Us atheists are not very popular. There could be multiple reasons why this is the case, but atheists are, generally, just like everyone else. I, think, most of us don’t walk up to every theist we meet and berate them for their beliefs. Still, just the word atheist seems to leave a person with a stigma. I think there are probably a combination of factors. Still, I think the main reason people don’t like atheists is because they don’t know very many in real life.
Atheism is a very small subset of the population in the US, and many people have met few, if any, atheists in real life. So, their experience is from the media. Fox news loves to suggest that everything left of center and bad going on in the country is part of a secular progressive liberal agenda. They forget that a large portion of liberals are, in fact, God-fearing Christians. (The only atheist they seem to tolerate is Ayaan Hirsi Ali.) Atheists are portrayed as everything going wrong with the country.
Then, there are other popular sources such as the internet. The problem with the internet, of course, is that there always seems to be more trolls than people being genuine. This happens both with Christians and atheists. Now, most people realize that this is just the way the internet is, and most of us, hopefully, know not to take certain people on the internet as a representative of a particular group. Still, this is easier to do from an atheists point of view than a Christian’s. Many Christians don’t have other sources to draw from, and so, it is sometimes difficult to not make generalizations.
The only real way to change atheists’ popularity status is to somehow get more theists to spend more time with atheists in the real world. In other words, atheists need to be more open about being unbelievers. I don’t know, if there will be a higher percentage of atheists in the near future, so small numbers may continue to be an issue.