That’s not just raw offensiveness, it actually has metaphorical value.
Religious belief has lately been a poison in my mental system. Years ago, when I became Neo-Pagan, I though I had freed myself of Christianity, and when I finally declared my atheism, I thought I had left gods behind completely. Unfortunately, I haven’t told my family yet, so I still go to Mass with them when I’m living there, and it’s been slowly infecting my mind. The casual acceptance of the “fact” of God’s existence is a subtle poison, which corrodes through reason, and worms its way deep into the brain, until it becomes an assumption you hold, and you can’t get rid of it.
This, more than anything I’ve ever experienced, demonstrates clearly the need for people to come forth about atheism. By hiding it, we make it taboo, and people can casually assume you believe in some deiform entity. This allows the poison to work quietly on those who freed themselves of it, or who are too young to have built immunities yet.
I realize the hypocrisy in advocating openness and not practicing it with my own family, and for that, I apologize, but the point still holds.
The only antidote for the poison is regular doses of Critical Thought, under which the vine of religious belief tends to wither and fade. When in doubt, ask questions, and don’t accept non-answers. Truth will out.