As a child, religion was a pretty important part of my life. Most of my elementary education was spent at a private Christian school, Praise Christian Academy. The school promotes a "quality, God-honoring education" and their goal is to help encourage the development of an academic and spiritual education in each of their students. This sounds very promising from an outside perspective, however, I do not have any positive memories from this establishment. I felt as if religion often took precedence over my education. Questions were not encouraged and my science books were just rewritten form of the Bible. This school also made me fear my religion because of how they frequently used God as a scare tactic. If a student were to act out, teachers would stress that God was watching or tell them they were sinners. My early experiences with religion have played a large role in how I feel about religion today.
Currently, the most religious quality I have is that I attend a Catholic university. However, Duquesne University's religious standings had no play in why I chose to attend this school. I chose this school because I felt it had worthwhile programs and that it would help lead me to a successful future. In fact, I can not even remember the last time that religion had an impact on any of the decisions I have made. I have not made an effort to attend church or practice my faith, and I often find myself questioning my beliefs. I would like to blame this on the unpleasant experiences I had with private school, but I am truly unsure as to why I think like this. I still consider myself Catholic, but mostly because I am too afraid to admit that there is not some form of higher being. Religion is not a large part of my life, and it will most likely not be a large part of my future.
I do not see myslef practicing religion in my adult life. I feel that the world does not take religious as seriously as it once did. Yes, there was a point in time where religion was the center of civilization – government and religion were one.However, there is no longer a need for religion to be a part of our everyday lives. People today can live their lives without the hope of a higher being and still be relatively okay. Religion was once a necessity, but now it is starting to dwindle away. I believed I do not need to actively practice religion in order to find happiness. There is no question that it would be amazing to have someone much more wise and powerful than I am ruling over the universe, but I simply cannot bring myself make this belief a major part of my life.
Religion is a very slippery subject and it is often hard not offend others when discussing it. While I do not have a close relationship with religion, this does not mean I do not respect those who do. I truly believe that people have the right to practice anything they choose and I encourage those whose thoughts differ from my own. Yes, I do not find the practice of religion to be necessary but I will never judge anyone that does. There are various events in my life that led to me thinking this way, but that is just how life is. Maybe even someday my views will be different from what they are now and I will avidly practice my faith.I do not consider myself a non-believer – I simply think that religion does not have to be a priority in my life.