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

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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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tayecutebutt said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 5:23 am
I agree and disagree.
 
Chrissy_L said...
Jun. 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm
Very well written, and very true. I too am an atheist, but I mostly keep that to myself. I, like most people, just want respect; Atheists do not want others to forse Religion on us, nor do we want to be treated any differently.
Most of the devout Christians commenting here only wish to help, I know, but I've heard worse said about myself when I let my beliefs slip.
George W. Bush himself once said, "No, I don't know that Athiests should be considered citizens, nor should they ... (more »)
 
Chrissy L. said...
Jun. 14, 2009 at 12:49 am
I entirely agree with you and your views. I was not even a teenager when I decided to embrace my atheistic views, but I felt like I had to keep it a secret. I admire your courage to write an article on it.
 
Austin W. said...
Jun. 10, 2009 at 12:53 am
Good for you. Don't forget that it is through your own strength that you obtain happiness. Have a long, joyous life: You only get one!
 
morgie7<3 said...
Jun. 5, 2009 at 1:23 am
I commented before but there is a lot more i wanna say srry! lol...but look, as i said before i think this piece was written excellently. I think you have great potential as a writer and i respect your opinion. I also greatly respect you for having the courage to write something so personal. And, as I also said before, I cannot force religion, but I can plant a seed. I am a strong Christian, and it's only with the help of Jesus, who died for me so that I could have eternal perfection whe... (more »)
 
ShaynaPhelps replied...
Sept. 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm
See its people like you who make me dislike Christians. What don't you get Atheists DO NOT believe in God and it is soo way beyond annoying when you are like "I understand and respect your believes............. but here is why I think your wrong and going to hell." I absolutley can not stand it when Christians do that! Christians have no right to go around everywhere and start telling me I need God in my life, even they are trying to be nice, stop trying to convert me to your reli... (more »)
 
Mariella replied...
Sept. 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm
It is kind of funny how you say we don't have the right to tell you you need God, because, actually, that's our job. That's what God tells us to do. You don't see Atheists going around telling people God doesn't exists for a reason. We Christians (and I have said this several times before) FEEL God in our hearts and He has made incredible changes in us and other people. Christians are very passionate about God because they have felt His love and mercy and they care about... (more »)
 
ACooke replied...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 7:01 am
mariella i think the fact that you can say how we probably get annoyed by it is good, but most Christians aren't like you. they believe that atheists are wrong and that's not true. we are not right nor are we wrong just like you guys. religion is all based on belief and until Christians can come up with solid proof that their beliefs are right, they're just going to have to understand that we just don't believe what they do. You have an open mind, but most don't. you chr... (more »)
 
Lil_bear replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 12:52 am
I appreciate your response, and I'm glad you see we're not all bad (or annoying) just like I know all you Atheists aren't bad either. I just don't understand how you guys are so confident in creating and believing in yourselves when all humans are so incredibly imperfect. Without a perfect God to help you and keep you going, isn't it almost impossible to feel real happiness from yourself? I mean REAL happiness?
 
ACooke replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm
that right there is exactly what i mean. we don't believe in any god or higher power. we believe that life is what is and it's still a mystery. im bisexual and i guess that i feel people will be the way they will be. i think that life could end 2moro and if i died knowing that i had lived my days following someone else's rules then sure i would be unhappy. i dont believe in any kind of afterlife so if i die tomoro so what? and no we aren't all perfect or happy and "God&q... (more »)
 
beautifulworld replied...
Dec. 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm
Yes but at the same time people have gone through the same experiences and found help in God. There are people in this world that will put themselves at the center of their lives and they can live a perfectly happy life. But for anyone who takes a step outside themselves and help others (not just when it fits their agenda either) will defianitly find it hard not to see a higher power.
 
morgie7<3 said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 11:05 pm
Um ok. I love your style of writing but I disagree with your beliefs. I have always been a Christian and always will be! But everyone has a choice and no one can make you believe a certain thing. Religion isn't forced. I encourage you to keep writing, even though I disagree with you on religion.
 
Me.Myself.&.i. said...
Jun. 3, 2009 at 10:03 pm
An examplary piece. Extremely well-written. I feel as though you are not only a courageous person to explain to yound adults in America about what you truly believe and trust, but that you are also becoming stronger yourself just by expressing these beliefs.
Y'know what? I wanna be you when I grow up.
 
BookWorm579 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 5:01 am
There is a Buddhist proverb that says if you meet the Buddha on the street, kill him. It means that you should never become so attached to your religion that it controls your life. Perhaps there is a God and perhaps there isn't. It's a he-didn't-say-no situation. However, the idea of a higher power who is always watching can act as an effective conscience for people who otherwise wouldn't have any.
 
SaraB. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 19, 2009 at 9:39 pm
While I do not agree with you what so ever (I am a devout Christian) I thought this piece was very good, and it was able to explain a viewpoint to me that I have never really understood. Good work!
 
Leanne B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm
In the words of Bill Nye "science rules."
I agree with you, Sarah. I have a mesh of beliefs, but none of them involve Satan controlling my mind and dragging me slowly into the burning pit of hell, of that God will save me if I'm kind and giving. How in the world does anybody know if Jesus even existed? People trust thousands of years full of lies and hate recorded in a book. I don't know that the earth was created as scientific theory tells it either, and there are some things scienc... (more »)
 
Mariella replied...
Sept. 17, 2009 at 11:44 pm
Leanne B....
Christians know Jesus exists because we can feel him. He's changed lives. I know it sounds stupid, but don't judge him until you've felt him. Maybe if you would just open your heart...
Also, of course God is a mystery but so is the world. It's your own choice.
 
CutiePie said...
Apr. 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm
I disagree 100% percent. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.:-)
 
scooby said...
Mar. 16, 2009 at 12:22 am
I disagree, but this was well written.

*Jesus is the ONLY way to live a fulfilled life. When you die, do YOU know what is going to happen?*

Praise God I do. Because I put my faith and trust in Jesus, I am going to heaven!

God bless!
 
paranormalexprience94 said...
Mar. 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm
i don't agree i do beilive there is a god and i think it is sad that you guys don't beilive enough to think that there is something out there, i mean we couldn't have just appeared out of no where we had to come from somewhere, i feel sorry for you but i guess your right it is your life and you can't be forced to beilive in something that you don't think exists.
 
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