I read Religion for Atheists on my flight over to the US - this is the new book by Alain de Botton. Verdict? Well, just quickly what I got out of it is that religions are comprehensive, totalitarian systems in which everything (art, architecture, music, the order of everyday life) is integrated and bent to a single purpose, with no room to manoeuvre except what the system itself provides. In other words, religions are even scarier than you thought.
Now, this is not how de Botton puts it of course. He doesn't seem to have any problem with such systems. He seems to think we're all pretty pathetic, don't do well with freedom, and could really do with something like this to give our lives direction. But reading between the lines he shows how dystopian a society dominated by a religion inevitably is for anyone who is inclined to question and not conform.
I think that last thing atheists should be doing, if de Botton's description of religion is more or less right (and it probably is) is to go aping the forms and techniques of religion. Religion is something to oppose, but with asymmetrical methods, not trying to beat it at its own totalitarian game. We should respond with questions, satire, and art and science that are not bound to a system and can go in their own multiple directions. We should be trying to create a world in which grand, comprehensive systems are pretty much unworkable.