Religion is about our reason for living, it is about that which we dedicate our lives, or that which gives our lives meaning and what energizes our life force and directs our energy. Belief in "God" by whatever definition, and in it's broadest definition, is what we live for and is what strongly motivates us. What do YOU really believe in?
People who say they are atheists fail to understand that they are actually theists in the broadest sense of the word as nearly everyone believes something and has something near and dear to their hearts. They have a God whether they know it or not. In fact, I would say that only those who kill themselves are truly atheists (excepting mental illness) since they are proclaiming that there is no meaning in life, that nothing is worth getting out of bed in the morning and that there is nothing worth living for. Suicide is an extreme exclamation point for this lack of faith in a God. Many suicide victims would be clinically depressed, but the lack of a belief in God may be a root cause of that depression and a pastor might be more helpful than a psychiatrist diagnose the root of the problem. Belief in God is not only what motivates us, but it's a life or death issue.
Obviously materialism is not a very authentic God in terms of Tillich's other definitions such as "what is really real" or "what is at the heart of things." Christianity and Judaism have a lot more to say about what a more authentic God might look like. If I asked randomly of people on the street about the most important thing for them, I think most people would say family. To their credit, that's pretty close to an authentic ultimate concern. Others might say love. That too is great.
To non-believers and atheists, I need to remind you that you already believe in something. And you probably picked it up from parents, your culture or elsewhere where you live. Our entire culture, whether you know it or acknowledge it, is based on Judeo-Christian faiths, ethics and law. Our Western cultural, legal and political systems are largely the result of thousands of years of our Judeo-Christian heritage. And western civilizations and their descendants have created the most advanced, democratic, prosperous, lawful, orderly, and civilized countries the world has ever known. (In contrast, see my post "Why Trump is Correct: Most Places are Shitholes" to learn of just one culture without our Judeo-Christian heritage. It's not pretty.)
Such success is ultimately based firmly on the Christian (and Jewish) religions, civilizations and cultures as recorded in the Bible, and later adopted and incorporated into Roman and European cultures. More recently, we enjoy a 1000 year history of Anglo ideas and philosophies, dating from Pre-Norman times to the Magna Carta and beyond, that ultimately culminated in the exceptional US Constitution and culture. These outstanding ideas, based ultimately in, and combined with, the work ethic and Judeo-Christian ethics of mostly white European immigrants to the US, led to the most successful and vibrant political, economic and social "experiment" ever seen in world history: the USA.
So much of the hard work, sweat and labor has been done for us, sort of a cultural gift. People who live in and pick up the prevailing culture and ethics are often ignorant of where it came from. Now, we're so prosperous and distracted by our vibrant culture that we fail to properly give credit to our religious and cultural heritage that made it all possible. It's a pity because it's all being lost now because of this ignorance. All that we have is primarily the result of White, mostly English-speaking, Northern European accomplishments with solid roots in Christianity. If you read about the phony memes of our day, all of this is being rejected--most often by minorities. And no, we're not all the same. No, not all religions are the same. And no, not all races are equal. The White race has been in fact superior in nearly every way. You will be booted off of Facebook, Twitter or any college campus for uttering any of those words since the speech-oppressive culture described in Orwell's 1984 book has asserted itself, (especially in Europe).
Many people, sitting in lovely houses and sitting in comfortable luxury, have rejected organized religion or Christianity---including so-called Atheists. They might say that they are more "spiritual" rather than a Christian. Reasons for this rejection of modern Christianity might include: 1) they don't want to believe in unbelievable myths that are found throughout the Bible and no one has explained the symbolism, meaning and value in these myths 2) they think that Christians believe in an "old man in the sky"version of God, 3) Use of religious language and terms like God, Christ, prayer, sin and grace are not understood. These terms become stale and lose their power when they are not continually explained and refreshed using real-life examples and ordinary language, especially for newcomers, 4) how can a man of science be a Christian? 5) religious leaders speak too confidently about what God is doing in the world even though there are profound mysteries in this or they overuse the word "God" which tends to trivialize it's meaning, (Jews were forbidden to even speak their word for God (Yahweh) for this reason --using "Lord" instead) 6) Religious people speak too confidently about afterlife even though it's the ultimate mystery, 7) Christianity requires you to believe in the unbelievable or believe in complicated religious dogmas. These objections are often valid and based in fact. I've tried to address a few of these objections in my posts "A Theology for the 21st Century" and "A Theology for the 21st Century: Faith is not Believing the Unbelievable."
The simple truth is that Christianity is dying in places like Europe, where faith in man and his institutions (government) are offered as a substitute for Christianity. Socialism has tried to usurp faith community's role in charity by substituting face-less and impersonal institutional redistribution, leaving less need for the more personal faith community. Communist governments have sought to eliminate and outlaw religious faith entirely and substitute "man" instead of God. The State has gotten into the education "business" too where higher learning began in mostly Protestant and Catholic Universities (see a list here for just the US). While Christianity is essentially dead in Europe, killed by the State, Islam is allowed to flood into Europe. These Muslims, in comparison to Christians, are extremely confident, even arrogant and supremacist, in their views. They bring their own culture, their own legal system and are determined to overpopulate and dominate any area that they occupy. They don't integrate into their host cultures and they aren't working because these people are incompetent, low to no skill, and have nothing to offer! And they are fighting and murdering 100s of thousands per decade in wars against Kaffirs (any other faith) in dozens of countries. In sum, government and Islam seem determined to wipe out Christianity and Christians once again.
Western Civilization is all unraveling as knowledge of our heritage has evaporated. The State and the Left have chased God out of schools, universities and our society, leaving only fools in charge. Foolish is an apt description of Western culture now. Our entire heritage of western civilization is under attack by Leftism (Socialism) and Islam. Traditional religious denominations are failing and ignored. Christianity is dying in Europe and elsewhere and Christians and Christianity are once again being slaughtered into oblivion in the Middle East by Muslims while the West and the Catholic Church just passively look on. The leader of Catholic Church, Pope Francis, who is steeped (brainwashed) in all the failed socialist ideas of Latin America and who hasn't learned a thing, is a utter fool.
And now, young people want Socialism even though it's a proven loser. People want to turn to alternative economic systems since our economy is so ravaged by Big Government failures and the Big Corruption that always accompanies Big Govt. Big Government breeds Big Corporations too. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The US Constitution is clear in it's design for limited government and sound money.
In the US, we've strayed from knowledge of God, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, our History and our Constitution. The latest generation and most of our incoming non-European immigrants know even less of these things. So it should be no surprise that our corrupt leaders know nothing and don't care about anyone but themselves. Ever bigger government and debt, unsound money, unsound banking and social, moral, cultural and economic decay and failure is leading to massive societal failures. We're left with nothing but the unwise and fools in charge. Our nation is at risk. Western civilization is at risk. .