Honorable mention — High school essay contest: Sofia Jorgensen
Why I choose logic over religion
FFRF awarded Sofia $200 for her essay.
By Sofia Jorgensen
My first experience with religion was on the playground in the first or second grade. One of my close friends asked me what my religion was and I was oblivious. I remember him laughing at me with complete bewilderment that I did not share such an “identifying” personality trait. When I went home and asked my mother what we believe in, she turned to me and said, “We believe in ourselves and we believe in science.” I remember this moment in particular, because it is this way of thinking that has shaped me into the person I am today.
I believe that everyone should follow this ideal. Religion should be rejected because nobody should feel the need to adhere to rules written by unnamed men barely after the point of recorded time. All people should have the freedom to be free-thinking, cleared of guilt, fear, and obligation set by nonexistent higher powers. I see this affect women in particular. Religious beliefs are used to justify the denial of women’s rights under the name of a higher authority. Women are shamed for acting outside the regulations of their church, expressing their uniqueties through “revealing” clothing, exercising their right to choose whether or not to bear a child, and their access to birth control, which is seen as sinful.
As an atheist woman, I am able to form my own values and come to my own conclusions. I can make my own choices about my body and how I choose to live my life. Everyone should follow science — not God — embracing logic and knowledge in order to meet our fullest potential as humans. I put my faith in myself, I do not need a high power to dictate my values and suppress my rights. I put faith in myself because I do not feel the need to justify my actions with group consensus and I do not feel the obsessive need to adhere to psychological polarization. If everyone were to have the courage to put their own faith within themselves we would live in a free, logical world.
Sofia, 18, is from Bellingham, Wash., and will attend University of Washington, where she plans to pursue a degree in molecular biology and then apply to medical school.