Mr Daley, you've told us a thing or two about us, now I'm going to return the favor:
You say you want to understand us better, you say you're motivated by curiosity, and you may well believe what you say, but I don't believe it. I think if you wanted to understand atheism, you would understand it much better than you do. The same goes for several other HP authors who have written articles which they say are friendly attempts to reach out to atheists, but which the atheists tend to find more condescending and insulting than friendly. I think that what you really want, deep down, like any true Christian, is not to understand us but to convert us. The core mission of all Christians has been to go forth and teach the whole world. Teach them to be Christians. The smug intolerance has always been part and parcel of Christianity. I think those in our society who really want to understand religion and atheism become atheists, and have for a few centuries now.
Perhaps you find that incorrect, unfair and insulting. If so, we're about even.