Spirituality at Spring Valley-What Do You Believe?

Do you believe in God?  Since the beginning of mankind, however it began, the most controversial and sought after question has been how we came to exist and where we go when we die.  Did God create us, or did we begin as single cell organisms that eventually developed into humans through evolution?  When we die, do we go to heaven, hell, or “limbo” like in the Disney movie Toothless?  Do we cease to exist?

High school students are transitioning from adopting their parents’ ideas about God to forming their [own] ideas.  Some people form ideas of their own; like an anonymous junior who didn’t “believe” what her parents said about Catholicism, and she is now a Christian.  However, she has many ideas that are not congruent with those of the Christian doctrine.

She believes that “God is an energy that represents everything” and that “you can’t see or hear him”.  Katy Hougland, a cheerleader, disagrees.

Hougland says that she has a “profound relationship” with Him and that she believes in the “father, son, and holy spirit”.

Others, like Justin Valarde, believe that “God is a symbol”.  He doesn’t believe that there is a “right way” or “right God”.  “It doesn’t matter whether you’re praying to Allah, God, or Jesus, you’re praying to whoever you believe in.  It makes no difference,” said Valarde.

On Wednesday, September 23, 2010, Spring Valley High School’s Bible Club met after school by the flag pole for a Christian event called ‘See You at The Pole’.

‘See You at The Pole’ was a chance for students to, “lift up their government and school in prayer,” said Dulce Robles, the vice president of Bible Club.  For about twenty-five minutes, students took turns singing Christian songs, strumming hymns on their guitar, and praying aloud for our school and government.  Some people were entranced by their open spirituality, while others ‘kept their distance’.

Jacob Hines, standing closer than most, found their display “interesting”.  “They’re not afraid to show their religion,” he said.  Jacob happens to be a church-going Christian, and actually asked if he could join the Bible Club afterward.

Others weren’t as eager to join them in prayer, but still thought that it was, “a good way for people to connect,” as Annie Scruggs said.

“I think it’s cool that they aren’t ashamed to express their religion,” said junior Jordan Meoson.

Many people, regardless of their religious views, respected the Bible Club for not being ashamed of their spirituality, but others still seemed to alienate them because of it.  Bible Club members were aware of the curious glances and teasing from students outside their club, but to them, it was all about “worshiping God” and “putting my pride down” as Nicolette Yabut said.

Why do people need to be ashamed of their religion, or lack of it?  People should be tolerant of other beliefs, yet in many cases they often aren’t.  High school students are a particularly judgmental crowd, and most people just want to ‘fit in’.  There seems to be no particular religion though that is deemed more acceptable to high school students or society in general, for it truly depends on who you talk to.

Justin Valarde believes that God is a symbol.  If all religions are just symbols of God, then why do people choose the religions they believe in?

When asked whether they had a relationship with God, the majority of people interviewed immediately began talking about their religion rather than their personal beliefs and relationship with God.  One could conclude from their remarks that most ‘religious’ people, or at least Spring Valley students, don’t have a personal relationship with God, or at least one that they feel comfortable talking about with others.