G is for God: Christian student studies other religions

Corbin sophomore Kyle McAuliffe is a Christian but believes that being knowledgeable about other religions creates tolerance. McAuliffe is a religious studies major and is currently studying Islamic traditions and the New Testament. “It’s easier to co-exist with someone that you understand,” McAuliffe said.

Chris Rutledge

When Corbin sophomore Kyle McAuliffe was choosing his major, he considered options like political science and history.

But he was inspired by a class taught by Scott Girdner, an assistant philosophy and religion professor, and soon settled on religious studies.

“I really liked how religion deals more with men’s souls,” said McAuliffe, who considers himself a Christian. “I thought it was a deeper topic and something I’d rather do.”

Sarah Kersey, McAuliffe’s girlfriend and a University of Kentucky student, said religion has always been a major part of her boyfriend’s life.

“His family is religious, and I guess it helps growing up in such a small town like Corbin, because everybody there is very religious,” she said.

Corbin junior Megan Ledington has been friends with McAuliffe since high school and says that he has always been an out-of-the-box thinker and a very tolerant person.

“He’s very religious, in a good sense of the word, not the bad connotation of religious,” Ledington said.

McAuliffe believes that knowing other religions creates tolerance.

“It’s easier to co-exist with someone that you understand,” he said.

McAuliffe is currently very interested in Islam because he thinks there are a lot of misconceptions about the religion.

He enjoys finding the truth about other religions.

He’s currently taking an Islamic Religious Traditions class and a New Testament class, he said.

McAuliffe also believes it’s important to remain open-minded and explore new things.

“There are a lot of atheists, even in my religious studies classes,” he said. “A lot of atheists were Christians that lost their faith through times and trials in their life when things got really bad. Really, you’ve got to give (Christianity) a chance. It’s an everyday struggle.”



McAuliffe had his faith tested when he lost a close family member this month, but he remains optimistic about religion.

“Faith is believing in things that aren’t right at the tip of your nose,” he said. “You have to choose to believe; it’s in your heart. That’s faith to me. Picking up your cross every day, going through times and trials and praying to God like he’s there.”

McAuliffe challenges people with no faith to explore new ideas and seek out religion.

“You have to look at faith and ask yourself questions like, ‘If I believe in nothing, is there anything that I see out in the world that I want to believe in?'” he said. “And pursue it.”