As a student at Timber Creek High School, I’ve seen plenty of examples showing religious devotion; students who go out of there way to show their faith, and stand firm in what they believe in. I’ve witnessed those who meet at the flag pole to worship and pray, and others that pray many times throughout the day. However, there are also examples of students who claim to have a firm faith and yet they choose to remain silent.

As a Christian, I’ve witnessed this firsthand. In service at church, I hear my pastor preach all the time about the need for us teens, who have the potential to change the world, to go out and tell it about what we believe in; to disregard negative responses, and simply tell all we can about our God. Yet when he says those words, he speaks with the solemn knowledge that many of us will leave the building, and go about our daily lives, with no intention of ever doing so.

So my question is, why? Why are students so compelled to stay silent about what they believe to be true, from Christians, to Buddhists, to Muslims? It is in no form or fashion solely Christians staying silent. With all of the news in the past that has focused solely on Muslim terrorists, some Americans have been lead to believe that because of the actions of certain groups, all people of their faith are terrorists like them; this is not true whatsoever. But because of this, students who share the faith of any extremist group, Christian, Islamic, or otherwise, feel fear because of the backlash that they think they might receive.

However, this is not the only reason students hesitate to share their faith. I speak from experience when I say that we as students are influenced by our peers. We’re afraid of losing friends by telling them about what we believe and them not believing the same thing. To say the least, those kinds of people, the ones who judge you because of what you believe in, aren’t your friends at all. If they aren’t willing to listen to what you have to say, they are not worth your time. Thoughts and opinions are expressed constantly at school through clubs and organizations. Why is religion not one of those things?

Students should know that they have the ability to express their faith in what they believe in (so long as such expression does not cause a disruption). Our beliefs are important and powerful. As a student body, we can all make a difference, religious and non-religious alike.

So stop. Stop staying silent, and not speaking for what you believe. Don’t let those around you stop you from speaking. Let go, and show the world who you are. We have a mouth for a reason. Let us use it.