The other day the weather was so fine that I took a few minutes on my front porch. Being in this part of Boulder, almost always a very engaging encounter happens even during a few minutes of sitting on my front porch. So, along comes a very erudite parishioner who had just days before successfully defended his doctoral thesis. Later that same day he attended an event called "Evangelical Atheism," put on by the University's Conference on World Affairs.
He expected that there would have been a more academic understanding of "evangelization", meaning "spreading the good news." He thought the speakers would talk about what they perceived to be the good news of throwing off the shackles of religion and the importance of proselytizing so others might get free.
Instead, it became a series of presenters and audience bashing or mocking "religious people" who had done some dastardly deed, or said some absurd, hurtful thing, or, well, one thing after another about so-called religious hypocrites. No one spoke about God, or not believing in God, or why atheism is the way to go, or anything germane to the question of God. It was all about anger against some religious people.
There is a very important imperative here for religious people. It's not only what we say about our faith that wins people over to believing in God. It is also the integrity of living what we believers say we believe that wins people to God. Likewise, it is our failures to live up to our beliefs that throws a stumbling block in front of doubters or non-believers. If you'd like a serious look at what evangelization really is, check out this apostolic exhortation (click here) by Pope Paul VI, written back in 1975, but still packed with meaning today as much as ever.