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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gogreen1 said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm
This.... is a depressing article. I feel sorry for you.
M0429 replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

no one is as indoctrinated as the indoctrinator, rather than pity someone who believes in herself, and in her own hard work, i pity you, for your infantile dependance on 

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a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telep... (more »)

Hippiealien replied...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm
How so? I'm not atheist but it makes you look at it from a diffrent side,well written. :) i loved it :D
andromeda13 replied...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm
i completely agree with this article, im an athiest too. i did not choose not to be religious, it just seems silly too me. I also strongly think that every one has a right too their own beliefs 
Steph0804 replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 2:39 am
The author isn't depressed. She/he just takes pride in their own achievements, but also takes the blame for misfortunes in their life. I feel sorry for those fanatics who don't give themselves any credit for their accomplishments ("I GOT MY DIPLOMA! THANK YOU GOD!") and blame God for their misfortunes ("MY WIFE LEFT ME BECAUSE I CHEATED! WHY DIDN'T YOU KEEP ME FROM SINNING, GOD?! YOU SHOULD HAVE SENT A SIGN!")
Xella714 replied...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm
That's a depressing comment. I feel sorrier for you
thedancingwriter said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm
I loved this! Even though that's not how I feel I understand how you feel that way and you explained it really well. I liked that you were just showing your side of things not putting other religions down or persuading others to join you. It was really good :)
fire_ice4ever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I find it strange that lots of people are pointing out that one day you will have an empty feeling. Atheists aren't nomads, they have friends, family and teachers. As for missing having god behind you, they can't miss what they never had. 

I am an agnostic, so I am neither an atheist nor a Christian. Just stating my observation. 

Steph0804 replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 2:45 am

I agree with you. I never really believed in God. When I heard about Jesus, I asked my mom, "Mom? Why did that man get himself killed?" She said, "He carried the sins of our people and died for them." So I scratched my head and said, "But what did he accomplish? Nothing changed except the fact that now a bunch of people say are using God as an excuse ("God will make my friend come back and apologize." "The Kingdom of God will come before the sea levels rise." "God will let me win the lottery,... (more »)

BlueRain replied...
Jun. 25, 2012 at 9:59 am
And the fact that things really didn't change because of his supposed "sacrifice", Martin Luther (founder of the Christian Lutheran denomination) actually told people that they should sin so that his sacrifice wasn't in vain. Though he also thought that heaven could be earned through $$$...
Poetic_blue said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I love this. The way it's written, how straight to the point and clear it is, and how you're not soving your beliefs down my throat, but rather, explaining them. Unfortuantely, that's most of what happens today. People find a need to convert, rather than explain. So thank you for that.

That being said, I don't agree with you one bit. To me, fate does not mean that things are set in stone. It's almost like an alternate universe, where the choices we've made are different, so the outcome... (more »)

BeautifulWords said...
May 29, 2011 at 3:02 am
I read this article and I felt a sadness. Sadness because I know that one day you will wake up and realize that you are alone, and not as powerful as you thought. We like to believe that we are in control, but in reality, is it us that makes the sun rise, the rain fall? Is it us that give life and take it away? I am not trying to change your opinion, because you are entitled to it. But when your life is spinning out of control and you have nothing to hold onto, will yourself be enough?
M0429 replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

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People who want to share their religious views with you, almost never want you to share yours with them.
Dave Barry

chamomile This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Just because you believe in everything you have just said does not necessarily make it true. She is not alone, I'm sure she has family and friends and love, and she does not need any god to feel happy. Thank you.
pulsusego replied...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 9:26 pm
Honestly, my guess is that she's not an Anthrophobic Megalomaniac.
Sky.. said...
May 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm
This is sad. I think people that cannot believe in anything are more lost than those who do belive in something that most might consider morally wrong. I would rather be wrong than lost any day. I mean, if you can't even belive in something as simple as who or what created you, then is what you think you know really important at all? What's the point of anything if you don't believe in anything in the first place?
TeaCat replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm
I think-- contradict me if I'm wrong-- but I think it's more about believing in yourself, and what you can do.
andromeda13 replied...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm
i agree. Too me i would rather Believe in my family and friends then a "God" who might or might not even exist
Free- said...
May 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm
Interesting and honest view point, but it depresses me. well-written though
AliBali said...
May 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm
I love how you can boldy state your opinion without fear, and I can clearly understand it! That is how I feel a lot of the time. My best friends are all religious and go to youth group, and I've gone with them a couple of times, but everything that they say there just doesn't click with me. I believe in just nature itself and trying hard to be the best that you can be!
Kareebear. said...
May 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm
love the fact that you are not afraid to write what you believe and say what you have to say . i commend you for that. i also liked some of the things you had to say too . but i disagree with you at points. i am a christian. and sometimes i believe fate brings some ppl together and makes some things happen but i also think that believing in God or any higher power is not just for relying on it or to find yourself or just using it . its much more than that . you can have happiness in this world. ... (more »)
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