I'll come out of the blue right now: I absolutely do not care for religion. I think it is a waste of time. As I've said countless times, it is pointless at its best and dangerous at its worst. Why anyone accepts such nonsense as a "God" or "Jesus" without any verifiable evidence is beyond me. Of course, I am no atheist; I am an agnostic who knows it is impossible to prove or disprove God's existence. I believe this is the best "religious" position to take. After all, there are thousands of religions around the world. Why chance it with low odds like that? Why not just repudiate all of them instead of assuming one is more accurate than the other?
Having said that, I have no problem with religious people, just so long as they respect boundaries and don't try to cram their beliefs down my throat, especially if those beliefs are authoritarian. This is why I do not understand the New Atheist movement. Yes, I'm glad that the over 30 million atheists and agnostics in this country are finally standing up for themselves against prejudice from a largely Christian America; however, I just don't see the point in rebuking all religious people or having pointless debates about whether or not God exists. Why do we need to proselytize?? When we do stuff like that, we're no better than the religious loons we decry.
The fact of the matter is that most atheists today don't actually hate religious people; they hate fanatical religious people. But, strangely, too many of them assume that all religious folks are equal to the fanatics simply by virtue of having a similar belief system. But isn't that bigotry? Isn't that prejudice? If we are trying to be above the lunatics, why do we stoop to their level? I just don't understand this mentality at all. And I think what's blinding most atheists who do act like assholes is the idea that just because they're not religious they can't possibly be assholes when trying to persuade. They're just "trying to promote reason."
But that's just it! You're not! You're promoting intolerance and hate. What's wrong with someone who happens to be religious but minds his own business? I don't see what the big deal is. We have let our hatred of religious extremism go too far. This nonsense has got to stop. If someone wants to know why we're atheists, fine. Tell them. But don't proselytize and try to convert people just because you think you're somehow more moral or freethinking than they are. After all, religious people aren't always idiots. And I've met or seen plenty of idiotic atheists as well.
Let's just cool it, atheists. Relax. Moderation is key, and abstinence is not necessarily required. I would think we know this by now, having opposed abstinence or abstinence-only teaching from the archconservative crowd in all sorts of matters. Besides, do atheists honestly believe there aren't fanatics and dangerous people in their own crowd?