Religious Acceptance


Quincey Epley

Students praying at “See You At The Pole” taking place earlier this year.

Here are the opinions of four writers on the Bulldogger staff who all vary on their religious beliefs and values. All of them feel it is time for a change. Here are their views on religious acceptance at North Platte High and the world.

Christianity and the TV – Jakob Fisher

Though I do not feel many effects first hand, the media’s dislike for the Christian religion has really had me conflicted for number of years.

Many people see the Bible as just a collection of old stories, cutting and repurposing them as one might tales from ancient Greece. Completely ignorant of the history; the meaning people put into it. For example, I would focus on Supernatural. The Devil being the good guy? God’s evil sister?! Worse yet, the people who do not believe in the faith think it is all real (or at least the people I have talked to).

Some shows are really upfront about their beliefs. Within the first few episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist, the main characters visit a church following a lead. There they find a woman grieving for her dead husband who says her faith can bring him back. Promptly they tell her man is the real God and her faith is the reason he died in the first place. Of course her church was more of a cult, but in their own twisted way David Koresh and Jim Jones believed in the same God as me. Plus they speak in a general way not referring to the specific church and choosing to tell off religion entirely.

While I usually look the other way, I will admit it hampers my enjoyment a little when for no real reason a character stands up and declares how God is not real. It has become far more common than it was just four years ago. True, it may have something to do with my expanding knowledge of media, but that if anything fits more with my point. There is no way to stop people from using available platforms to force their opinions on others, but why can we not just get along?

The God-honest truth – Clay Stone and Sophia Chingren

“Of course he would because he’s a pastor’s kid” “Oh you’re a goody goody? I guess we need some of those,” These really shouldn’t be insults, but the tone that people use to mock others who believe differently than them is pretty atrocious.

Sophia: I believe that some people view my religion by thinking I don’t make mistakes or that I’ve never committed a sin, but I also believe in God that forgives, and will always love me unconditionally. I go to church on Sundays, and youth group on Wednesdays every week and I’ve gotten used to the fact that there will be people that don’t always believe what I believe in. I can try and tell you everything I know about the Bible, but I’m not going to force you to believe in something you don’t want to believe in.

Clay: I don’t know how people see me, but I have an idea. Once I was talking to a friend of mine and they wouldn’t tell me something, because and I quote, “It’s not really on your level.” I’m not on a higher level than North Platte High School. John 3:16 is probably the most quoted verse in the Bible and it says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him, will not die, but shall have eternal life.” I don’t earn heaven by thinking less of other people. I don’t earn heaven at all. It’s a gift, there’s no way that I could live in Heaven with a perfect God if it wasn’t for His grace.
Something we’ve all heard, that is probably said daily at school is, “You’re a child of God.” It’s true, we are children of God and we think that people shouldn’t make fun of people because of the way they believe. We live in 2018, is that too much to ask?

Not a hypothetical – Anam Vaziri

My perspective on being the only Muslim at North Platte High was different than what you would expect. In the last few years, for a majority of the time, I’ve felt pretty accepted.

Outside of a few distasteful comments, examples ranging from “Wow Anam, you’re the bomb!” to “You immigrant, go back to your own country,” I’ve heard it all. However, most people, in this town at least, have been accepting of me to my face. My confusion always seemed to take place about what people said when I wasn’t around. I saw and heard the same people who I would call friends, would always be posting on Twitter, or sharing articles on Facebook, about how much they thought Muslims were a “disgrace to America”. It’s kind of hard to look at them the same way when you see them the next day at school after knowing they believe in something like that.

That proved to me that it’s easy to hate a “hypothetical”. When you put real names, real faces, and real people to the religions and races that everyone bashes everyday, it becomes so much harder to not empathize with them. You can say all you want about how Muslim bans are a good idea, and how we’re all terrorists, and that I’m probably hiding a bazooka in my backpack. But if you know me, then I’d hope you don’t think that that’s truly the case. This isn’t just a “me” problem. This isn’t just a “Muslim problem” either. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. People are people. They believe in what they believe in. Just because there’s a stereotypical view of a certain group of people, doesn’t mean you need to believe it.