My name is Elisabeth Pointer. I am a sophomore and a Culture writer for the Journal. I am a competitive gymnast at The Dance Refinery. I have been doing...
The religions of SHS
The Journal surveyed 93 students about their religion. All answers were voluntary.
December 21, 2022
Junior Ayla Fulk
Junior Ayla Fulk was raised in a religious Christian and Catholic family. So as a child, she often went to church. But, she says she soon realized that she found it ‘cult-like’.
Not only that, she thought the religion was hypocritical and judgemental. She didn’t believe in what they were saying and said she felt Christanity was forceful.
This is why she became an atheist, which is someone who believes there is no God.
“While there may be many many views on what’s waiting in the afterlife,” Fulk said. “So far the only evidence I have is that once we die, it’s over, which is what makes now so special.”.
While Fulks beliefs do not always harm relationships, she can’t mention she is an Atheist to some family members because it would cause problems.
“I believe they judge Atheism in general because religion is part of basic human nature,” Fulks said.
Junior Manprit Kaur
Junior Manprit Kaur says that she believes in three principles because of her monotheistic religion, Sikhism, which originated in Northern India. The three principles are to pray or meditate, earn a living by honest means and to share with others, and to be mindful of their actions because they believe in reincarnation.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the beliefs I have,” Kuar said.
Kaur was born into Sikhism, but as she grew older,her understanding and beliefs grew as well. After years of watching holidays and collaborations, it all started making sense in her mind.
Sikhism has affected how Kaur treats people, as kindness is a big virtue. She doesn’t care for the recognition of her actions on other people, just being kind is a value of hers that was nurtured by Skihsm.
“I don’t really care about the hours or the points I earn for that, it’s just helping someone makes me happy.” Kuar said.
Other than kindness, other values that Sikhism has helped to influence are honesty, generosity and humility. Kaur says that these values help shape her life, they’ve even helped shape what she wants in her future.
“I think that’s what drives me to want to help people. It being so natural, it led to the motivation of wanting to be a doctor one day,” Kaur said.
Sikhs also believe in respecting the gifts that God has given them, such as their hair. This results in them never cutting their hair, often wearing turbans and remembering that their body is a temple. Another tradition is for Sikhs to wear turbans.
Junior Hunter Manuel
Junior Hunter Manuel meditates, often around midday or night, to strengthen their seven chakras as a way to practice Wicca.
“I believe in Wicca because you can just be yourself with it,” Manuel said.
Each of the seven chakras are located at different parts of someone’s body. The first chakra is located at the base of your spine, the second in your lower abdomen, the third located just under your ribcage, the fourth is in the center of your chest, the fifth is in your throat, the sixth is in the center of your forehead and finally the seventh is on the top of your head.
Each of these chakras are also associated with certain attributes as well. The first is associated with confidence, the second with creativity, the third with compassion, the fourth with love, the fifth with communication, the sixth with wisdom and the seventh with knowledge.
Wicca is a spiritual religion that often sets out to help people. People who practice Wicca often pay attention to the moon.
During full moons they cleanse their crystals. They also collect rain water during full moons as it’s believed to have healing and positive energies.
Believing in Wicca has given Manuel some values. Some of which is to be mindful of people, be aware of your surroundings, and to be helpful to others.
Manuel says people will often come to those who believe in Wicca to perform rituals to bless things or to rid them of negative energy.
“If a friend or family member needs your aid or your abilities that you have been born with, do your best to help them.” Manuel said.
Senior Tha Zi
Senior Tha Zi was born into a Christian family but did not establish a strong connection with God until later in her life, during COVID-19. She was looking for something different going on in the world that didn’t ever change, and for her that was Jesus.
One of the largest religions in the world, Christianity, revolves around the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus, the son of God.
“I believe in Christ due to the miracles he has done in my life…,” Zi said.
What may separate Zi from the rest is that sees less of Christianity as a religion, but more Jesus as a person. She puts time and effort into her relationship with God like she would a relationship with any human being. Because of this, her worldview has changed, and, Zi believes she has changed for the better.
“I personally spend time and build up my faith through reading my Bible, praying,” Zi said, “and also loving people more than I love myself.”
Junior Tamer Alsalloum
Junior Tamer Alsalloum has been raised with Islam his entire life. As he’s gotten older, he’s found more belief in Islam with some help from the holy book, the Qur’an. .
“I believe that [the Qur’an] is the word that is really trusting,” Alsalloum said.
Alsalloum believes that those who believe in Islam must be very consistant with their beliefs as some traditions, such as praying five times a day, require consistency.
Islam is a religion that teaches it’s followers the importance of patience, especially during Ramadan when they fast for a month every year.
“It’s a religion that is just peace,” Alsalloum said. “Islam means peace in Arabic.”
Other practices also include giving to the poor, trying to stay away from sin and staying away from things that could harm you such as smoking, drinking and things that could get someone high.
Family is also highly valued amongst people of the Islamic faith.The Qur’an often teaches the importance of sticking with your family.
Holidays are often spent with friends and family, especially during Eid al-Adha which is similar to Christmas in a way.
“We’re just like anyone,” Alsalloum said. “Treat everyone like equals.”