Religion is not something we should be afraid of. There is a common belief in our society that religion is the cause of all of our world’s problems. People are afraid of religion – unlike science, it is not stable. It brings hope and love, but twisted belief systems and fanatics as well. What many people fail to understand is that these failures are a common effect of human influence. We must not blame every war and corrupt government on religion, but rather on people. Because at the end of the day, people have the ability to twist anything they would like to their advantage, including science or “reason.” I am not saying that we should all become instantaneously religious; I have just noticed a slight lack of support and awareness of the religious life on campus that concerns me. It’s hard to be religious or spiritual on a college campus, as we are constantly busy, working, partying, spending time with our friends; it doesn’t feel necessary to sit in the chapel and contemplate our spiritual or religious beliefs. Yet I believe that doing just that is absolutely essential to the human experience, especially in college. I do not believe that everyone should worship “God”; I simply believe that contemplating the broader picture, whether it be the universe, nature around us, or anything else, would be an absolutely humbling and calming practice. By meditating, praying, thinking, or doing whatever you find most spiritually fulfilling (for me it’s dancing), we are able to find a greater peace within our minds and possibly a happiness that can spread to others. For me, I often forget myself in the whirlwind of clubs, classes, and homework — I rarely take time to sit and breathe, and think about myself. By taking time out of my day to dance, or sit by myself, my priorities return and I am renewed with a sense of awe in the world we live in.

There is a lot of judgment around those who are religious, as many of us have grown up in a social setting that labels religious people as stupid. From my experience, though, probably the most brilliant people I have ever met have been religious. We should accept everyone, including those who chose to identify with a religion.

Overall, I believe that our campus, and our world in general, should be focused on creating an acceptance in our society, as well as a respect for the religions of our world. Religion is a beautifully powerful concept, and spirituality even more so; I believe that it has the ability to create more love in our world, and that it should not be condemned as a failure of human nature.