Bonus points to anyone who gets that joke. Believe me, it's hilarious.
Steve: first, every so often you post about separation-of-church-and-state, or some other thing those dastardly minority atheists (mwa ha ha) are imposing on you poor majority Christians. I usually wonder if you've read something somewhere that set you off, or if it just has to do with the lunar cycle. If the former, it's time to start naming names. We're all big kids here.
Second, the First Amendment has, in fact, "erected a wall between church and state." That seems to be your real issue, and I'll address it in another post.
Third, I'm sure you're sincere about not intending to lump me in with the 'militant atheists,' as you put it, but you really can't avoid doing so. 'Hundreds of atheists' is a pretty feeble disclaimer.
Finally, saying that a statement is 'unproven' (or 'unprovable') does not mean that the opposite is true. I've argued this repeatedly; see my post about whatshername, Coulter. Stating that evolution is not 'proven fact' does not leave the field to creationism/intelligent design. And if the assertion 'there is no God' isn't provable through formal logic [it isn't] it does not follow that 'there is a god' must be true. I am astonished that you can't see that. And if you can, you don't act like it.
Lance: 'how do atheists know there isn’t a God?' How do believers know there is one?
What you're doing here is trying to shift the burden of proof to me, and you're doing it in a not-entirely-honest way. When I say that atheists 'don't need to make a statement,' I mean that the believers already have. They've stated that 'this is true: this exists, and it has the following properties...' If you weren't saying that, there wouldn't be any atheists, would there?
Now, instead of criticizing, you could be discussing how you came to your beliefs, why you believe in your particular god, but you aren't. Why not?
It gets back to the concept of 'god.' Or 'gods,' which probably came first. At some point, somewhere, somebody started talking about that. Somebody brought up the idea of a deity. You say we're just having a conversation; well, that's when the conversation started. "But why is atheism the default position? One side has to explain their belief, while the other side gets a pass. That doesn’t make sense." It makes sense. One side has a belief. the other doesn't.
"The assertion ‘God doesn’t exist.’ is just as much a positive statement as 'God exists.' It implies a logical conclusion. A logical conclusion implies that facts have been ascertained. Facts can be verified. You must have followed some logical path to reach that conclusion." Beautiful. Lay your facts and logical path on me. Can you?