When people ask me why I don't believe, I ask "In 25 words or less?" I then say I would be happy to explain when we have time to talk, but warn them that they may not like what I say. Nearly everyone around me is born again, so I've learned to go late to meetings and campus events to avoid the prayers.
The hard thing for me is the way religion, ignorance and anti-intellectualism are like the Three Amigos of the South. Most of my college students read very little and not all that well, but they think they are right about everything because they believe, so I must be wrong about everything because I don't. Three graduate degrees, and every year another 120 students who can barely conceal their amusement over how stupid I am because I have a carnal mind and they have "spiritual" minds. It seems dangerous to me. They believe they have these "superior" minds, and the Christian right over the past few decades has grown its own universities, think tanks, research institutes, "authorities," so now they can earn doctorates in "prophesy studies," list each other on their letterheads as "senior fellows," and invite each other onto their TV shows as "authorities." I saw Mike Huckabee on the Daily Show not long ago, and he said David Barton was the greatest living American historian. Jon Stewart invited Barton to the show, and Barton spun out a litany of half truths and painfully obvious misinterpretations. In a speech to a group of ministers, Huckabee said that everyone in America should be forced at gunpoint to listen to David Barton. He really thinks Barton is a historian. It dawned on me that these right wing idiots who don't know the difference between existentialism and excrement think of themselves as educated. They're either mind bogglingly stupid or mind bogglingly dishonest--just the way Jesus wants them.
I still try to differentiate between people who turn to their faith for strength in crises and those who seek control over the rest of us, but it's getting harder to tell them apart.
In short, no respect for religion over here.
I don't respect religion. Nor do I feel anyone should be respected simply because of age. Respect from me always has to be earned.