...does not mean that I don't believe in anything.
I'm incredibly sick and tired of hearing Christians tell me that just because I don't believe in God that I must not believe in anything. Even if I argue that I believe in all the same things they do: peace, love, tolerance, etc., my beliefs are dismissed because they're my own.
We don't need to be told to be good people in order to be a good person. We don't need to be told to do good deeds in order to do something good. Atheists have the same beliefs as religious people do, the only difference is that what we believe in are things we believe in because it's simply the right thing to do rather than stemming from some fear of an all powerful, all knowing parent figure that'll split the skies in two just to shake a finger at us, nor do we need to read it from a book.
When they sit there and tell us that we're going to hell because we don't follow the word of their God and that we're bad people because they assume we believe in nothing, I have to wonder about all the Christian rapists, murderers, child molesters, thieves, corrupt politicians and corrupt cops, etc etc etc. I'm not saying atheists are saints, don't get me wrong, but it just pisses me off when Christians act like they're better than atheists just because they have religion and we don't.
So I was having a debate with someone a few hours ago on the separation of Church and state and how they really need to remain separated. We ended up getting into the Christian vs. atheist argument and I told him that I shared many of the same beliefs as he does. He seemed pleased that we agreed on something finally but as soon as I mentioned afterward that I was atheist...
Him: "Oh well, it doesn't count then."
Me: "What doesn't count?"
Him: "What you believe in. If it isn't coming from God, then it doesn't mean anything. Only God can make you a good person."
So, there you have it. Atheists don't believe in anything and if you don't believe in God you can't be a good person. We have to respect their rights to expression and belief but ours are invalid.