Attempts to portray Christians as a beleaguered minority are particularly ludicrous since, outside a few elite enclaves, prejudice against the nonreligious remains widely accepted in America. Half of Americans agree that belief in God is necessary to having good moral values, and more than two-thirds say they would not even consider voting for a nonbeliever for political office. Georgia state legislator Ron Foster ruffled no feathers a few years ago when he noted, in defense of posting of the Ten Commandments in government buildings, that judges or public officials who don't believe in God are "more likely to be corrupt."
This soft bigotry has consequences, and not just for godless politicians. In the May issue of New York University Law Review, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh documents discrimination against nonreligious parents in child custody disputes, based on the assumption that raising your children in a religious faith makes you a better parent.
To be sure, there are atheists who are militantly hostile to all religion, and reinforce negative stereotypes of nonbelievers. But there are also believers who give the faithful a bad name -- like the whiners and zealots who wring their hands about a mythical "war on Christians."
Of course, as a liberal Episcopalian I'm the kind of Christian that the right wingers say is "not really a Christian". That's fine. I don't want to be identified with the wingnuts anyway.