Politicians read the polls that show 85 or 90 percent of the voters profess a belief in God, so they identify themselves with religion, often only to the degree necessary to reach the constituency they are targeting.
What do you conceive God to be like? Some would say to believe at all in a personal God requires a giant leap of faith - but I am convinced that belief in God is a far more reasonable position than atheism. Nature, the personal experience of literally billions of people, and something innate in the heart of man all testify to the existence of God.
I shall not convert you at the end of my argument. I think the argument is sound. I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else.
"Atheist" is quite clear in its meaning of "somebody without a belief in God." It is more complex in its usage since it has often been used to blacken anyone with the slightest doubt about the teachings of religion.
At no time have I ever said that people should be stripped of their right to the insanity of belief in God. If they want to practice this kind of irrationality, that's their business. It won't get them anywhere; it certainly won't make them happier or more compassionate human beings; but if they want to chew that particular cud. they're welcome to it.
When a belief vanishes, there survives it -- more and more vigorously so as to cloak the absence of the power, now lost to us, of imparting reality to new things -- a fetishistic attachment to the old things which it did once animate, as if it was in them and not in ourselves that the divine spark resided, and as if our present incredulity had a contingent cause -- the death of the gods.