Religious diversity should be welcomed, not seen as threat

The Cat Eye


Columnist Eve Pritchard

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been around since 1945 and is featured in almost every school around the US along with hundreds of various variations of clubs specifically for Christians. Why? Why are there, more than not, Christian clubs? It used to be numbers.  

Christianity in first with 2.2 billion, 31.50%, Islam with 1.6 billion people are at 22.32% coming in second and than the Nonreligious, Agnostic and Atheists are at 1.1 billion, 15.35%. Hinduism is at 1 billion, 13.95%.  Buddhism is 376 million, at 5.25%. Ethnic religions excluding some in separate categories are at 300 million, 4.19%, African traditional religions are 100 million, 1.40%,  Sikhism with 30 million 0.32%, Spiritism at 15 million, 0.21%, Judaism is at 14 million, 0.20%, Neo-Paganism is 1.0 million, 0.01%.

But Christianity has declined and diversity has increased.

So why are there little to no clubs of alternative religions?

As teenagers, we are seen as unsure of everything and only elders know what is good for us, whether it be telling us our dreams are just dreams and our choices, where we stand, is never to be taken seriously by anyone but ourselves. Mindsets and “this is just the way I was raised, and this is the way I’m going to raise you” is forced on us at every angle. Religion has, more than not, been forced on us as soon as we could understand it, maybe even before that. And when we say we don’t believe in that? A simple “you’re too young to understand what you want” or worse, anger, is aimed at us. It is fear. Fear of them fearing us, of them turning that fear into hate.

Why Do We Fear Others Who Are Not Like Us? According to, it is  “a common thread weaving its way into the fabric of each: a deep-seated, sometimes perhaps even unconscious, fear of the ‘other,’” says Collin Harris, professor emeritus of religious studies at Mercer University as well as a member of Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It is true and it has been proven over and over again. Some provide untrue statements, misleading the youth, to deceive them. When I mention Wiccanism or Paganism, I hear of “human and animal sacrifice” and “devil worshipers” which is extremely incorrect. They are not Satanists! Have you ever heard of the Wiccan rede? “An it harm none, do what ye will.” Both Pagan’s and Wicca’s are deep believers in the threefold law. They worship nature and the goddess and gods that represent it. Yes, there is bad, but good, as there is in everything. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to explain this and when I do, when provided with the correct information, I am met with backlash. With “that’s not what I heard.” Instead of thank you for telling me the truth. Most people do not what the truth because it might shatter their reality, I’m guessing.

Even though “witchcraft, sorcery, magic and idol worship have been around since the earliest days of man,” said WND Editor Joseph Farah, and “they do, indeed, pre-date Christianity as we know it today,” some people still try to ignore that those practices are apart of legitimate religions. They view it as rebellion from the truth so they think it’s okay to to tell the unknowing with lies like those religions that are not of their own has “grown exponentially faster and darker with each succeeding decade” to shy others away from it, to keep people trapped under unjust statements and mockery.

Some schools, as well as colleges, already feature clubs of alternative religion, such as the Boston College and Westlands High School, they both have Buddhist clubs and the Western Washington University have a pagan club.

This shows other schools are seeing this – that we are not all one and the same, no matter our upbringing. We have the right to be whomever it is we are and express whatever we think needs to be expressed.

We, as citizens in the United States of America, have rights, rights on which we built our country up from. “1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Nevertheless  we are still stunted, pressed back because of one simple reason. The majority is almost always afraid of change, of things that disassociate us from one and other. It should not  be justifiable. Difference should not automatically be opposed. This is the 21st century. Change is happening, whether you want it or not.

A large amount of people identify as Christian, it has even been proven to be the largest religious group in the world. “As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth,”  says Alan Cooperman, Pew’s director of religion research. It is everywhere. It’s all over the media and most of the people I know. There is at least more than one church in every town. People are born into it. “One factor is the wide range of fertility rates, with only Christians and Muslims currently higher than the world average fertility rate of 2.5,” says Bill Chappell, writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR’s flagship news portal. People switch to Christianity all the time for significant others. It helps some people. But what some do not realize is that so do various other forms of faith, they can help people just as much.

The FCA, along with various other Christian clubs, should not be the only religious club at our school – at every other high school as well. Christianity, though practiced by the majority, is not the only religion. Diversity is real and it is everywhere. Why not welcome it?