Jess has cool stuff to say here, go and read.
One of the things I find fascinating about the theism-atheism debates I see is that atheism really is a pretty varied thing. We all get that there are a billion types of theists*, but that there's quite a lot of theological diversity within atheism too seems to elude people.
I've certainly known atheists of the "Anything remotely related to God offends me and I'm really a nice person for tolerating such stupidity, when I tolerate it at all" variety. Some of those go so far as to call any atheist less extreme an "Uncle Tom."
Nobody asked for my opinion and I know this, but my general take is that this attitude does more harm than good.
When someone is extreme and insulting, I might smile and nod out of sheer desire to have them not turn their wrath on me (which extreme and insulting people usually take as a sign that I'm on their side, so I try not to), but the minute they are gone I find myself talking to other people about what a jerk they are and how wrong they are. Snotty presentation makes serious opinions easy to dismiss, which is not to say I'm not snotty too sometimes**, but I do try to keep that in mind. I also try to keep in mind that a room full of people smiling and nodding from sheer desire to be left alone looks like a room full of agreement to themselves and to any observer.
All that said, I also know plenty of atheists who are way more laid back about it, some allowing that the concept of "God" might be a loaded term for something unsupernatural that they essentially believe in, some not going quite that far but willing to do things for symbolic reasons. Some people who call themselves atheists don't dismiss the theoretical possibility of God, yet feel that we should act like functional atheists and take care of each other because God's not going to***. From a classification perspective, I have issues with people who call themselves atheists and say that they actually believe in a God, just not the Christian God, but I have met such people. And let's not forget Buddhists, though far from all Buddhists accept the term 'atheist,' some do.
Now, one type of atheist might well say that another type of atheist isn't REALLY an atheist because they have different views. Much like when Christians start sniping about who is a real Christian and who isn't, I tend to leave the room at that point. I'm pretty quick to accept people's self-identifications on religion.
Anyway, an atheist recently wrote on the UU blogosphere about how she just sits there when people pray, sing about God and light candles. She seems to think it's nice of her not to call it hooey. That said, I know plenty of atheists who use the prayer time for quiet reflection, sing about God knowing that they don't have to believe every word of the lyrics to get something meaningful out of the song and light candles to symbolically recognize their loved ones who are sick or dying or going through some other sort of strife.
I look at the rack of candles and all of those that are lighted and I am reminded of the suffering in the world and how many people need love and food and medicine and nurture. Even though I'm a theist, I don't view it as a signal flare to get God's attention but a flaming sign that says "Do something for somebody."
I'm guessing an atheist who sits there mentally denouncing the process and thinking about how great they are for not leaping up at that moment and crying "Hooey!" doesn't do that, but I know plenty of atheists who light candles right along with the theists.
Anyway, I've just touched on a bit of the diversity I see, but I think it is important to keep in mind that the people who speak loudest in a movement are often not in the majority and there's a lot more tolerance and reasonableness to go around than might initially appear in these debates.
Don't talk to straw men. Talk to people.
*Ok, Richard Dawkins, with his broad statements about what theists believe, doesn't seem to get it, but most UUs do.
** I get snottiest when I feel I have had to explain the same point many times in the same discussion. By then I tend to assume that the other party is a lost cause as far as getting my point across goes and I'm effectively arguing to amuse myself.
*** I have a whole lot of sympathy for this view.