Honorable mention — High school essay contest: Daisy Martinez

Daisy Martinez

Honorable mention

A breakthrough

FFRF awarded Daisy $200 for her essay.

By Daisy Martinez

For some reason, at age 11, I really wanted answers as to why life was the way it was. I had been conditioned to believe my questions could only be answered through God. My mother didn’t like church but would sometimes tell me bible stories of the rapture and the end times. Around age 13, I started to find plot holes and things that didn’t make sense. Any time my questions were brought up, I was told to pray about it and to “have faith.” This was never good enough for me. I needed real answers and eventually did my own research and talked to my peers. Then I had a breakthrough.

I found that the basis of many religions was being kind to people and finding happiness through their deity. However, the only religious people I had encountered never embodied what they represented. I knew that was wrong and didn’t make sense.

My whole life I have been looked down upon by these people because I exercised my mind and voiced my curiosity. Never have I been disrespectful to anyone I had religious conversations with or disrespectful to their religion at all, but I have been constantly put down simply because I voiced my concerns. They don’t like people who ask things they can’t answer, they lose validity.

Humanity would be much better off without these constructs. It may unite some, but ultimately it creates barriers between anyone who thinks otherwise. Religion enables a “with me or against me” attitude that isn’t healthy for humankind. We need to be helpful and loving to each other despite of who we pray to before going to bed — or if we even pray at all. It isn’t healthy for people to base how they feel about someone because of their religious beliefs. Humanity would be completely better off if we all collectively rejected religion and thought for ourselves instead of giving in to what we’re told.

Daisy, 18, is from Rosenburg, Texas, and will be attending Blinn College, with plans to pursue a business major. She is the youngest of five siblings and will be a first-generation college student. “I have a strong passion for humanity as a whole and I intend on using my voice as a loud one for those that can’t use their own,” she writes.