What Makes You Happy?

Finding the Key

Does your religion affect the way people view you?  Does it affect the you view yourself?  Does it make you happy?  These are some of the questions asked in this post, as it delves into how religion can influence someone’s overall happiness.

In this post, I interviewed three different people about the impact of religion on the way the see themselves and how happy they are in general, as well as how their gender, specifically as women, relates to their religion.

Being Catholic in Theatre

Clare Ruble is a senior theatre major, and is on the pre-health path toward speech therapy.  She’s a member of many different clubs and groups on campus, including Improv, Orientation Staff, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Senior Order.  She has been a Catholic her entire life.  When I asked about how her gender affected the way she worshiped, she said that as female and a catholic she looked to the Virgin Mary for “motherhood and counsel and to God as a way to help and guide her, and to be thankful towards him.”  When I asked her more about how her religion affected her overall well-being and the way she views herself, she said that she believes she has more confidence in herself because she knows that life is not only up to her, and she believes in a greater good.  She went on to say that in her experience at church and at Furman, she does feel empowered, but also said that she feels called to have a family and knows that one day that may affect every part of her life in a pretty significant way.  I also asked about how others viewed her in relation to her religion, and she gave me some interesting insight.  She said that she does think others view her a different way because of her religion, especially “because there is a stigma that Catholics don’t like theatre.”  But, she also said that she aims to disprove that and wants others to see her as a light.

A Liberal Christian Woman

Kenzie Wynne is also a senior theatre major, and and is also a member Orientation Staff, as well as a mentor for Ladies of Distinction, and a member of Tri Delta.  She has been a Non-Denominational Christian since she was in first grade, when she attended a private christian school.  When I asked her about how gender relates to religion, she told me that gender is talked about in the bible and that there is definitely a connection between the two.  She also said that religion does empower women because God isn’t sexist, and that through religion women are strong and useful and important.  When I got to the question about how religion works into her overall happiness and well-being, she gave me a decisive answer, saying she thinks she “couldn’t do a thing without it.”  She even went on to say that viewing herself and the world through Jesus she has “a reason to wake up in the morning.”  Her response to how she thinks others view her because of her religion was this: “Some people might pigeonhole me as a ‘goodie goodie.'” “But,” she says, “then they get to know the real me and I’m a liberal Christian.”

Feeling Empowered by God

Anne Morgan is a sophomore, and also a theatre major and member of Delta Gamma.  She has been an Episcopalian her entire life.  Initially her answered differed from both Clare and Kenzie, as she said that she did not personally think there was a connection between her religion and gender, because she did not think it really changed the way she practiced her religion.  However, many of her other answers did line up with my other interviews.  She said she does feel empowered through her religion, and that it helps her to be more happy at times, and it gives her something to turn to in difficult times as she focuses on it more.  She answered the last question about the way others view her by saying that she is not very vocal about her religion, and that sometimes can make her uncomfortable when people are surprised she is religious, because she does want to be seen as christian-like.  She ended on a recurring statement throughout all the interviews: that her religion lifts her up, and it helps her to feel empowered.

The Takeaway

One thing is definitely true, and it was said independently by each person: women feel empowered by their religion.

Featured Image:

“Keys.” Photo provided by Flickr.

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