My Religion MAG

By Sarah Milmoe, Lakewood, CO

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?

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This article has 758 comments.

on Dec. 19 2008 at 9:10 pm
That was a e=well written artical, and I liked how it was well balanced. But I also strongly disagree with what you are saying, see I have a problem with people who say they "crated who they are today", because in actuality you didn't. How can we stubid little humans create who we are when we wouldn't know anything unless God gave us a brain, and intellagence to do things? I'm not trying to change what you believe, but I pray you will find TRUTH. God Bless

on Dec. 15 2008 at 1:06 pm
One after another seem to flock towards this poem. They see it's interesting uniqueness, and see what they want to change in you, what they want to keep. I do no such thing.

I am not Athiest, Wiccan, Jew, Protestant, Hindu, Buhddist or Mormon or Muslim.

I am Catholic.

And I see you saying that all you need is to know you are on your own. I am not a foolish one who wants to "bring you to the lord". I don't want to try to make you "saved". I would die if I was alone. I will tell you that right now. Die. And well, that's what all of us will do eventually. I believe that. I however, am not alone. You aren't either. Just so you know, according to my religion. You're writing was good. I hope you enjoyed writing it. May the disgust and broken not look at you with such a foul eye.

(p.s. I don't exactly believe in predestination, or fate. I believe that our actions result in effects, and there are paths, and you can take them. Nothing is left to fate. However, I believe that God somehow knows exactly what we're going to decide.)

greenlight said...
on Dec. 13 2008 at 8:01 am
I saw your article in a past issue of Teen Ink and it was seriously the best one in the whole entire thing. You're a great writer and I could relate to you so much. The best part was that you were respectful to those with a religion. I'm totally the same way (except I could never write my ideas out that well) and it was nice to know I'm not the only one.

Shay16 said...
on Dec. 13 2008 at 4:23 am
I agree with you 110%. I don't judge people who are extremely religious- I have several friends who are devoted Christians. I simply don't think that I should depend on something that might not even exist to guide me through life. I believe that we create our own destinies, and that "fate" and "God" have nothing to do with it. If God is so great and loves us so much, why is there so much pain in life? Why isn't Earth a Camelot?

People invented religion. People wrote bizarre stories about how the world started because they were afraid of the unknown. They wanted to feel like they knew how everything happened. But we don't. Anyone could've written the Bible. And I don't feel I should run my life based on what some anonymous person wrote in an insane book.

Thanks for writing. :)

wolfmongoose said...
on Dec. 11 2008 at 5:02 am
I agree 100%. I remember something I heard on Malcom in the Middle and I thought it was interesting, so I looked it up so that i could remember the exact words:


Dewey: [to the Bible teacher Helen] Like Pastor Roy said, how God is so much bigger and wiser than us, and trying to see what He's thinking would be like an ant trying to see what I'm thinking.

Helen: Yes, exactly. But we can trust in His wisdom, and have faith that He is watching over us.

Dewey: Like me with the anthill in my backyard. I spent days watching the ants, trying to figure out which ones were good, and which ones were bad, but they all just looked like ants, so I started smiting all of them.

Helen: Well that's not -

Dewey: I was smiting them with the garden hose, and with lighter fluid, and with the lawnmower, and to be perfectly honest, I think I went a little crazy with the shovel. Those ants could have been praying to me all day, I wouldn't have heard them.


Dewey: There was nothing they could do about it.

Helen: But, I don't think -

Dewey: Really, it's the same with us. There's nothing we can do about anything either, so why worry about it? Hey, this is making me feel better.

Helen: Well, that's good, but -

Dewey: I guess all we can do is live our lives with as much kindness and decency as possible, and try not to dwell on God standing over us with a giant shovel. Bye!

on Dec. 9 2008 at 3:38 am
this was a really balanced and honest article, I really liked it. Its sort of annoying though that people can be so ignorant of how others feel. im an athiest and i dont have anything against religious people if they dont have anything against me, but its the most frustrating thing when they just dissmiss us like we dont know whats good for our selves, its a complete insult under a veil of good intention and its wrong.I myself think that being athiest makes me avery independant person, just like having faith can link and bond you to your fellow brothers and sisters. they are both good traits to have and they deserve an equal amount of respect. having said that ive just got one thing to say, just like sarah said, we work hard for what we get and our fates are ours to make its ok to thank god for things, but i thank myself.

