Rule No. 1. You do not talk about Atheism.
Rule No. 2. You do not talk about Atheism.
One of the things that you have to get used to as an Atheist is the fact that if you ever speak about Atheism you are automatically being confrontational, militant, aggressive, harsh, nasty, rude, disrespectful, etc. An Atheist speaking is ipso facto insluting and degrading to everyone around them.
Of course the reverse is never, ever true. Religionists have been actively conquering countries, forcing conversion, actively proselytizing, knocking on doors and haranguing passers by for millenia, but those activities are never, ever, aggressive or militant or confrontational or disrespectful. Becuase Religionists generally, and Christians in the United States specifically, are entitled to Christian Privilege.
This is one of the many things that you have to get used to as an Atheist. When Christians actively attempt to proselytize, when they knock on your door, when they yell at you on street corners, when they tell you that you are going to Hell, that is socially acceptable conduct. When Atheists don't keep their opinions to themselves, that is aggressive, militant and mean.
The Jeohvas' Witnesses of all people actually made this explicit in one of their recent Awake! publications, where they actually complain about how a "new group of atheists has arisen in society. Called the new atheists, they are not content to keep their views to themselves." See, those evil Atheists now actually think that they can talk about their opinions. This from a cult of Religionists who are most notable for harassing people at their homes and on streetcorners to peddle their Faith. This is Christian Privilege at its finest.
American Christians possess a strange duality. On the one hand, they endlessly whine and complain about how their Faith and values are under attack, how they are being persecuted. As proof, they point to the so-called War on Christmas wherein they are not properly greeted with Merry Christmas by shopkeepers, to sex and swearing on film and television, to vulgarity in music. They point to the fact that prayer in schools is not allowed, to the teaching of evolution, etc. American Christians complain endlessly about their alleged persecution. On the other, American Christians represent the uber-majority in the United States. Nearly ever member of the political and media establishment professes Christianity. Indeed, it is virtually impossible to be elected to any high political office without expressing Faith in either Christianity or Judaism. Christians have ALL of the power in this Country. So why do they feel so put upon?
Because many Christians feel a profound sense of entitlement. They feel as though their particular religious beliefs should be reinforced by every single person they encounter regardless of what that person believes. Failure to acquiesce to this Christian Privilege is a horrible and grievious crime. Anyone who fails to provide reinforcement of Christianity's basic precepts or who fails to say Merry Christmas, is clearly engaging in persecution of Christianity.
This victim mentality is the true genius of Christian Privilege in that it acts as both a shield and a weapon. The uber majority gets to impose its will, achieve a sense of moral superiority AND get to feel persecuted without the inconvenience of actual persecution. As a final, added theological benefit, their faux-suffering also brings them closer to their zombie lord.
They feel entitled to have their beliefs endorsed and propagated by the government. And they feel as though those who disagree with them, those who do not believe as they do should keep their opinions and beliefs to themselves. This is the essence of Christian Privilege. The selfish and entitled belief that despite our secular and multicultural society, that their specific Faith should receive special treatment and should be shielded from criticism, dissent and disagreement.
I have grown used to the double standard applied to atheists (and any other non-christians) that anything you say, no matter how nicely, how civilly, how eloquently and politely you phrase it, represents an existential threat and is therefore aggressive, militant and most likely mean spirited.
That doesn't mean I have to like it.
And it certainly doesn't mean I'm going to shut up about it.
Update: I almost neglected to mention the fact that it is also decidedly not militant or aggressive when Muslims in Palestine decide to imprison an atheist blogger for life. While I am sure some will use this incident to illustrate the difference between Muslims and Christians, I would caution Christians to tread lightly because no one wants or expects the Spanish Inquisition.