Greta Christina has an excellent post pushing back against all those who like to tell us atheists what we really believe (like that we claim 100% certainty about the non-existence of God when the majority of us actually do not) and how we “really have a belief system that’s just like a religion,” etc. Her conclusion:
Defining one’s self is among the most powerful acts a community and a movement can take.
And people who desperately wish for a community and movement to disappear are not voluntarily going to let us have that power.
They are going to keep trying to define us, so they can continue to make us look like rigid, hysterical, unreasonable dogmatists who don’t have to be taken seriously. They are going to keep trying to define us, so they don’t have to think too closely about who we really are and what we really think. And they are going to keep trying to define us, simply because they can: because defining a marginalized group is a way of saying that your definitions, and not theirs, are the ones that count.
We have to not let them do that.