This is a phrase I have started seeing online more and more. People (in general and on both sides of the spectrum) are griping about the "new Atheists" and how they seem to be shoving their non-beliefs down other peoples throats.
I understand the problems that people may have with "In your face Atheism" as I like to call it, however, in this day and age I honestly thing the main goal of people who do this (myself included) is to inform others. It took me 10 years to "come out" of the religious closet and claim my atheism to friends and family. It's taken longer for people to realize I'm serious about it and that this is not a phase.
Some of us (especially those who are "new" to atheism) are still hurting over things said/done by those in the church. I am sure that being raised to follow ridiculous rules and traditions that don't make sense logically can leave one hurting. Add to that any abuse and/or constant harassment by "loved ones" who only seek to "save" others and you have a dangerous mix. In time, people may calm down and see that being so forward is not always a good thing, but I kind of hope that doesn't happen.
I think it is important for there to be links to the religious world from the atheist world, and to treat others as you wish to be treated. However, I think it is just as vital to this nation that people push the "atheist agenda" (another phrase you see too often online). There are millions out there who are doubting what they believe or have been raised to believe. Like abuse, there are many who do not know how to cope with their questions and pain. While they are told they aren't alone, they fear what may happen to them, to their relationships, to their lives, if they speak out.
I see it as part of my job as a human to stand up against injustice when I see it. I am passionate about my atheism, probably because I was so passionate about my religion when I was a Christian, and that failed me too many times to count. Right now, I fully admit to being a bit angry with the religious world and how they have treated me (both when I was religious and especially now that I am no longer a believer). I fully admit to getting hostile and rude more often than not, but I'm okay with that. As they like to say "Sometimes the truth hurts". I do not seek to hold someones hand and walk them through life gently. I know there are many people out there who will do that sort of thing, I am just not one of those people. I much prefer the "in your face" "call bullshit when I see it" kind of approach. It gets people thinking and it leaves its mark exactly where I want it. My behavior may seem like "shoving it down your throat" but I prefer that over being quiet and keeping my passions to myself. If this costs me friendships, then so be it. Chances are we weren't that close to begin with, or that whoever walks off from my friendship was probably not worth my time anyway.
I don't think the world will ever be without religion. It would be nice, but that's just not a realistic hope. In the meantime, I will reach out to others who are fanatic about their beliefs by being just as fanatic about my non-belief. And I will reach out to those who are honestly seeking information as best as I can: gently and (hopefully) without judgement. But I can not sit silently and watch as the religious world condemns the rights of others in the name of their god.