I have long since come to realize that the belief in God and in Jesus Christ that I once held was something I believed in because I was brainwashed as an impressionable child. This was because my parents were brainwashed into believing in it from when they were child, and their parents as well, all the way back to when my Pagan ancestors were "Converted" and "Saved." The person we become is shaped by that which we are taught and indoctrinated with as children; for example, if a child is taught that cigarette smoking is healthy, they will likely hold on to this belief into adulthood in spite of evidence to the contrary. Only those who are intellectually honest with themselves are able to challenge that which they believe in, which also takes a great deal of courage when it goes against the common beliefs of that person's culture.
It's not abnormal for people to want to express themselves when they've happened across what is, to them, a new discovery. In the 1980's, when people discovered that the Japanese imports were of much better quality than the domestic offerings, they were open in expressing their opinions, much to the chagrin of the domestic autoworkers and the unions to which they belonged. Those who were somehow connected to the domestic automobile production did everything they could to "Shut down" this expression of opinion, but here in North America (both in Canada and the United States), we value the freedom of expression greater than we do the job security of the unionized autoworkers. Eventually, the Japanese automakers gained the respect they worked so hard to get, and the result was much better quality from the domestic automakers, in some cases exceeding their Japanese counterparts.
Those touting the superior quality of Japanese automobiles did not express their discovery to hurt anyone; rather, this stemmed from the innate human desire to want to help our fellow human which is fed by an euphoric rush from doing so; a trait that religions exploit to get well-meaning people to spread their doctrine to the impressionable. Therefore, it's not surprising that a person who has freed themselves from religion only wishes to help others by letting them know it's okay to not believe that which they were brainwashed with as a child. It's the whole reason why this blog exists. I personally see religion as parasitic, and rather than making people good, I see how it turns otherwise good people against other people for the sakes of the religion.
Some atheists wish to take their freedom of expression further. Some wish to pay money out of their own pockets to advertise their discovery. Think about this for a moment: There are atheists who could spend their money on a killer home theater system, but instead use that money to buy an ad on the side of a bus or on a billboard to advertise their message with the desire to help others. Personally, as I write this, I'd much rather be playing video games; but this is an entirely different level of commitment. What are those messages? Things like, "There is probably no God - now stop worrying and enjoy your life," as well as, "I can be good without God." I ask you this, is there anything inherently wrong with wanting to enjoy your life, or wanting to be good for the sakes of being good? Apparently, the church seems to think so, and the reason is obvious: They need people to be fearful and feel guilty about their very existence in order to keep up their racket. If you suddenly decided that you didn't need to go to church to be a good person, and you suddenly decided that you should be enjoying your life, the church would go bankrupt. Like a leech plucked from your foot, they would quickly whither up and die, and you would be better for it.
Personally, I don't expect change to happen overnight. People have made religion part of who they are, and I have chosen to accept them in spite of this, out of my own understanding having once been a believer. If a religious person wishes to put up a billboard proclaiming that the non-believers better believe or burn in hell, I would defend their right to publicly display their message. On the other hand, I think it's telling that Christianity is fighting the same freedom of expression. If a god exists, surely that god should voice his, hers, or its position on the matter, which has not happened. Clearly, the church is fighting to sweep this under the rug, because they know it will lead to deprogramming. They will then become a relic of our past, and humanity will become better for it. In doing everything they can to remove the freedom of expression and freedom of speech from the atheists who wish to help their fellow woman and man, the church has demonstrated how truly evil they are. I hope that you recognize this, and do what you know is right.