No doubt the title of this post is slightly provocative. I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it, so, there you go. If it's any consolation, I don't think that atheism matters, either. Belief, or lack thereof, in a particular god or spirituality is often beside the point. This is something I've been thinking about recently, and wanted to express here, where most of my thoughts end up for better or worse.
The topic of religion, and how it affects people, has been tossing about in my head of late, not least because of the Phil Robertson kerfuffle. The patriarch of the Duck Dynasty reality series was quoted saying some unfavorable things about homosexuals, but couched it in religious terms (both as his reasoning and his excuse), and so many folks have said it's ok. I tend to disagree, but to each their own.
This, dear reader, is why I stated earlier that neither religion nor atheism matters. In my estimation, people reflect themselves in these sorts of things, and don't really reflect their religion (or lack thereof). This is how we can have so many interpretations of the same scripture. Those who seek to uplift others in life will find the good in religion. Those who seek to oppress others will find the bad. Those who decide not to believe, well, there's some of those folks who are better than others, pretty much like everything else in this world.
While it's probably true that religion -- on it's own -- has shaped a few people, I would argue that it's far more common that those who come to a faith, whether they be young or old, have already been shaped into who they are before they found spirituality, and that the spirituality merely augments who they already were.
Religion, or the lack of it, is therefore what you bring to the table, more so than what's already on the table. Perhaps.