Family Views: Religion | Teen Ink

Family Views: Religion

December 16, 2009
By Artistic1 BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
Artistic1 BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Family Views: Religion

Have you ever wondered how your family views life in general and their religion? I have, so I came up with a list of questions that I wanted to ask my family that I was curious about. I ended up founding out a lot of things about my family members that I didn’t know before. I interviewed my mother, grandmother and aunty. I asked them each the same list of questions, separately, and they answered them with the best of their ability.

The first person I interviewed was Wynetta, my mother. She is 35 years old, has a full college education, is a professional hair stylist at her own salon, and has one child, me. The second person I interviewed was Ayanna, my aunty. She is 28 years old, currently in college, and is also a professional hair stylist at the same salon. Lastly, I interviewed their mother and my grandmother, Eva. She is 53 years old, has two children, and was in the Nation of Islam. Each of these people have some of the same views on the world and religion because we all live in the same household. The following is my interview:

Me: What is your religion and what are some beliefs in your religion?

Wynetta: Muslim religion. Some beliefs in my religion is to pray five times a day, and don’t eat pork.

Ayanna: I like your mom, used to be Muslim. Some beliefs in my religion is that Allah is God, we read the Holy Koran, covered our hair and our body.

Eva: I have no religion now. I was practicing Islam. Some beliefs in the religion is have a strong faith and belief in God, Allah, to love yourself and others- all humanity, but love yourself first.

Me: Do you believe your religion is the only true religion?

Wynetta: No. As long as you believe in one God, I think any religion is okay. Whatever guides someone spiritually and makes them love their neighbor and have a sense of taking care of their community is okay.

Ayanna: No, I believe that all religions are similar in so many ways. In Christianity, they have Jesus Christ as their savior and in Islam they have Muhammad, who has similar qualities. They are similar because both prophets were sent to educate and spread the word of God. As long as you believe in God and believe in loving your neighbor, that’s the religion for you.

Eva: No, but I believe that’s the best religion for Blacks in America. It’s the best because we need a better religious teaching to get us out or the slave mentality. But, unfortunately most black people are not practicing Islam, so that’s why we are in the conditions we’re in today.

Me: Did your family influence your religious beliefs? Who? How?
Wynetta: Yes, my mother converted to Islam. This made me curious about this religion, and since we didn’t have a defined religion before it was easy for us to convert.

Ayanna: Yep, my mother got me involved in Islam at the age of 14 and I also went to an Islamic school, where I spent my freshman year of high school. But even still, I was heavily involved in me religion with my family ( my mother, and sister).

Eva: Yeah, somewhat, because my family was confused, so that made me look for a religion that would fit and help me to grow, as a black woman, in this society. And that was Islam.

Me: What are your views on God?
Wynetta: That there is only 1 God and that “He might not give you what you want, but he will give you what you need”.

Ayanna: I believe that God created the sun, moon, and the stars. He created all people to be equal. It is people that differentiate between race. I think we are all the same, human.

Eva: My views are that God is real.

Me: Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Why?
Wynetta: Sure, I believe that he was the son of God and that he was sent to teach the people just as Muhammad was sent to teach the people about God’s power.

Ayanna: Yea, I believe that there’s truth in every religion. So, if Christians’ believe in him, then I do. I believe he teaches about forgiveness, redemption, and salvation amongst all people.

Eva: Yes, because of the story in the Bible, which I do believe in. Like how Jesus Christ gave his life for our sins.

Me: How often do you go to church/mosque? Why?

Wynetta: We used to go at least 3 days a week. Now, we go once a year, because of a busier lifestyle, work, school, and raising my child.

Ayanna: When I used to go, I went to the Mosque 4 times a week. Now because I’m no longer practicing Islam I don’t go at all. But, I still believe in Allah and women not exposing themselves with revealing clothing and not eating pork.

Eva: Not very often, because I pray at home. I practice at home. I don’t believe you have to be in a church/mosque to pray. You can pray in your own home.

Me: Has God helped you accomplish something in your life? How?

Wynetta: Yea, because God has helped me raise my child, finish school, and has been keeping us safe from all the crazy things going on in the world today.

Ayanna: Yes, for example, I started off strong in college at 18 years old, and I knew I wanted to be a writer. I started off at Chicago State, which was a school I really didn’t want to attend for my field. Then 2 years later I enrolled in Columbia which is the school I really wanted to attend. I went there for a year and a half and I dropped out, trying to be the perfect student. And I felt like crap. I felt defeated and felt I wasn’t going to be a writer any more. I enrolled in beauty school, but I still wanted to become a writer. And 4 years later, I enrolled in Columbia again and in 1 more year I’ll be graduating. Through out it all, I feel that God was pushing me to do what I wanted to do. He was there during the hard times and the bad and now I feel happier than I’ve ever felt.

Eva: Yes, God helped me accomplish living, being me, being a woman, being a mother, all those things, and living a clean, wholesome life.

Me: Have you ever challenged your beliefs about God? Why?

Wynetta: You always questions why terrible things happen in the world, like children dying, wars, racism, etc…. I question why He allows this to happen. But there’s a saying that “everything happens for a reason”.

Ayanna: Yes, I have questioned God about why did my African- ancestors have to go through slavery. More recent today, why did Hurricane Katrina happen and just why do bad things happen to good, innocent people in the world?

Eva: Yea, I think everyone has. I think everyone has at some point. When I was a little girl, my mother died. I questioned God as to why this had to happen.

Me: Was there ever a time where you thought that God could have helped you out, but didn’t?

Wynetta: I guess whenever I’ve made a bad decision; I wish I could have gotten a sign to help me make the right decisions.

Ayanna: Yea, like with school, giving me the confidence to stay in college instead of dropping out.

Eva: Yes, I guess, when I was a little girl and my mother died, I wished that God could have helped then. But I know that God still helped me, even though I didn’t believe it then, because I’m still here.

Me: What race/gender do you think God/Jesus is? Why?

Wynetta: I believe God is black, because all life started in Africa. I think Jesus is black also.

Ayanna: I don’t think God has a specific race/gender. I think Jesus Christ is a black man, because of the description of Jesus’ features in the Bible. It said he has hair like lambs’ wool and bronze skin. I think he’s a man because that’s what I’ve been taught all my life.

Eva: I don’t believe He has a race/gender. I believe Jesus Christ was a black man. I believe he’s black because of where the Bible said he was born, among a race of black people. And the mother Mary said she had a male child, so she knows what she had. There’s no mistaking Jesus Christ is a man.

Me: What is one question you have about God?

Wynetta: Was it intentional that He made human kind to be so conflicted. That we have so many different ethnic backgrounds, traditions and languages that it will take centuries for us to figure each other out and get along.

Ayanna: Did Eve really cause Adam to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden?

Eva: I don’t want to sound too depressing but I just want to know when this is all going to be over. The Bible talks about the end of the world and the creation of a new heaven and earth. When is that going to happen? When are we going to be taken to this new and better world and start a new and better civilization? I would like to see that happen.

After doing this interview, I saw that my mom, aunt, and grandmother all had some of the same answers to my questions. This is mainly because they’ve lived in the same household all of their lives. I’ve learned a lot of insightful things about my family that I didn’t know before. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know your parents’ views on the world in general and their religious views, just talk to them about it. Ask them these questions and I guarantee you, you will learn a lot about them that you didn’t know before.

(total words: 1,672/ verbatim: 1,394)

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