Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

My Religion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
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?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




Join the Discussion


This article has 756 comments. Post your own!

KandiceMichelle said...
today at 12:39 pm:
I can't say I agree with you, but you did an awesome job of explaining yourself and making your points :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
ZaraclaylimeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 20 at 2:16 am:
I understand that you like to believe in yourself, and your accomplishments, but do you understand that you must have come from somewhere? Who created you? Who created the universe that we live in? Who created the very atoms that make us?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
EmmaLou35 said...
Jan. 15 at 11:20 pm:
Very well written! I know that you don't, believe this, but the God i know loves you very much. So much more than anyone or anything in this Earth has to offer.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rayvone21 said...
Dec. 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm:
This is only deep from ONE'S POV, but over all not feeling this . . . AT ALL   
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
ninja-artist said...
Sept. 16, 2013 at 8:36 am:
VERY well writen! I do not agree with it, but still, well writen.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Niquel said...
Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:33 am:
I don't think that it's fair that everyone is bashing on the author for her beliefs. She very clearly expressed that she respects people of all other religions for their faiths, so everyone please, calm down, and provide her with some respect as well. The word "athiest" does not equal lesser human being. I think this essay was very well written, and I agree with what she says. Good job, Sarah. Don't let a bunch of haters tromp all over you for your beliefs.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
monochromatic said...
Mar. 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm:
I love the qoute in the first paragraph. however, I disagree with your reasoning throughout therest of the piece. assuming that their is no God, Deity, or some greater power, how did the universe come to exist? Pure chance cannot come close to explaining the complexity of anything that exists today. also, if nobody has a soul - if there is no life after death, what is the purpose of creating yourself? why work to be succesful instead of just enjoying yourself? what's the point?
 
cosmos4242This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 3 at 4:45 pm :
  This example I am about to provide is something I read about a while ago, and so I would encourage you to check it out yourself if you're interested, as I might be wrong or somewhat off.  But here goes- often in older scientific papers (say Newton's-this is the example I remember reading about,) the author will go on explaining whatever they're explaining, (say, gravity,) in technical detail and all is well.  But once they reach a point where their research was incon... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
AcrossTheUniverse said...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm:
You have a strong, but not overbearing voice. Not all Christians (if any) believe in fate: there's free will that led to the fall of humanity in the first place. If you make a mistake, God will forgive you but your knees will still sting from the fall. I know my own capabilities but I also believe in "a higher power." (Isn't that a rather vague term?) Sorry for launching into a theology discussion. Please reply if you disagree.
 
packerbacker12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm :
i challenge you to read ephesians 1 and i also challenge you to show me anywhere in the bible that it talks about free will or is it just your pastor telling you that.
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm :
Ephesians basically says God chose us and plans for us to be with God. How many times have your plans gone wrong? God sets God's will before us and we choose whether or not we will accept or reject. As for Bible references to free will, please refer to THE FALL OF HUMANITY in chapter 3 of Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to sin; likewise, humankind still can choose to sin. Sin in itself is a choice and choices require free will. Therefore, sin cannot exist with... (more »)
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm :
Ephesians basically says God chose us and plans for us to be with God. How many times have your plans gone wrong? God sets God's will before us and we choose whether or not we will accept or reject. As for Bible references to free will, please refer to THE FALL OF HUMANITY in chapter 3 of Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to sin; likewise, humankind still can choose to sin. Sin in itself is a choice and choices require free will. Therefore, sin cannot exist with... (more »)
 
Bug-a-Boo13This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm :
Thank you AcrossTheUniverse!  I couldn't have said it better myself.
 
GuitarGirl547 replied...
Feb. 5 at 2:41 pm :
Just because you guys are on this topic, I actually believe somewhat in fate but free will does play a part in your life.  I am a Baptist, and I believe God has planned your life's major events.  He knows when you'll accept his Son as your Savior, who you'll marry, things like that.  However your free will and choices you make may affect his plan.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Sam38 said...
Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:46 am:
Not even a belief system really...the definition is simply a lack of belief in a god, so it's hardly a belief at all.
 
AcrossTheUniverse replied...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm :
Don't be a hater. It's difficult to explain faith.
 
Sam38 replied...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm :
How am I being a hater? I'm just stating the definition of atheism.
 
cosmos4242This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 3 at 4:24 pm :
Sam38 is technically right.  Well sort of. Labels oh labels... I would argue that the defintion of agnostic (negative) atheism is what Sam38 stated, while gnostic (positive atheism) is the conviction that there is no higher power, God, Ganesh, FSM.  Slight shades of difference.  One is lack of conviction while the other is a conviction.  ( i hesitate to say belief.) However, I don't think this is what the author was going for!  I think she was only emphasizing th... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
mudnainah said...
Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm:
I believe in God and I believe in myself as well. Though the belief in one's self and the belief in god are two entirely different things. When you believe in yourself, you believe in your capabilities. When you believe in God, you believe in the existence of a Creator. :)  But good post... 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
ChristianTeen said...
Jun. 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm:
I don't really agree with you, I believe in God. But good job.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback