My Religion | Teen Ink

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 761 comments.


HRC said...
on May. 17 at 3:49 pm
HRC, Lexington, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
--C. S. Lewis

I am afraid society has labeled religion as a "hypothesis" lately. I believe Christianity, yes, because my loving Lord has found me, but also because of the overwhelming evidence, truth, and proof for it. So, this perhaps is most effective to ask you, dear Sarah:

What if Christianity is true? What is the overwhelming evidence for Christ's death and resurrection, are true? What if God knows you in your skepticism and your speaking against Him?

You might as well ask, what if it is not—but if one knows anything about gambling, then you know that if you have nothing to lose on the one side and everything to lose on the other, the choice is clear.

on Jan. 14 at 9:56 am
SolInvictus76, Leavenworth, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 73 comments
I believe that Faith and Science go hand in hand. I also believe that God gave Science to further explain our universe. I just can't believe that "two rocks collided and *BOOM* Here we are." There are many theories, but that is just what most of them are: theories. That's what most of them will ever be. I know that matter can't be created out of thin air, but I also know that matter can be created from energy and vice versa. This is the only theory that makes ultimate sense, at least to me.

on Jan. 14 at 9:47 am
SolInvictus76, Leavenworth, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 73 comments
Do you believe in good and evil? Without a supreme being to decide what is right and wrong, or moral and immoral, their is no ideal, and all choices are considered "equal." Plus, if God does not give us our rights, then who does? If it is our government, then our government can just as easily take them away.

Arti.M BRONZE said...
on Feb. 23 2017 at 4:53 pm
Arti.M BRONZE, Tirana, Other
4 articles 0 photos 46 comments
Awesome job on your explanations.

deepthi SILVER said...
on May. 1 2015 at 10:13 am
deepthi SILVER, Karur, Other
5 articles 0 photos 10 comments
awesome work sara. Being an athiest i agree with all your points and i find everything what i thought to write in this article. hands off.keep writing these kinds of articles.

on May. 14 2014 at 12:39 pm
KandiceMichelle PLATINUM, Stansonburg, North Carolina
24 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Yet God has made everything BEAUTIFUL for its own time. He has planted ETERNITY in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." -Ecclesiastes 3:11

I can't say I agree with you, but you did an awesome job of explaining yourself and making your points :)

on Apr. 3 2014 at 4:45 pm
cosmos4242 GOLD, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
11 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know where I'm going but I promise it won't be boring." -David Bowie

  This example I am about to provide is something I read about a while ago, and so I would encourage you to check it out yourself if you're interested, as I might be wrong or somewhat off.  But here goes- often in older scientific papers (say Newton's-this is the example I remember reading about,) the author will go on explaining whatever they're explaining, (say, gravity,) in technical detail and all is well.  But once they reach a point where their research was inconclusive, or they lacked futher knowledge, things started to get theological.  They would attribute phenomena they didn't understand to a god/gods.   So sure, we don't quite know how everything works, but that's no reason to say we never will and that it's beyond our understanding.  It's no reason, from a purely scientific standpoint, to assume it must be an act of a deity. Because eventually, people did gain a more comprehensive knowledge of physics.  And science in general.  Now we fly into space, cure disease, and predict fatal weather conditions. We might have graduated from falling apples to a coveted "theory of everything," (right now poeple are placing their bets on string theory,) but the story remains the same.  

on Apr. 3 2014 at 4:30 pm
cosmos4242 GOLD, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
11 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know where I'm going but I promise it won't be boring." -David Bowie

  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.

on Apr. 3 2014 at 4:24 pm
cosmos4242 GOLD, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
11 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know where I'm going but I promise it won't be boring." -David Bowie

Sam38 is technically right.  Well sort of. Labels oh labels... I would argue that the defintion of agnostic (negative) atheism is what Sam38 stated, while gnostic (positive atheism) is the conviction that there is no higher power, God, Ganesh, FSM.  Slight shades of difference.  One is lack of conviction while the other is a conviction.  ( i hesitate to say belief.) However, I don't think this is what the author was going for!  I think she was only emphasizing that atheism functions in a similar way to how a belief system can, as a system of living one's life.

on Feb. 5 2014 at 2:41 pm
Just because you guys are on this topic, I actually believe somewhat in fate but free will does play a part in your life.  I am a Baptist, and I believe God has planned your life's major events.  He knows when you'll accept his Son as your Savior, who you'll marry, things like that.  However your free will and choices you make may affect his plan.

on Jan. 20 2014 at 2:16 am
Zaraclaylime DIAMOND, Chicago, Illinois
75 articles 2 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
So I suppose my simple advice is: Love your life. I only say that because your life is what you have to give.
-Tom Hiddleston

I understand that you like to believe in yourself, and your accomplishments, but do you understand that you must have come from somewhere? Who created you? Who created the universe that we live in? Who created the very atoms that make us?

EmmaLou35 said...
on Jan. 15 2014 at 11:20 pm
Very well written! I know that you don't, believe this, but the God i know loves you very much. So much more than anyone or anything in this Earth has to offer.

on Dec. 8 2013 at 9:07 pm
rayvone21 BRONZE, Paterson, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
LIFE is what you make it to be

This is only deep from ONE'S POV, but over all not feeling this . . . AT ALL   

on Sep. 16 2013 at 8:36 am
ninja-artist BRONZE, Raleigh, North Carolina
1 article 5 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love Himself self was not afraid to die so we could be saved." -Michael Card

VERY well writen! I do not agree with it, but still, well writen.

Niquel said...
on Jun. 20 2013 at 10:33 am
Niquel, Lipan, Texas
0 articles 1 photo 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you don't design your own plan, you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

-Jim Rohn

I don't think that it's fair that everyone is bashing on the author for her beliefs. She very clearly expressed that she respects people of all other religions for their faiths, so everyone please, calm down, and provide her with some respect as well. The word "athiest" does not equal lesser human being. I think this essay was very well written, and I agree with what she says. Good job, Sarah. Don't let a bunch of haters tromp all over you for your beliefs.

on Jun. 8 2013 at 11:37 am
LittleDreamer BRONZE, New Delhi, Other
2 articles 6 photos 42 comments
He believes in a 'cosmic majesty', not god. Just saying.

on Mar. 31 2013 at 9:52 pm
monochromatic BRONZE, Alexandria, Virginia
3 articles 0 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis

I love the qoute in the first paragraph. however, I disagree with your reasoning throughout therest of the piece. assuming that their is no God, Deity, or some greater power, how did the universe come to exist? Pure chance cannot come close to explaining the complexity of anything that exists today. also, if nobody has a soul - if there is no life after death, what is the purpose of creating yourself? why work to be succesful instead of just enjoying yourself? what's the point?

Bug16 GOLD said...
on Mar. 5 2013 at 6:48 pm
Bug16 GOLD, Bedford, Texas
17 articles 4 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.
~Anonymous

Advice for life: Don't Die

Thank you AcrossTheUniverse!  I couldn't have said it better myself.

on Mar. 3 2013 at 9:56 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

Ephesians basically says God chose us and plans for us to be with God. How many times have your plans gone wrong? God sets God's will before us and we choose whether or not we will accept or reject. As for Bible references to free will, please refer to THE FALL OF HUMANITY in chapter 3 of Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to sin; likewise, humankind still can choose to sin. Sin in itself is a choice and choices require free will. Therefore, sin cannot exist without free will.

on Mar. 3 2013 at 9:56 pm
AcrossTheUniverse BRONZE, Hondo, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined." -Thoreau

Ephesians basically says God chose us and plans for us to be with God. How many times have your plans gone wrong? God sets God's will before us and we choose whether or not we will accept or reject. As for Bible references to free will, please refer to THE FALL OF HUMANITY in chapter 3 of Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to sin; likewise, humankind still can choose to sin. Sin in itself is a choice and choices require free will. Therefore, sin cannot exist without free will.


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