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 downtown Paso Robles. Through the doors is a collection of high preschoolers ages of 14-18. They gather together for fun games, religious talks and time to spend with friends and 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 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”. Boggs concluded that this includes drugs and alcohol.
“I’ve grown 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, assistant to the President of FCA and 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.
The students here at Paso Robles High School will always have certain people and things to lean on, and faith will always be one.