I stipulate that atheism is a religion. The atheist is just as fervent in his denial of the existence of God as the most rabid bible pounder or most fanatical Moslem killer is affirmative.
A truly non-religious position is that of the dedicated agnostic – “I don’t know, I don’t care. You people do what you want to, just leave me out of it.” Now that is honest. And truly non-religious.
Now you can see all kinds of atheist websites in a web search. One of the more amusing things is the fervent denial by so many of the atheist sites that atheism is a religion. You can also see where atheists have sued to get religious rights by claiming that atheism is a religion. They assume the position which gets them the most mileage.
Now, for those who would like the atheism is not a religion side of the ass, think on this: the atheists would not argue so long, loud, and hard if theirs was not a deeply held, fervent belief system. That is religion. Don’t know, don’t care is agnostic. And not religious. By definition, a belief system is a religious conviction. A non-belief system is a nothing.
Now, the FFs (Founding Fathers) never said that there was a separation between church and state. They said that there would be no state religion. That’s a different colored cat. That does also include not forcing atheism down my throat. I admit that I find mindless fundamentalism of any stripe poisonous. This would include fundamental and dogmatic Protestantism, Islam, and atheism. I see no difference when the practitoners of each wish to force their belief system down my throat.
Freedom of religion is not the same as freedom from religion. We can all ease up a bit and be polite and tolerant of each other. Our judgment and punishment should be reserved for those who harm another, the rude, and the boorish. This includes the rabid atheist as well as any other intolerant jackass.