Abrahamic religions worked like termites for centuries, eating up every spiritual tradition they could, which were based on the Earth, science, metaphysics, and ancient technology... severely retarding development in every area of human endeavor, including the metaphysical. I don’t include Judaism here because they don’t recruit, proselytize, form missionaries, or expand; nor is the religion universalist.
Now, Atheists have burst upon the scene and have quietly made five amazing declarations which for some reason are not part of the public debate.
1) That those traditions, some of which fought the Christians and Muslims in bloody wars, and fought the good fight, are to be placed in the same category as Abrahamic religion.
2) That Metaphysical Science shall not be considered, nor even studied at all. They have a vested interest in that.
3) That "Science" is one single entity, with no political or ideological subdivisions within it. It’s just “one-thing, which makes it so much easier to lay claim to.. like an ugly man who wants to marry a beautiful woman. This is probably the most abhorrent and intellectually dishonest of all.
4) That cultures, over the course of history, do not have any tie-in to spiritual manifestations. Of course, Atheists don't have the burden of defending any "culture"… because they aren't a culture. In fact, they are the only demographic dealing with these issues which does not have any culture of its own. Most Atheists grew up in soft environments and never had to defend or fight for anything. It's ironic that they believe in evolution, yet so many are the result of anti-evolutionary struggle.
5) That all Atheists are "smart." I would guess that at least one-third are average to low-IQ brats who simply don't want to be told what to do, which is fine except that the "brat mentality" has become a dogma and may be why they latched onto Atheism in the first place.
They’re angry at Christianity, so it’s all too easy to lump it in with Islam (or any other spiritual pursuit which they perceive “may tell them what to do"), and just call it all “religion”; and Atheism, under the respectable cloak of “Science,” becomes their champion. It’s all very poorly thought out. An Atheist has dogma, a Free Thinker does not. A “principle” is a value; while “dogma” is a road block. Therefore a person can possess principles, and not dogma.
A Free Thinker can just do what is pragmatic, without any special permission or any need to deal with psychological red tape. This may not all be exactly black-and-white, but an Atheist is not a Free Thinker.