Atheists I know didn’t lose their belief because of anything other than the obvious: There’s no proof that any god(s) exist. I won’t say t became angry, or were even abused in their church, but mostly, in my experience, becoming an atheist was a rational conclusion that was decided over a period of time. We are a marginalized group, and we’re not very organized because atheism is something that’s personal. Sure there are various community groups where atheists may meet together but those groups are, at least from what I’ve seen, social meetings. I certain ways, no much different that a church in that a church is a place for believers to meet and feel welcome.
Some of us may be described as activists, those that go to local or even state government to lobby for the separation of church and state. We have little influence because the process of government is run by money. If a group has a lot of money, they’re more likely to be taken seriously when lobbying. Also, we’re not a voting bloc that any politician need fear because we’re so small and disorganized. We do our best and on rare occasion, we may have a few rational people that will actually listen to us.
Mostly, we just go about our lives as everyone else does. Unlike some Christians, we don’t wear our atheism outwardly. Those that do know I’m an atheist often ask why. I respond, why not? Unless and until there’s a proof for the existence of spme god, why should I fake a belief in one? Believe it or not, there are still those that think we worship Satan, or perform bizarre rituals as atheists. Others claim we’re just another left-wing political group. It’s true that most atheists do lean left politically, but there are a lot of us that don’t. We’re not as diverse as the rest of society, but I think that’s because of the bad press we usually receive. Something bad happens, it must be an atheist. In fact, how often is that proven true? Almost never. How about that same media spend those resources talking about the real bad ones, the ones that abuse children in their churches, both Catholic and Protestant.
Atheists don’t ask for much, just that believers don’t try to force their dogma on the rest of society through legislation. Other than that, most of us don’t care what or who another person decides to worship. Everyone has a right to their delusion. I don’t think atheists are looking to supplant religious belief, just make it less a factor in how government and society as a whole act because, especially government, should be acting for all of its citizenry, not just for one constituency.
There’s no reason to fear atheists, and as atheists, we shouldn’t fear being discriminated by anyone else. It happens though, and that’s why we need a more open and accepting society. We won’t be going away.