Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Editorial: Religion comes with choices

As we get older, freedom becomes a bigger part of our lives. Sometimes, our newly acquired independence leads us to leave behind things that have been ingrained in us during our respective upbringings.

This week, staff writer Patrick Willisch reported on young Christians, specifically college-aged people, who decide to leave their faith before returning later in life.

As expressed by Father Bryan Stitt, the vocations director at the Newman Center, several reasons, including a busier schedule, moral conflicts or general disillusionment with the church, can lead to this separation.

This decision is just that — a decision, a choice made by an individual on something that concerns only them.

Whether someone agrees or disagrees with another’s choice is irrelevant. Having that newfound power can sometimes be fulfilling for young people who may have felt too restricted growing up.

And that’s not to say that having boundaries aren’t necessary (whether you realize it now or not, parenting is essential to becoming a functioning member of society). However, individuality and self-expression are feelings that might be suppressed when we’re younger.

Not to mention nothing maintains its “fun” status in the long-run — having that choice can make all the difference when we’re forced to do it.

The choice to leave behind faith can often be a precursor to a future choice: returning.

But the important thing is that these choices are in the hands of those they directly impact, and this extends beyond faith. As college students, we control what classes we take, how we spend our free time, who we spend our time with and much more.

After years of having components of our lives directed by others, we get to incorporate that direction at our own discretion — for better or worse.

The word “experiment” gets tossed around a lot as we take the opportunity to try out new things. We get to decide what we experiment with, what we don’t experiment with and what experiments become a more permanent part of our lives (hopefully, by choice).

In the end, the power to decide is one that everyone should relish. And there’s no reason to get too caught up with any one specific decision.

After all, it’s your choice, and you can choose to change any time you’d like.

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