Freethought Today · September 2016

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Catherine Fahriger Scholarship winner: By Sabria Harper

Discrimination is the one thing all religions have in common. Whether it's Christians against homosexuality or other religions discriminating against each other, all try to exclude people based off of something they cannot help. This is part of the reason I don't have a religion.

Having a religion is having faith in something that can't be proven or explained scientifically. While others choose to believe in "God," I choose to believe in myself and the tangible reasons for the things that happen in our lives. The greatest technological innovations, and basic everyday occurrences were not created by faith, but by things physically and scientifically seen and proven. Believing in anything more is not only irresponsible and unrealistic, but also dangerous. Religions create more problems than they could ever solve.

I live in a community where Caucasian Catholics are the norm. Living in one of the very few black households in the neighborhood, I have noticed many of my neighbors are either ignorant or inattentive to the issues of the black community. That is something I would like to change.

Many black issues, such as increasing incarceration rates, unequal pay and representation in companies and blatant racism, are being ignored due to the lack of awareness and support in my community. If we simply educated our communities, we would not only increase support in numbers, but also increase the support of races that objectify African-Americans. If those who commit the racist acts see their peers supporting black causes, point of views could change, racism and violence could end, and the world would be a better place.

I know it isn't that simple, but it is a place to start. By fixing discrimination and racism, we can fix the issues of today, and those to come.

The equality of all, no matter what race, sexual orientation or gender, is an ideology that should become part of our way of life. Humanism is a practice that could fully address social issues, and make the world stronger as a whole. It could eliminate all faults within our society economically, socially and politically. Black CEOs would be common, and women would get the same wages as men. There wouldn't be a need for the Black Lives Matter movement because everyone would know that all lives matter.

Humanism is the key to fixing us and making our society the best it can possibly be.

Sabria graduated from Milikan High School in Long Beach, Calif., and now attends UC-Berkeley.

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