Telling Stories of Faith

Praying at sunrise

Praying at sunrise – a photo featured on the “Second Life” site. 

A lot of people seem to think that young adults don’t care about religion. This may be true for some, but it’s been my experience that young people find faith in the most unusual places. Sometimes they stumble across it by going to church with a friend. Sometimes something happens in their life that motivates them to strengthen their faith. Or, sometimes, they just want to know what this word “religion” is all about.

Anyone who thinks faith among young people is dead should visit “Second Life” (, a Web site created by journalism graduate students at the University of California, Berkley. I heard about this site from a faculty member at Poynter, who referenced it in one of his columns. The site explores God, sex and family, and details the experiences of people’s faith. The homepage features people’s postings about religion, as well Flickr photos and videos of journalists talking about their faith.

There’s also a “moral compass” on the site, in which viewers can learn how different religions view issues related to morality and sex. Some of the questions include: “Can women serve as clergy or pastors in your church?” “What is your teaching on premarital sex?” “Can gays and lesbians marry or have ‘holy union’ ceremonies in your faith?”

“Second Life” is a site worth visiting, not just for its content, but for the talent of the journalists who put it together.

What are your thoughts about “Second Life”?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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