R3: Religion at PRHS
By: Emily Olsen and Loretta Burke
It’s 6:30 on a Tuesday night, there is homework to do, chores to finish and tests to study for. Freshman Caleb Newman opens the door into First Baptist Church in downtown Paso Robles. Through the doors is a collection of high schoolers with one thing in common their Baptist faith. They gather together for fun games, religious talks and time to spend with friends and God.
Bearcats at Paso Robles High School have expressed their strong faiths. A survey of PRHS students shows that 55.5% of students attend a church service, and 42.2% of students are absolutely certain in the existence of God.
A recent study by Duke university and The University College London suggest that religion is dying out, the study shows that only 45% of Americans ages 18-30 have no doubt of the existence of God. This is a sharp drop from previous generations, when roughly 94% of people born before 1935 identify as religious. Out of 128 people surveyed at PRHS 31.3% of students believe for certain in God and 12.5% of Bearcats surveyed do not believe in the existence of God at all which is below the national average. “I think it might be due to all the [influence of] songs, or like stuff influencing on songs and TV and all that,” said freshman Lauren Boggs “Faith and beliefs have strong ties to morals, and not participating in certain activities is definitely one of them. Some people don’t understand this”.
“I don’t remember the exact lesson, but I was going through a tough time and it spoke to me, I started to read more into it and realized more and more about God, I went to Hume lake this winter and going there and being around people who are like me was really cool, It was really helpful and inspiring” Said Freshman Loryn Boggs. Boggs grew up religious but never payed attention until she was in Seventh grade. “When I was younger I was not proud of (my religion) at all. I hated to go to church”
Another Paso High student Gabriella Clayton shares a love for religion with Boggs. “I grew up Christian, i was baptized when i was 7, and that was more of a, I’m baptized because my friend is baptized kind of thing and I thought it would be cool, but when i really started getting the concept of God and all that, was probably two years ago,” Clayton tells us.
There are many people in the Paso Robles community that think the students at PRHS are not united, “(Paso Robles High School) is too dangerous to send my child to because of so much drug use, bullying, and division” said an anonymous adult in the Paso Robles community. Students believe faith and religion are key points that students use to really get through rough times and overcome obstacles in life. “Sometimes I ask why [God] is letting this happen or why something is happening to me, but then I realize that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan and won’t hurt me” Boggs said.
“Religion just really helps to inspire me and make me a better person; I used to be a very annoying kid before I discovered my faith” Said Caleb Neumann, a freshman at Paso High.
Often religion in students life acts as a moral guidance, “When I don’t want to do something because I believe it’s wrong, some people don’t understand. They say that it’s stupid and i should just do it” Said Freshman Loryn Boggs. Quite a few people have experienced the same issues similar to Boggs’.
“[I’m] not necessarily teased about being Christian, but in middle school you don’t fit in with the cool kids because you’re not doing the cool stuff, I had more of a moral mindset where, drugs are bad, alcohol is bad, where other people were saying, ‘Gabby you’re so dumb! Just do it!’ so it was more peer pressure, and I wouldn’t give in to it because of the morals I have due to my faith,” Clayton stated.