Dear American theist, I don’t believe in God, and I don’t think you should either, however I am not going to hold it against you if you disagree. Conversely, I assume that you DO believe in God, and you think that I should too, however you are not going to hold it against me if I disagree. Moving on, I feel that religion should be kept out of the public sphere, and perhaps you agree or perhaps not. If you disagree, I promise not to hold your opinion against you, and I hope that you don’t hold my opinion against me.
However, know that if you choose to ACT on your opinion and try to impose religion into the public sphere, I will fight you. It’s not personal. I respect your right to your belief, and I respect that you feel obligated to act on those beliefs. But that doesn’t mean I won’t act on my own beliefs if push comes to shove. Defending my rights is not an offensive action.
I respect your right to post the ten commandments in your place of business, and will not demand that you stop even though I think they are nonsense. I respect your right to put a cross on your church steeple, and will never complain even though I personally find the cross to be a divisive emblem. You can place a creche in your home, on your lawn, at your church or business, even in your private school.
However, I cannot allow you to place one on my courthouse, or in my public square, or at the public school. Not because I personally am offended by it. I’m actually not offended by it. No, the reason I cannot allow it is because it’s not YOUR courthouse or YOUR square or YOUR school. Those things belong to everyone, and we both know that.
So it’s not because I think you should stop believing in God that I object to mingling church and state, although I do think that. It’s not because I am offended by your religion either, as it happens I’m not offended by it. It’s because I respect your right to your beliefs, and I expect you to respect mine.
Is that too much to ask?