While atheism is often defined as a belief system, the organization American Atheists disputes that characterization, saying instead that atheism is “simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods.” While some groups and individuals use such terms as agnostic, humanist, secular and others to self-identify, American Atheists advocates use of the work atheist as being more widely understood. A person who is not religious is not necessarily an atheist. Ask people how they prefer to be identified.
Some studies place the number of atheists as high as a quarter of the national population, although some atheists are leery of being publicly identified because of potential social stigma. Organized atheist groups work against laws influenced by religious dogma.
Although it is not a belief system, atheism has many of the same constitutional protections as organized religious groups. Some interfaith groups include atheists, despite rejection of the idea that atheism is a faith group.
American Atheists claims more than 170 affiliates and local partners nationwide, meaning there are likely those in local markets who will be willing to meet with journalists.
American Atheists has its national headquarters in Cranford, N.J.