The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The religious diversity of Marshfield students

By Ashleigh Prescott | Photography Editor

In a school filled with 1,049 students, there are bound to be many differences that will distinguish one person from the next. Usually these differences are seen as differing social cliques or variety of interests, but perhaps one not closely observed is religion. Though often a topic seen as taboo, religion is a part of many students’ lives.

In a survey conducted by The Marshfield Times, 11 of 369 respondents, or three percent, identified Mormonism as their religious affiliation. Among this three percent is junior Brittney Loper, a student who is very passionate about her religion.

“Everything in my life is because of my religion,” Loper said. “The ways I talk, dress, and eat are all because of it.”

The same is true for Christian senior Emily Jacobson.

“Being religious is a lifestyle I have chosen for myself,” Jacobson said. “I base my actions and everything on it and it has become my life.”

For other students, however, religion plays no role in their lives. Senior Steven Mayer finds religion does not fit within his view of the world.

“I just feel that everything in nature is beautiful and to attribute all of it to some type of creator is degrading to the beauty of chance that I believe created it all,” Mayer said.

The age at which their respective religions were introduced is different for each individual. Senior Agustin Cervera was introduced to Catholicism at a young age.

“At around six, I started attending mass, and my parents began talking to me about the church and everything it means,” Cervera said.

For senior Jehovah’s Witness Cesar Rodriguez, it was much later when he began understanding his religion.

“When I was like 12, I began accepting the church. At first I didn’t like going, but then I got used to it and finally understood what they were saying,” Rodriguez said.  “It helps me stay close to my family and avoid many problems.”

Jacobson believes her faith has a very liberating effect on her and those who share her beliefs.

“I wish people knew the freedom that came with it. People think that being a Christian has so many restrictions that you must follow, but these are things you want to follow,” Jacobson said. “It makes you so much freer.”

There are also restrictions that Mormons, like Loper, associate with their religion.

“We have a lot of strict values about dress, drinking, smoking and so on. We don’t drink caffeine at all, even coffee,” Loper said. “These aren’t sworn laws, but they are morals that we all choose to live by.”

Loper said she also adheres to a strict daily church schedule.

“I go to church on Sundays and Wednesday nights. I also go to seminary every day before school,” Loper said. “Seminary is like church school before real school.”

Mayer claims he is very receptive to other’s beliefs even if he does not hold them himself.

“I like learning about other religions; I just don’t necessarily believe in the ideas,” Mayer said. “Atheists are open-minded people. I enjoy having civilized conversations about religion without getting angry or disregarding the person.”

Although some people like Mayer are accepting of different beliefs, not everyone is. Jacobson explained how she has been bullied because of her beliefs.

“I think because of my personality no one has ever come to my face and said something. For some, my beliefs can be a downer, and I was once called a prude because of my values,” Jacobson said. “I know that many say things behind my back.”

Loper has also experienced some hardship because of her religious affiliation.

“There are a lot of jokes that go around constantly,” Loper said. “When I was in the first grade, I was confronted because a girl was no longer allowed to be friends with me once her dad found out that I was Mormon.”

Although some experience scorn because of their faith, each had something positive to say about what their belief does for their lives. For Mayer, it is very simple.

“I feel not having a faith makes me appreciate things more,” Mayer said. “I hold a greater accountability to myself for my actions, and I believe I am this way because I made myself this way.”

Cervera said one of the greatest parts is the closeness he feels with his church family.

“I like how close the community is,” Cervera said. “We are always having get-togethers and parties.”

In Rodriguez’s life, religion is something that keeps his life stable and unified.

“I enjoy that everyone gets along with each other,” Rodriguez said. “They [fellow church goers] are never rude and are always willing to help. If I ever need anything, I know I can count on them.”

Loper simply enjoys the changes that can occur in someone once they are influenced by a faith.

“You can see how it changes people’s lives, and it is always for the better,” Loper said. “You can see that there is something bigger than you, and it is very intriguing.”

This idea of believing in something or some power greater than one’s self indeed seems to be present among many MHS students. Whether it is the people, the moral standards or the message associated with religion, 81 percent of those students surveyed claim to be affiliated with some type of religious faith.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marshfield High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Comments (0)

All The Marshfield Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student News Site of Marshfield High School
The religious diversity of Marshfield students