i think people tend to associate atheists with wanting to get rid of a significant part of (what they consider to be) american culture, which is probably why the numbers are so high.
personally, i think there's a big difference between an atheist who wants everyone else to be atheists too, and an atheist who's okay with people having beliefs. i'm down with atheists who are live-and-let-live, but the ones who are preachy are nearly as annoying as their religious counterparts - though much less dangerous to social freedoms in general - as far as i see it. i suspect they are very much a minority though - even if a vocal one.
though i'd rather not see the states pull a france, and forbid religious expression via clothes and jewelry.
Anyone have any good reports or graphs on correlations between Theism and income?
Generally speaking, and I may be off, but in my eyes, I kind of see Theists making up more of the lower class (rednecks in the Bible Belt?) and Atheists (potentially) hovering more in the Middle and Upper classes. But again, this may be more of an age thing rather than a class thing.
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?