Has Atheism Become a Religion?
No, HuffPo, not it hasn’t. You can drum up all the ‘some of them are spiritual’ and ‘some of them want to self identify’ and ‘some of them want to put it out there’ as much as you like. None of the reasons you have given make atheism a religion.
What would make atheism a religion would be, oh! Believing in some form of god, gods or deities. But by the very definition, atheists do not believe in these things.
How about congregational buildings (churches)? Nope, not got them. How about clergy? Nope. Sacred texts? Nope. Miracles? Nope. Silly hats and costumes? Nope. Prophets? Nope. Dietary laws? Nope. Hierarchy? Nope. Special atheist schools? Nope. Though that might be nice, to combat the faith schools. How about assertion of beliefs without evidence? Nope and double nope! Theology? NOPE.
Atheism is not and never will be a religion. You know why? Because it is a simple lack of belief, or outright disbelief, in god, gods and deities. That’s it. No, really. THAT’S IT.
Atheists are a diverse group of people. You get spiritual atheists (and please learn that you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual), you get Libertarian, Conservative and Liberal atheists. You get nasty atheists and nice atheists. You get racist/misogynist/bigoted atheists and atheists who fight for equality. You get skeptical atheists and atheists who believe aliens are among us.
Atheists have no common factor other than that they lack a belief in god, gods and deities.
Stop trying to make us out to be theists, when we clearly are not.