I really want to address this because when I see people arguing for or against religion, it really makes me sick.
Neither one ends up being completely right or wrong.
Starting this off with the Religious types:
This goes all around, from Catholics, Muslims, Mormons,Christians, etc. whatever you follow, the biggest thing against them is very simple, they have those that tend to force feed others and even their own followers.
When religion is force fed to people, whether it's teaching a non-believer or teaching something new to current believersm people tend to rebel. Never before has Atheism been at the forefront in todays society as it has today and I believe it has alot to do with how some go about teaching others.
In the Monotheistic religions, it is crucial and a sin in itself to impose your will on others. When the prophets/teachers ( Catholicism, son of God ) did not impose their will on the people, where does it give the right for people today to do such things?
From Televangelicals on TV to those who go around door to door with pamphlets, they are throwing things in peoples faces without being asked about them. That is the problem. People, in general, do NOT want to be bothered. Not by religion, or anything they don't ask for.
Granted that Catholics, Christians, Etc. don't tend to do such things but the religions that branch off of these ( Evangelicalism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Etc. ) do such things and when people hear Jesus in their speeches or see pamphlets, they lump them together.
The other factor can be thrown into the bureaucracy of some of these religions. You have a Priest, Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, Nun, Etc. Etc. that all take a step above their followers because they are holier than thou' but God has said " we are all his children. "
In the empires of time, religion was used to control the people. It was said that Emperors to Kings were given their just right by the Almighty Creator himself. That in turn turns those to despise the religions.
In Islam, there were the crusades that were led in battle with the word of God being preached to do whatever the empires desired. Today, fortunately, there aren't such empires. ( Unless you count the U.S. and England )
In any religion, it is a sin to take ones life as it is a sin to let someone die, it is a sin to provoke and a sin to impose your will on others.
So when you have these types forcing you to do something that their own originators didn't do, explain to them the hypocrisy they are committing not the religion.
Many of those things I listed contribute to the rise of Atheism. Richard Dawkins & Christopher Hitchens for example, have been out for many years. Both are strong advocates of their beliefs but never before have they had such a presence as they do today.
Both have spoken at sold out venues, both have had best selling books on Atheism on Best Sellers Lists and both are British! ( Just kidding with that last line, it just fit :) )
I will almost bet you that people like them got fed up by being told what to do and not to do, what to believe and what is not to believe. Maybe they just don't see a point in believing anything but questioning everything and that is perfectly fine in it's own right. Keep this in mind, they don't push the word of anything down these peoples throats and yet have become famous for being who they are.
In the end of this, it is very important for people to understand the fundamentals of many religions, it is not the religion at fault as much it is the people behind it. Do your own research, learn what has been compromised and what hasn't. What holds truth ( to what the teachers and followers actually are suppose to be doing ) and what is manipulated to make sense.
There is nothing complicated about anything, help out your fellow man, keep your yourself true to your faith, believe what you want to believe, because if you believe in religion, it is God who will judge you in the end, if you are an atheist then it is........
Just mind your business, do what you have to do and we will all be a lot better in the end for it.