I wouldn't use the word "respect" but I understand people believing when they haven't searched for the evidence and accept it simply because they were brought up to believe like most of us were. But I don't respect those who are well aware of the arguments against the existence of a god yet still think we atheists are the deluded ones and can't accept that their belief is nothing but blind faith.
An 82 year old friend of mine and his wife are both theists and members of the local parish church and he knows I'm an atheist and I once asked him if there was anything that would make him change his mind and he said simply and sharply "NO." We have never discussed the subject and I don't think it my place to try and convert him in the winter of his life. What would be the point. I don't respect his belief but I understand as he has never had reason to disbelieve and never been exposed to the negatives and absurdities of his faith. Ignorance is bliss as they say.
I must add that my 13 year old nephew is an atheist without any influence from me. We had never discussed it before and he told me about 2 years ago and introduced me to the well known atheist Pat Condell on youtube. The point I am making is he has never had religion forced on him. No one forced him to go to church and only learnt about religion at school so was able to come to his own conclusion that it was false. I was born in 1956 and was forced to go to church every Sunday afternoon and evening until I was 12 when we moved house and I refused to go to the new church. I was still a believer because I had no reason not to believe. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I started to question it.
The trouble is some people, brought up to believe like most at that time, never question it and still force it on their children today. It was the accepted norm way back when but should not be allowed to happen today and I have no respect for those people who do raise their children that way.
It's important to me to be respected for the decisions I make in my life. And in return, I must respect others' decisions as well. I don't believe in it, but others may, and their livlihood depends upon it. It is not my right to take that away. That would make me the same as the people that shove god down my throat, which is what I'm trying to avoid.
I had to go number two really really bad the other day while i was waiting for the street sweeper to come by my car. I happened to be outside the Church in my neighborhood. Being a former Catholic, I knocked on the rectory door and asked to use the bathroom. The priest asked me what made me ask THIS place of all places. I said, I used to volunteer for the church back when I was getting confirmed (Catholic sacrament. It was true, I did volunteer at the church, but not THAT church). He asked if I ever come by there from time to time. I said, yea, I come by (I don't go in, but I come by), and he was like "oh, good," and went about his day. Didn't feel like picking a fight with a guy who just let me use his crapper. You may be wondering why this is relevant, well... I was forced to edit my stance toward theistic religion.
Now I feel religion is only good for suspending alternate side of the street parking AND asking to use the pooper when you're on the street and have no where to go. So... yea. I'm an anti-theist.
I am against the abuse of power by religions. They will have my respect when they get out of politics, stop indoctrinating children, stop obsessing about what people can or cannot do with their genitals and obey their own vows of poverty. Until then they remain on my shit list.
I respect everybody when I meet them first. If they are religious in the foggy “because there must be a god but I don’t want to think about it” sense I lose interest rather than respect for them. If they are fundamentalists I lose respect for them because they will not listen to reason.
It is of no concern to me what their opinion of me is. I won’t really be hanging out with them for too long if I cannot respect them on an intellectual level.
There are no degrees to my Atheism. I am an Atheist – a non-believer in any god or any other superstition. The concept does not really allow for “degrees of”. However I am a militant, hardcore Anti-theist.
People of faith often take offense to my attitude; mainly because they have presupposed that they are entitled to have they cherished views respected by me. I will respect them if they can defend them.
When they start to spout some theology or science or philosophy to me I think “Great, bring it on man” If only once one of them could give me a coherent explanation of what they actually believed and WHY they believed it, I would be delighted. Then they will have my respect. I will still disagree with their view, but I will respect them for it.
Tell me you are an Atheist and you have my immediate respect because I understand the process you went through with your “self” to be able to say you are. If you tell me you are an Atheist you have my respect because I know you can defend what you (don’t) believe with reason. You know what I mean you godless fiends :)
Having friends who are deeply religious i respect them and cherish their friendships but when the subject comes up as to why i don't believe i present my views in a logical way so as to make them think. I respect them but i do not respect the delusion nor do i respect those who are so wrapped up in it they've stopped rationality.
I hate religions, I hate gods (or the conception of a god created by people), I hate people that force religion on their children, but I also pitty them, because, as they force religion on their children, religion may have been forced on them when they we're children and later too.
I strongly believe that antitheism should be an essential part of atheism. Of course, we should get rid of the disease, not the sick people.