Yes, people, I am an atheist. I don't believe in god. While I do believe in tolerance, I will stand up for my beliefs.
Some people think this is a good time to be an atheist. We're in the news a lot. We have superstars and best-sellers. We almost never get hanged (in America).
Lots of people have "lost their faith" -- as if that's good news to atheists. Many more people have a faith that doesn't depend upon an authority interceding between them and some higher power. No one can object to compassion, empathy or love. (Well, in fact, many religionists object to love outside their narrow standards.)
But in much of the world, there are countless people who believe they would be doing god's will to kill you or me, regardless of our faith. If you think "radical Islamists," you haven't been paying attention to history or current events.
When the Pope declares atheism equal to evil, he sins against us all. When a prominent Republican candidate declares, "you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me," he builds a wall between us. That he does so in competition with a minister running for president only makes it weirder.
I'm not out to convert anyone. I'm here to say there are other ways of viewing the Universe. Find a way to see all life as equal. peace, mjh