I am not anti-theist. I am not angry and do not hate people because of their beliefs. However, I have not been abused by religion. I will not put up with being bullied by atheists and I can see that abuses of religion are legion.
There are people who while deluded are sincere in their beliefs and do try to live Christian lives. They practice charity and giving and are not self-oriented at all. I can respect the work they do. Feeding the homeless at Chistmas instead of practicing mass-consumption is sacrifice and caring, no matter if they are religious or not.
I know good people who are religious.
When people mix their religion with politics or try to impose their views and delusions on me that is different. When people say, for instance, that homosexuality is a sin, I explain it is not for me because their holy book doesn't apply. It is funny to see them react because some Christians think their holy book applies to all.
But to hate an entire class of people because they are different from me and most do me no harm is irrational.
If you are an atheist, you actually are admitting that religion is based on LIES and DECEPTIONS. I don't think anyone should respect lies.
Being an Atheist and respecting religion is almost like saying. 'I am not a murderer myself but I respect murderers. And religion is THE MURDERER of REASON and CONSCIENCE. That's why I do not respect religion.
I actually have personally seen so much damages religion has caused to the society (being a Pakistani) that I strongly think religion is one of the major cause of human sufferings and it must be eradicated. There is nothing noble in respecting religion. It is just an act of hypocrisy.
I am not against the idea of freedom but as I mentioned earlier that I am from a theocratic state and I have seen so much damages by religion in my country. Things might be better in West but in my country people get sentenced to death for the sake of religion. Especially in Islamic countries there is an infamous blasphemy law which permits Muslims to kill anyone who insults their religion.
Freedom is a good thing but if a religion blinds its followers to this extreme that they suppress freedom of others, I believe in fighting back and fighting with reason.
"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." -Steven Weinberg
And the idea that make people do bad thing is evil and not respectable at all. NOTE: I mean to disrespect Religion and not its followers who do bad things unintentionally. People must have freedom and there's no disagreement on this. What I am saying is only we fight with logic and create awareness.
But I slightly disagree to your second point. In my opinion existence of God and Gods is an idea but religion is not just that. An organized religion like Islam and Christianity is certainly based on lies. For example when Muhammad says 'there is a god who created this universe'. it sure is an outdated idea but when he says 'God sent him as a messenger and he is most exalted man and anyone who insults him should be killed. It is LIE. So are the claims of bible and etc.
Religion is not only limited to acceptance of deity but it consists of many other laws and some of them are stupid, others are brutal. And that's why I said it is based on lies.
Of course an atheist knows that religions are lies,
I sad I respect religious people, not religions.. It is not the same..
I practise an active atheism only when someone deny me any right or try to change my mind
This is a very good question for a number of reasons, not least because many religious people who criticise atheists don't seem to know the difference between atheism and antitheism.
My answer, I suspect, will be similar to that of many other members on here: it depends.
As a rule, if you have some kind of theistic belief but you generally keep it to yourself (or within your own religious circle, at least) then great. I may think your beliefs are bullshit, but I've got no problem with you. Believe whatever you like.
However, I am very antitheist when it comes to certain forms of theism. Such as:
Theists who holler from street corners or knock on doors trying to convert people, those with political power who try to have unsubstantiated nonsense taught in science classes, and those who commit acts of violence or terrorism because they believe that their god(s) tells them to...
But I for one wouldn't mind one bit of the Government banned public organized religion. Why? Because I find it abhorrently evil to tell a child that there is such a thing as Hell, or that there is a possibility that they will go there.
This isn't 'Freedom of expression' any longer. If I as a father dressed my 8 son in bright pink with "I'm a homosexual" t shirts, and skimpy leather clothing, and threatened to punish him if he screamed and cried and complained he didn't WANT to wear it, but continued forcing it on him ... I would immediately be thought of as a sick lunatic of a Father.
But what if I told the officials I am just supporting my belief that homosexuality is OK, and I'm using my son as a means to express this?
The thing is, the psychological abuse of children is a crime, and Religion should not be an exception.
And I have not an ounce of respect for a religious persons belief if it incorporates renouncing rational science and evidence over fundamentally immoral biblical teachings.
When a close friend of mine finally admits she is my friend because she feels sorry for me and hopes Jesus enters my heart ... and in the same conversation I get her to admit slavery is OK because God allows it in the bible ... and in the SAME conversation she states that she has every ability to not believe in God, that it's a choice, that indoctrination isn't REAL ... then I can only detest religious organizations, and detest their leaders. I don't detest the common follower because we are after all a species that has evolved to follow for our own safety.