Is atheism a religion? Despite the fact that, no, it is definitely not a religion, the very question itself is self-defeating when asked by a religious person. I imagine that this post might be troll bait. There probably lurks someone (particularly a certain silenced mind kind of person) waiting to pounce on this post with well-rehearsed apologetic sound bytes. But still, it needs to be said.
First, the idea that atheism is a religion is absurd. Atheism is merely a philosophical stance (or lack thereof) on a single topic, the existence of supernatural, divine entities. Theism takes a different stance on the question. Theism itself is not religion; it’s merely an idea. Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity (to name a few) are religions. To say that you are theistic does not make any claims about what religion you follow. So why would anyone think that atheism is a religion?
Atheism has no dogma, no doctrine, no hierarchical support structures. It has no leaders. It does not offer predictions for everyday life. It has no interpretations since it takes no position on anything outside of its narrow, single-idea scope. It doesn’t even have silly hats!
If this is a religion then you have a very low threshold for defining religions. In this interpretation, it is the same as saying apple lovers practice the religion of apple love. Nascar enthusiasts, which take many more positions than atheism takes (upwards of infinity more, depending on the individual atheist and Nascar enthusiast), stand somewhere between the amount of religiosity that is atheism and the amount that is Roman Catholicism. If atheism classifies as a religion, then Nascar is definitely a religion. The same goes for dog lovers, musicians, and craft beer brewers. They all are apart of those respective religions. That’s not saying very much.
If you are a religious person, and you believe that atheism is a religion, then you have an incredibly low threshold for defining religions. Hence, if you say you are a Christian or a Catholic or a Buddhist or a Muslim, then that’s not saying very much. It puts your religious beliefs on the same level as Nascar enthusiasm.