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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lovetildeath said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 3:21 am
I must respect your religion and your point of view and this is well written and gives a clear understanding of an atheist.I am a devout Christian and am proud to say it.I do not believe the Big Bang theory or evolution.GOD created the universe and all of us.He is Alpha and Omega.How come our bodies are created just so?How did it happen?Why does the Sun fuel life on Earth just so perfectly?One day youu are going to come across a situation and it is going to tear down your carefuly crafted kingdo... (more »)
Steph0804 replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 2:29 am

I don't want to be rude or anything, but I'll tell you my point of view about how this world was made "perfect" for us to live in (ignoring global warming and rising sea levels and whatnot).

Do you know the book, "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time"? It's mostly ridulous and senseless, but there was a little analogy that I found quite intriguing.

So, once upon a time there was a puddle, inside a hole in the sidewalk. It looked around itself and said, "Gee,... (more »)

Steph0804 replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 2:31 am
Plus, the "slave to jesus" part. I think that an actually benign ruler would not want to make his people crawl for him. 
Steph0804 replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 2:35 am
Plus, if God is so selfless and powerful, I don't think he should have sent his son to carry everyone's sins. That's almost the opposite of selfless; saying to your kid, "Hey, would you mind if I send you to Earth with the sole purpose of being a martyr and being prosecuted before dying in sheer agony? Okay, thanks." I think that if he was really that great, he should have taken the burden upon himself.
Kailee W. replied...
Aug. 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm
You really should be educated in faith before you criticize it. God IS Jesus, and Jesus IS God. They are one. God became one of us solely so he could die for every wrong thing we do. He isn't a marytr at all.
pulsusego replied...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm
God isn't Jesus.. No offense meant, but I'm an Atheist and I know this, if only because my friends have explained it repeatedly in our discussions.
Musicandlove replied...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Thank you for being respectful about this reponse. God and Jesus are one though. Your friends may have explained it wrong, or are a different religion than I am, (Catholic) but God is a trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are three different people (this is where it's hard to explain) but rather three different "personalities." & I never got to say this but this article is great I love learning about how atheists think and the author was great at being respectful as I hope I'm... (more »)
msoccerm345 replied...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm
i think what Musicandlove is trying to say is that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are all the same "person" but just different forms. God came to Earth as Jesus in a human form. The Holy Spirit is the part of God that lives in us and through us. that is the best way that i know how to explain it. i have full respect for athiests but i am a full devoted Christian and i would never deny my faith. everyone has to have something to live for whether it be themselves, love, friends, family, money or G... (more »)
alexandria1124 replied...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm
To lovetildeath, I agree completely. Our world is not perfect because sin entered our world with Adam and Eve. Also, if we were created from random science (which is quite depressing...) we would look more like clones than unique individuals and we wouldn't have a built in since of right and wrong.
Heather C. replied...
Sept. 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm
To msoccerm, I think you explained the Trinity perfectly. Though in itself it's a hard thing to put into words. And I'm with you, God all the way.
Laura_Oliver said...
Jun. 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm
This is really thought-provoking.
RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Well done. I don't agree with the atheist viewpoint that God is peripheral to the whole thing. However, I do agree with what you say about needing to create your own happiness. Despite being a Christian, I'm much the same way.
Night-Goat said...
Jun. 27, 2011 at 12:36 am
I am a christian and have never understood atheism, I always thought it was just a lack of belief in anything, but reading this article shows me what is really in an atheist's head. Instead of putting down others' religions, you explained your own. Most atheists try to put others down by saying God is not real, but you put it in a way that does not offend others. This is a very well-written article, it gave me a whole new view on atheism
freeflow23 said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Someone once said "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I'm a Christian and until now I have never really understand and atheist's point of view. Thank you for this.
. replied...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 11:10 am
I feel the same way. 
. replied...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm
I completely agree. I'm Catholic and I always thought Atheists were just trying to rebel. It's nice to see their point of view.
ambnyc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 12:28 am
Voltaire said that. :)
ninjadragon56 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm
i really like this. I'm glad that someone has been able to explain beliefes rather then give a whole load of dogma. thank you, it was well written and i agree with you. keep writing! 
gogreen1 said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm
This.... is a depressing article. I feel sorry for you.
TeaCat replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm
Really? I think it's a beautiful article; it makes you look at life from a whole different point of view. :)
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