Gabie. said...
on Dec. 8 2008 at 2:59 pm
Haha. this is a good piece..

schoolrocks said...
on Dec. 8 2008 at 2:13 pm
great artical but you are going down some ware if you dont belevein god

A_Believer said...
on Dec. 5 2008 at 2:24 am
This is very well written, but i strongly disagree with you. I am a christian and i attend a baptist church. I was saved when i was eight and have been following God ever since. You have guts for admintting what you believe! im not trying to change anybodys or your opinion. I just dont know how you could live your life with nobody to lean on and guide you through the right path? God has always been there and always will, he is my savior and if he died for me then i should return the favor by living a christian life!

God will love you and will never stop no matter what you do! But there will be a day when he comes and takes his childern to heaven, what are you going to do on judgement day? God bless and may he come into your life. just remember hes always there and that i will be praying for you!

olii said...
on Dec. 4 2008 at 5:44 am
Your writing is so entrancing. Not only that, but I always felt somewhat alone as far as my religious views, but the way you express your sentiments caught me by surprise and made me want to look at myself upside down and backwards. Even cooler, I found, is that you live within probably 2 miles from where I live. The Rockies are the heart of my home, and the reason for the fire in my hearth. Anyway...well done and I appreciate your submitting your piece for my enjoyment!



on Dec. 2 2008 at 11:15 pm
I think you really expressed your feelings about why you believed in what you believe in. I think you did i really good job. But if you need Strength or hope or faith jesus is always there to help you through any struggle in life. But im not trying to change your belief but you should just believe in him. God Bless You!

Kitty said...
on Dec. 1 2008 at 7:49 pm
You are right, we are in a horrible place right know. I know that ane day the lord will be coming back for his children. I don't know when, no one knowswhne it will happen, he while come and take all of his children ,how has gone on to be with him, up to heaven with him.

on Dec. 1 2008 at 4:24 pm
this is very well written, i beleive every one is entitled to their own opinion wether it is right or not.

on Dec. 1 2008 at 2:55 pm
i belive that you should be allowed to have an opinion, but i am one that is a morman and belive in god, god can help you through your toughest triles and he loves you no matter what you belive. but in the end god will jugde you. just to let you god is real and he is in each of us. god will come again or you ready for him

hokis pokis said...
on Dec. 1 2008 at 2:40 pm
i believe that god did die for us so we should live for him, every now and then it feels good to know that on good's side, to me it feels good to have a trusty friend when i need him more than ever, i probably would'n succeed in life like i want to if he wasn't there to help

deadella said...
on Nov. 28 2008 at 4:53 pm
hehe good job...My thoughts exactly.

on Nov. 25 2008 at 1:12 am
Hmmm... last time I checked Atheism isn't a Religion. It's not believing in anything. I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm entitled to my opinion, right?

miss.bliss1 said...
on Nov. 23 2008 at 12:14 am
I am a Wiccan and a christian.

More a Wiccan thow. I hope you can discover a religion and belive in something more powerfull then you.

God bless you and may god and the lord and lady show you the way towords the right faith what ever it may be.

Support said...
on Nov. 22 2008 at 3:18 am
I just needed to express my happiness that this was written at all; I agree with you. As Erin said, some of the comments below really get to me. I'm not going to start ranting about why I believe what I believe, but believe me, I could. ;)

It amuses me, faintly, when people ask me, "So what do you think happens when you die?" or "Then how was the world created?" They act as though these questions completely destroy my whole belief system because I can't possibly answer them, when there are so many that shoot gaping holes in their own beliefs. It's frustrating, to me, that America is so taboo about atheism; there are times when you can bring it up - like now - but most of the time you just keep quiet about it. A lot of people really attack you for it.

Anyway, this was a great article! I'm glad someone had the courage to write this and submit it to Teen Ink.

Erin said...
on Nov. 20 2008 at 12:18 am
This was really well-written, as everyone else has said. Your beliefs match mine almost exactly. I'm halfway between being the Christian as I was raised to be, and an atheist. I can't make myself believe in God. The comments, to be honest, are making me a little mad. You don't sound confused, you sound like you know exactly what you’re talking about. People are assuming you haven't "given faith a chance" or that you "know nothing about God." Why can't we all just respect each other's religions and not try to convert each other or say that one way is right?


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