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Being a Christian in an increasingly atheist society

By Grace Moody, News Editor

To think that a man walked this earth thousands of years ago to suffer for our sake and then be crucified to save humanity fascinates me. I'm intrigued by the attention he gained. I stand stunned at the droves of people who followed him then and today solely for who he is. This man, as many of us know, is Jesus Christ.

Now, I know I just opened a big can of worms. Jesus Christ. Yes, I said it. I have no intentions to prove there is a god or persuade readers to learn more about this man with secret hopes of them joining me in a pew at church a year from now.

In response to Connor Moriarty's column published last week, I agree that atheists have an uncomfortable stigma, as he writes. I also believe, however, that this uncomfortable stigma isn't solely felt by atheists, but by Christians, too.

I'm not saying we live in an atheist society. Because we don't. But we can, however, see the rising number of people who consider themselves atheist. Twenty-three percent of Americans call themselves a nonbeliever, agnostic or atheist.

At the same time, we can see the decrease in those considering themselves Christian. In fact, only 57 percent of people born after 1980 consider themselves a Christian. Yes, I know that's still the majority. But only by 7 percent.

Now more than ever, living in a society that is spiraling toward more liberal views, an uncomfortable stigma felt by Christians is evident.

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. A couple of the same-sex can now marry in any state they please.

Within the past three years, Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. This change contradicts the idea of taking care of our earthly bodies, believed by Christians.

We can also see this direction away from Christian morals within the homes. While divorce rates for couples married in the 2000s have not increased, and are not at 50 percent, as some believe, they are still relatively high. Looking at past divorce rates from the last three decades, it is predicted that two-thirds of couples married in the 2000s will live their happily ever after. That means one-third of these marriages will likely end in divorce.

Then we go to all the safe sex, free condoms, have-sex-but-be-safe-about-it culture. Programs are popping up left and right on college campuses advertising facts about safe sex and free condoms. The trend has gone from not having sex before marriage to doing it before marriage, but just being safe about it.

This, in turn, increases the number of children born out of wedlock. The number is up to over 40 percent of births coming from unmarried women.

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Lastly, we can see the increasing number of transgender people. Last summer, Americans watched as Bruce Jenner made her transition to Caitlyn Jenner, shocking many with her bravery. No longer do we live in the days of our body parts defining what gender we are.

All of these examples show ways in which society is steering away from Christian morals. I don't think it takes Jesus walking the earth again to tell us that.

So, as ironic as it sounds, I can relate to the atheists out there who feel they suffer an uncomfortable stigma about their beliefs.

Many of the things I do and the rationale behind why I do them stems from my Christian beliefs. More and more, I find it is not as easy being a Christian in this society, but I do the best I can to adjust to these changes.

So, for the atheists out there, know this: I feel ya. We too, as Christians, experience an uncomfortable stigma based on our morals in this rapidly changing culture. We may not believe in the same theories of existence, but we do, indeed, share stigmatization about our beliefs. I've been walking on those egg shells, too.