If you really think about it there are fanatics on both sides. Religion is really only
a group of people believing in a certain way. Atheism to me is the same way
my beliefs and the right to them. I like to live my life with my own beliefs
so I do not begrudge anyone else in their beliefs.
Alan, this is sometimes a problem, I agree--the co-option of perfectly good words like "belief" and "faith." But that doesn't mean we atheists cannot still use them with care. We can, as long as we are scrupulous in explaining ourselves.
As I have written earlier in this thread, true and valid beliefs arise only from knowledge. There's no other trustworthy place to find them. When theists use "beliefs" to refer to things that they insist can be known without any evidence, and when they insist that wishful thinking is knowledge, they have righteously and arrogantly corrupted the essential meanings of both words, "belief" and "knowledge."
An atheist is simply someone who doesn't give any creedence to any of the god proposals or definitions.
It is similar to those who don't think there's enough evidence to believe in fairies.. Just because I don't believe in fairies doesn't make my non-fairy-acceptance into a religion. I don't feel the need to start the First United Church of Non-Fairieism'. There's just too many things I don't accept the validity of because there's not enough evidence to support the proposal or definition in the first place.
I have posted these links elsewhere in this discussion, but they are worth offering again.
Please see this, by Greta Christina: "Is Atheism a Belief?"