I consider myself an atheist but I have real problems with it.
I’m a pluralist. Belief is a personal thing and as such, each must choose their own way. It’s a shame that so many atheists feel the need to attack religion, to the extent that I don’t like to call myself an atheist, because I’m not like that.
I think it’s as fair to have buses plastered with “there is no God” as much as I think it’s OK to have one plastered with a quote from Proverbs. I also think those that calling the Catholic Church into question over child abuse is the right to do so. Those that deny people medical treatment in favour of divine intervention are wrong and should be labelled as such. But those that throw “there is no God” in people’s faces equally annoy me.

My problem is that I hate preaching. And to me, if atheism can be accused of anything in recent years, it’s zealotry. There seems a real momentum within Atheist circles to attack religion, and I don’t like that. I hate it. It just spreads intolerance.
Part of the problem is that we don’t talk about religion any more. In the freedom of the internet, politics and religion seem like the only taboo subjects, which is a shame as I think if people understood more about others’ beliefs we’d all be a bit more tolerant and a bit wiser.
Religion has done a lot of wrong over the years, but I think people are quick to forget the good it does as well. The solace it gives to the bereaved, the aid missions it organises. Can every atheist genuinely say that when the shit hits the fan, when their world has fallen apart, that they’ve never offered up a silent prayer.
To me, it doesn’t matter whether you believe or not, whether you treat it as symbolism or think there’s a guy on a white cloud. I don’t think anyone has the right to attack you for your belief (or non-belief).
The other problem I have is morality. In much of the Western world our morality is defined by religion – the Ten Commandments and all that. One of the things that bothered me when deciding I was an atheist was the loss of a moral compass. Some will argue that atheism isn’t an excuse for anarchy, to which I will agree, but some feel that the laws of the land provide all the moral guidance they need. But legality isn’t morality and sometimes they can be in direct conflict. I’ve found that since becoming an atheist, I have to work twice as hard to be a moral person. That said, the Ten Commandments aren’t exactly up to date with modern thinking.
There are some atheists who are also inclusive and pluralists and I would very much like to be counted amongst their number. It’s just the others, who hide behind atheism as an excuse for intolerance and prejudice, that really annoy me.