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

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.

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BlueRain said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm

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 h... (more »)

Artgirl1999 replied...
Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm
OK, wait a second. How does the Bible "contradict" itself? One of the most amazing things about the Bible is that it agrees with itself even though it was written over a period of hundreds of years.
ErisRose said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm
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 p... (more »)
WordsRUs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm
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 ... (more »)
cosmos4242 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm
  Sam38 made a similar comment to this on page 1.  I agree with what you are saying, and I think the author was really just trying to relate that atheism functions in her life the way religion/spirituality does in the lives of others.  It is her system of living her life.
Aspiringauhor said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm
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.... (more »)
GodStrongKid said...
Nov. 28, 2011 at 7:47 am
I respect you for this. I am a radical Christian but I really do respect you for this because I agree.
bookthief This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm
And this makes me respect you. Thank you.
A_Fate_Unknown replied...
Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm
God, by respecting others beliefs, you prove you are not radical. And you prove yourself worthy of respect.
believe@faith replied...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm
God does not force us to believe (I am a Christian, I believe) God does not agree with what their doing, but God Respects :)
SunkistKisser said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm
This is beautiful. I completly agree that our life is in our own hands and it doesn't belong to some greater being. Nobody is perfect if you really take the time and look. I come from a religious family and frankly, I just don't get what the big deal is. I don't want to spend my life trying to please somebody else just so I can get through those possibly fictional golden gates. This is my life and the idea of somebody watching over me just t... (more »)
notebooklady said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm
Thanks for sharing your views with us, you have a good voice :)
NinjaHummingbird said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

this is a well written article but i think you made some incorrect assumptions. I am not a christian just because i want weight off of my shoulders and i do not necessarily put my fate in the hands of another. I am a christian because i believe in God.


sweetdollsarah replied...
Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm
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??
WordsRUs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm
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.
amesgriffey said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 10:31 am
Before I read this article I thought by just looking at the title you were going to talk about how your religion helped you get through something major but it was the comlete opposite. I don't agree with you, seeing I am a Chrsitian, but you have a really good point. Some people really only say they have a religion to sound a certian way or to have someone else to blame. I like how you take everything into your own hands. For that sole factor, I applaud you.
Kalou said...
Nov. 6, 2011 at 12:49 am

"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike"

"Atheism is a non-prophet organization."

blahblah44 said...
Oct. 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm
The unfortunate thing is that this entire ordeal is human reasoning. Who's to say that what we as people think is true? Being argumentative and presuming others have inferior beliefs is a definite issue of pride. Pride in Christians, athiests, or other religious groups is pride just the same, and is quite unattractive. No one appretiates it when another acts like so, and it usually is contradictory of their beliefs...... By the way, though athiests do not believe in practically anythin... (more »)
disagree replied...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm
your statement "People were made to worship and therefore must worship something." really does not make any sort of sense to me. religion was first thought up, no matter how many millions of years ago it may have been, by a person or group of people contemplating the meaning and origin of life. before modern science, there simply was no explanation for the creation of the world. so, religions and holy beings and "gods" were formed. now, god and angels and such may indeed have definetly created ... (more »)
Breece6 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm
If it's all the same to you, not having any spiritual ties to anything, I don't really think you should be a traditional "aetheist".  I think you should try the post 30 years war style "skepticism" or something I've heard of called "Nialism" (I'm not sure if I spelled that right).  I head "Nialism(or however you spell it)" is the belief that we can never know anything for sure so the best thing we can do is to draw conclusions from what we can try to figure out.
ZeeBYoung replied...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm
I think the word you're looking for is Agnostic.
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