Honorable mention – High school essay contest: Adrianna Martinez-Lainez 

Adrianna Martinez-Lainez

The repercussions of faith during the pandemic 

By Adrianna Martinez-Lainez 

According to the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of evangelical Protestants agreed that science and religion are often in conflict; 49 percent agreed that science conflicts with their religious beliefs. It is clear that science and religion do not mix well and are often on opposite sides. Many times, religious people voice false scientific information that is aligned with their religious beliefs. Because of this, I trust science over religion.

I grew up in a Jehovah’s Witness household. However, from a young age, I viewed my religion as fiction. I only saw the bible as a book of stories and never connected it to any higher power. In second grade, I learned how the Grand Canyon was carved out by a river and not by God’s hands. This was as mind-blowing as learning that Witnesses do not allow blood transfusions and choose religion over the life of a loved one.

As more outrageous statements were made, my family and I left the church. However, my experiences with religion did not stop there.

As we distanced ourselves, my uncle and his family grew closer to religion. They went on to become Protestant pastors. They tried converting us multiple times, even going so far as deceiving us into attending their bible studies. This was counterproductive as I distanced myself even more from religion. Yet, I managed to feel indifferent about their intentions until this pandemic.

From the beginning, my family and I took the pandemic seriously — my relatives did not. They refused to wear masks, social distance and continued to travel. They went so far as to claim God was their vaccine. This was especially frustrating as we had recently lost my cousin, Xiomara, from Covid-19 complications. When we started a GoFundMe for my cousin’s funeral expenses, some of our religious relatives were offended that we didn’t use Xiomara’s birth name.

They never approved of her preferred pronouns even after her death. Do they have no remorse? It is the 21st century and we have more access to data than ever before, but people still choose to ignore science when it defies their religious beliefs.

Because of this, I will always choose science over faith. Science is pure facts and is based on scientific methods that the whole world can agree upon. On the other hand, religion is based on the opinions and interpretations of people with no credentials. It is these weak opinions that made the pandemic get out of hand. Otherwise, my cousin and possibly hundreds of thousands of others would still be here today.

Adrianna, 18, of Phoenix, attends Seattle University. “Through the Girls Who Code program, I learned what programmers do, how technology is shaping our future, and why it is important to have different perspectives in tech,” Adrianna writes. “I participated in the Google Code Next Program and Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute, an intensive 4-week introduction to computer science for rising college freshmen.”