I wholeheartedly believe that the silencing of religion, sometimes self-inflicted, is a major cause of atheism.
I had a brief discussion with someone recently who was kind enough to give me a ride (I had bruised my knee). When I heard what was on her radio (Christian music), I discovered that she was a Christian. I had no idea up to that point, and this was a person I spent some time with every week. I broached the subject a little bit but had to go...the ride was over.
We had time enough to talk about how the kind girl "had the sense" that a lot of people who work on this student newspaper were Christian. Obviously if she has the sense that this is true, they must be living Christian lives at least a little, but not talking about it? What for?
I thought about what might be the reason for this. I feel like people don't want to talk about their faiths. Maybe they are afraid that they might offend the other person for "evangelizing." Perhaps they believe it makes people uncomfortable...or maybe it makes them uncomfortable. Or maybe they are just not that strong in their faith to actually want to talk about it.
I think if you love Jesus, truly love Jesus, your love will be loud. You will talk about Him and everything related often. You won't be able to help yourself. And if you live a Christian life, and know the joy of a Christian life, you will want to share it, because you love other people enough to want them to have it too.
Whatever the reason, I think many atheists don't believe at least partly (whether or not they will admit to it) because religion is dead as a subject. I'm sure if some people were exposed to more public religious conversation (notice I said conversation, not debate) they would more carefully consider it. But people who really know and love the Lord remain silent in public because that is what is politically correct. Or perhaps they don't want to be the "Jesus freak." It's easier to say "I'm an atheist" than "I'm a Christian." So the crowd will follow...
Whatever the case, there needs to be more God talk...outside of Church. Outside of bible study. Live your love authentically, or people will think it doesn't exist...just like I didn't think it existed in that nice girl who gave me a ride.
There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for a love that is LOUD.