midterm.docx - 1 Aaron Lee Soc 150 Group 1-Zshenna Gray...

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1 Aaron Lee Soc 150 Group 1-Zshenna Gray October 11, 2017 Non-Religious vs. Christian Everyone comes to a certain conclusion of who they are and who they identify as at some point in their lives. It ranges from gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, the list honestly goes on. Regarding why and how we come to these conclusions are what interesting though, for those who grew up in similar conditions might come to completely different conclusions and those who come to similar conclusions might have grew up in completely different environment. For this paper I chose to use myself and an acquaintance of mine, who I will refer to as “John” from now on, that I met in a campus community we are both a part of. We are both from the Bay Area, an extremely liberal and over-all accepting bubble of a community unique in the United States, but as identify differently when it comes to religion. I identify as someone who is non-religious (not necessarily atheist or agnostic) and he identifies himself with the religion of Christianity. To begin with, I will give a quick overview of who I am and who John is, and our overall environments that lead up to how we are at this moment. I grew up in a Christian household, as in my mother was a Christian and wanted to raise me up in church. I remember going to church every Sunday with my mother and going to Sunday school to learn the teachings of the Bible and to listen to the pastor help explain the word of God. Yet I never felt a deep personal connection with the church or with God. In the Church groups, when all the other kids would actively pray and deeply believe that God exists and that the events of the Bible were true, I was more skeptical and hesitant to either pray or believe. Later in life I decided that I did not belong, and after researching and learning more about several different religions and myths on my own, I was able to comfortably decide that I was non-
2 religious. John, on the other hand, grew up in an atheistic household. In his personal life, however, he lacked support and comfort from his family and instead found it in faith, and believed that prayer would help him become a better person. He began attending church and, unlike me, was able to find a community he felt that he belonged to. Diving right into the concept of identity and its definition, it can only be determined by the person in question. There are definitely certain, general qualities of that identity that come to mind when brought to attention though. For example, when one hears about someone that is non- religious, they tend to think that that individual is either atheist, agnostic, or that he/she does not practice any religion, and does not believe in the spiritual world or afterlife; when someone thinks of a Christian, they think of someone who believes in a higher power in the form of God, believes in the afterlife (either heaven or hell), prays, and attends church. These are all traits that are presumed to be the same for different individuals that share the same respective identities, but for me and John, and gets a bit more specific than just that. For me, being non-religious

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