Something curious that I’ve noticed is that, as various atheist organizations implode in scandal and chaos, the percentage of “nones” in the population is steadily rising. Why should we have a rising tide of general secularism as all the charismatic superheroes of atheism are found to have feet of clay? Here’s one answer: the leaders of organized religions are revealing themselves to be blatantly corrupt.
I think that also explains my atheist conundrum. You can be a grifter as a New Atheist leader, too! We all of us, religious and non-religious, are entirely capable of disavowing that selfish asshole who has annointed themselves as Our Leader while still accepting the fundamental metaphysical philosophy underpinning our beliefs. The real split isn’t between atheist and theist, but between freethinkers and dogmatic authoritarians.