This is just a post on the amazing and reassuring afternoon that I had.
I'm a relatively new atheist. It's been less than a year since the day that I realized I was in fact no longer a Christian. I became involved with my university's atheist/agnostic student group, a small group with only a few active members, and have since become one of the officers of the group. We decided this year that we need to make our presence more visible, being that the area that our university is in is extremely religious part of the state, and knowing that there has to be non-religious students here that are sick of the overwhelming Christian presence. Walking through campus right now means being smothered by religious groups, all trying to force fliers into your hands. We decided to set up a table of our own with a poster and a few fliers, but decided specifically not to try to hand out fliers, and let people come to us. I hate when people force fliers into my hand, and I wasn't about to do the same.
I was apprehensive... very apprehensive. How were people going to react to us? It was not what I expected. We got an overwhelmingly positive response! People were yelling, "Thank you!" to us as they walked past. Others were saying "I'm so happy there's a group like this here!" or, "I had no idea there were other atheists on campus!" We got high-fives, hugs, etc etc. It was unbelievable. Our first meeting is tonight, and I'm expecting bunch of new people there. I got plenty of dirty looks too, but also had some great, very civil discussions with some Christians, and got to show them that atheists are just normal people trying to live their lives. What a great afternoon!