Quoted from Alternet.org:
“Debates over faith often leave non-believers holding the bag: look like a jerk or leave the debate unfinished and apparently concede defeat.
The only thing that would make atheism a true article of faith would be if atheists said, “Nothing you could possibly say, nothing I could possibly see or experience, no evidence you could possibly provide me, could ever convince me that my atheism was wrong. My belief in the non-existence of God is an a priori assumption; it is unshakable, as constant as the Northern Star.” And I have yet to encounter an atheist who says that.
Finally—and maybe most crucially of all:
When we speak out in any way about our atheism—and when we continue to organize, and to make ourselves and our ideas more visible and vocal, and to generally turn ourselves into a serious movement for social change—we are accused of being hostile, fanatical, rude, evangelical, bigoted and extremist.
But if we don’t speak out, if we don’t organize, if we don’t forge ourselves into a powerful and visible movement…then the bigotry and misinformation and discrimination against us will continue unabated.
Why this is untrue and unfair: We really can’t win on this one. Even the most mild forms of atheist activism and visibility result in believers accusing us of disrespect, intolerance and forcing our beliefs on others. If we do something as mild and unthreatening as putting up bus ads saying “You can be good without God” or “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone,” you can bet good money that plenty of believers will get worked up about how those terrible atheists are insulting Christians and other believers. The purest act of visibility—the simple act of standing up and saying out loud, “Atheists exist and are good people”—is treated as another example of the offensive, dogmatic, in-your-face extremism of the atheist movement.”