I spent part of my Easter Sunday with members of what may be the most persecuted and reviled religious minority in America: The annual convention of the American Atheists. …

These are the in-your-face atheists. They always hold their convention on Easter weekend.

Persecuted? Compare atheists to other faiths. The blather of a “war on Christianity” in this country is almost always about a particular sort of Christian complaining that his or her form of proselytizing is not being privileged by a business or by an unconstitutional government recognition. (See the weekend’s dumb complaints that Google honored Cesar Chavez on Sunday.) In other nations, Christians are literally dying for their faith. You think that might instill some humility in Americans. …

But an atheist? That’s a living attack on the notion of religion. Repeated surveys indicate that atheists are less trusted than people professing any religion. There are large swatches of this nation where it’s surely safer for someone of that opinion to keep it hidden. So the 950 people who assembled in Austin reveled in being able to be out and proud.

At times, the event sounded like a pep rally. A speaker got wild applause for a chart showing growth in the number of young adults willing to doubt the existence of God. We all like to think that we’re part of a growing point of view, yes?