Not long ago, I was talking with an atheist about the problems which occur when an atheist and a theist get on the topic of the existence of god. He suggested that the atheist ought to be prepared for such an encounter. But, I ask why? Why try to reason with a superstitious soul? Nevertheless, the atheist stated he was rather passionate about convincing and converting believers into atheists in order to maintain the separation of church and state. Okay so, let's talk about this shall we?
Indeed, he might be correct in his views on the separation of church and state - but going around and out of one's way to purposefully harass people is what many religious people are doing now. Yes, an atheist, at least in a good many parts of the world, will always get into unanticipated conversations about such things, but perhaps it's best to smile and nod one's head rather than place it onto a chopping block.
Being passionate about one's personal mission is a noble trait, I don't knock it, however it probably isn't the best way to win friends and influence people in the present period. Further, I personally find arguing or debating this topic to be unenlightening, if someone is going to claim superstition as fact, there is nowhere to go with it, other than to leave and not waste any more time. Why bother, it would be like trying to convince a Juvenile Chimpanzee that he should give up his quest for a future promised banana. You cannot convince someone against their will, not a Chimpanzee or any of the other upright walking carbon bi-pedal species.
For atheists to suggest that we ought to remove "god" from the pledge of allegiance or remove manger scenes from the parks, or even crosses from the top of a hill, well that's not going to win any friends or influence any people either. Atheists cannot get upset with Christians promoting their beliefs and attempt the same sort of strategy to promote their own agenda unless they do so in hypocrisy and in which case they are not fighting the good fight with reason. This in and of itself defeats the purpose of many atheists to convert Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and other religious folks.