It is a wonder that there are atheists.Â It is hard to be out of sight of a church steeple in any town in the United States.Â That visual advertising is everywhere.Â
Children by the millions areÂ carted off to Sunday School every week.Â Presidents of the United States end every speech with “God bless you.Â God bless America.”Â For many Christians, to be an atheist is just not normal.Â ThereÂ is something wrong with you.
Yet, atheism remains aÂ permanent part of our culture.Â And, the number appears to be growing while that of Christians is not.Â What has gone wrong?
To me, it is that the society has become more inclined to think for itself while most of Christianity prefers that people do not.Â Clergy areÂ called “preachers” because they preach.
Why are people are less likely to acceptÂ and adopt the mandates of authorities? Is it the computer, the smaller more permissive family, the broader number of choices in everything from breakfast foods to TV channels, the change from a rural to an urban society?Â Whatever the cause, the Christian leadershipÂ needs to find a way to connect to an anti-authorityÂ society.Â
I don’t see much adjustment to the new circumstances.Â Instead, the faith likes toÂ repeatÂ its old message:Â This faith is about sin and the punishment for it. Â You were born a no good sinner.Â To redeem yourself,Â do as we say.
That is why there are still atheists.