To be non-confrontational or not to be confrontational, that is the question. Most every atheist I speak to is very lax in their atheism. I, however, am the atheist that makes others think there is fundamentalism in atheism. Not only am I open about it when it comes up, I carry a copy of The God Delusion wherever I go, daring someone to ask about it.
When I moved to where I am now, I was still in the closet. The thing that caused me to 'come out' as I remember, is I found a friend who, when asked, said he was an atheist. Now, it's not like I felt I was alone, I grew up without religion, my father is a staunch atheist. So, about half-way through the 8th grade it became rather common knowledge among most of the 8th graders that I am an atheist. At the time people would come up to me at lunch, always in groups too, i noticed, and would start spewing anti-atheist pro-christian stuff. I have a fairly vivid memory when these 3 boys came up to the table where me a few friends were and started yelling at me, I told them "One at a time, I can only prove you wrong one at a time!" And I loved these skirmishes, I never did any damage of course, such was helm of delusion they wore at all times, but I was hooked.
After 9th grade people stopped confronting me about my atheism, and consequently I never really thought about it. Besides contributing to me breaking up with my then girlfriend (Not that she cared one iota about it, it had to do with me not liking her fundamentalism). It just laid dormant until my 11th grade year. When I was a junior my father brought home a copy of the God Delusion. Two days later I was half-way through my second reading. I credit that book with blowing my apologism out of the water. I started being more aggressive when I 'debated' a christian, I refused to acknowledge the benignity of mainstream religion, and refused the 'i respect your beliefs, you respect mine' dodge I constantly hear. To this day, no one wants to talk to me about it because people know I tend to inflict "Grievous intellectual harm" on whoever is on the other side of my scathing tongue.
Anyways, I don't like it. And I am beginning to question whether it is 'nice' to be so confrontational. I know most other atheists I know aren't. But, I am a 'Strong Atheist', and the one thing I despise is aggressive ignorance. When evidence refuses to move someone, it really makes me mad. And I'm not just talking about religion, that is widespread it doesn't affect how I judge a person very much, what really bugs me are things like pronouncing 'Nuclear' as 'Nook-you-ler'. I find myself increasingly hating religion. I know it's 'their choice' but their indoctrination will lead to more indoctrination, and exacerbation of the problems that religion bring. I guess the problem is that I care too much!