I am a Belgian citizen living in the U.K. During my past career I have travelled extensively through Europe, my ex-wife is Italian and I have acquaintances in many places. I can say that I know well my continent. My lack of faith has never been a problem anywhere with anybody. In fact, religious conversations are avoided due to a reputation of dullness of the subject. Unbelievably things are not the same on the other side of the Atlantic. Apparently the American dream is not for atheists.
For sometime now I have been reading appalling stories; for instance some teenager are being kick out of their house for "coming out as an atheist", other ones have parental belief force onto them or they are being coerce for economic reasons. Atheists are being bullied in their workplace and soldiers (who are fighting for their country by the way) are being discriminated against. Some states do not even allow atheist to hold public position.
This is happening in the (arguably) greatest democracy on Earth, a country who wants to police the world and wants to be taken as an example of freedom and liberties. Their founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves knowing what they are trying to do with their constitution, twisting the meaning of one of the best document ever written; a real ode to freedom. But despite fighting an enormous monster with tentacles in every aspect of their society and against all odds they are winning and are catching up with us. This is why I will dare to speak for all of us when I say to our American friends that they have our respects and admiration.