Religious freedom and expression a staple at universities

Daniela Perez/ Staff Writer

Copy of fAITH IN GEN.Y

A decade of my life was encroached by attending a Catholic school, and it took nearly a decade to realize that Catholic teachings have only ignited a pseudo faith. I never truly believed in the Father, Son nor the Holy Spirit; I believed in a higher power, but none of the aforementioned. I was afraid that by not complying, I would face negative consequences that would hinder my education. I realized that attending a Catholic school was detrimental to an open mind.

My life as a writer began at the juvenile age of 12. Not only did I want to write, I wanted to spark a change by writing my opinions. I sought no harm in my intentions to be opinionated, however, my writing was sinister to a Catholic school’s administration.

Threatened with suspension, expulsion, and probation, I thought that writing was a crime. I wanted to talk about abortion, gay marriage, pre-marital sex and rape culture. I wanted to talk about topics that actually affected me as a woman and as a human being. But the clash between the Catholic regime and my mundane beliefs hindered my desire to pursue writing.

This neglect was then rescued by attending FIU, which sprung me from my suppressed desire to be opinionated and refueled my desire to write. My opinions were encouraged, rather than hushed, and just like this piece, have an opportunity to reach  out to a like-minded crowd.

Instead of being hushed, there’s a blissful celebration of free expression. FIU encourages students to freely express their opinions while removing the fear to argue for what is right. This feeling of removing one’s own faith ridden shackles may come off as a shock to a few, but others may empathize in the freedom that accompanies having religion removed from their education and their beliefs.

Janine Miceli, a sophomore studying elementary education, describes the change from a catholic school to a public institution as “relieving.”

Despite the fact that she believes in her faith and in the power of God, she always felt pressured to be overly mindful of her speech and her ‘Catholic’ demure. Miceli recounts this transition as “driving through a tunnel during a rainy day.”

Bella Alvarez, a freshman studying art education, mentioned the fact that incorporating God into every scholarly subject makes it difficult for students to broaden their horizons and open their minds.

Despite her Catholic pride, Alvarez mentioned that the choice to attend Catholic school stems from parents wanting their children to be open minded, but understand that the schools  have rules that need to be followed and inspire morality checks.”

However, you don’t have to attend a Catholic school to have a falling out of religion. The primitive sense of belonging to a religion isn’t like it used to be according to the “American Freshman,” a studey prompted by University of California, Los Angeles’ Cooperative Institutional Research Program.  

“In 1971, 17.3 percent of men and 13.5 percent of women did not affiliate with any religion. By 2014, those figures had moved to 30 percent of men and 25.4 percent of women selecting “none” as their religious preference. These gender differences are consistent throughout the 40-year-plus history of the item,” according to the study, which researched the abandonment of faith labels in the millennial generation.

However, the study does emphasize the fact that “none” doesn’t mean “atheist.” The feeling of existence above still remains prevalent in Generation Y’s beliefs, and I’m the epitome of this ambivalence.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Unsplash.

About the Author

Daniela Perez
Daniela Perez is a sophomore studying Journalism and International Relations. She enjoys eating aesthetically pleasing foods, binge watching sitcoms, and hanging out with her family. Her favorite TV shows are Weeds and The Office and her favorite band is Modern Baseball. After college, she hopes to land a job within her career field. She also hopes it includes health insurance and paid vacations.

Be the first to comment on "Religious freedom and expression a staple at universities"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.