During the American Atheists Conference this past weekend I repeatedly heard speakers and attendees discuss how we can destroy religion. One speaker, Dr. Jack David Eller, said that we need to destroy religion and replace it with atheist holidays, books, and culture lest we leave a vacuum where religion once was- and he got a standing ovation.
This is seriously messed up! Yes, I agree a world without religion would be a wonderful place, however, America's first amendment - that we United States atheists quote so often - allows for the the freedom from jerks who want to annihilate another group. The hypocrisy is nearly unbearable.
And how would replacing religion with atheistic holidays, books, and culture not just be another religion? Sure it may start with good secular intentions but if we simple removed religion and replaced it with "atheist" equivalents it would quickly become dogmatic and essentially a new religion.
The frustrating part is that we don't need to have a "war" with religion. Atheism isn't even on the same wavelength. Religion is an antiquated coping mechanism for people who have a hard lot in life and for those who are incapable or too apathetic to critically think.
So if, as atheists, we focus on reducing suffering and increasing education we will be eliminating the need for religion. Just look at the demographics of atheists; we are wealthier, more educated, and happier than the average human - our demographics have freed us from religion.
This is even more the reason that atheists need to engage in supporting other civil rights movements.
The happier, smarter, and more satisfied people are the more they are enabled to leave the crutch of religion behind.