are all religious, we are all American, we are all praying, and we are all standing together.