You realise of course, if each of your atheist Americans convinced two American teens to see reason, this problem would not matter that much. So how many have you convinced in the last month ?
We seem to be heading towards a Plutocracy, rule by the very wealthy. It takes millions today to launch a campaign for office. That makes it almost impossible for a working man or woman to run for office.
In our system, the rich Republicans have formed an alliance with the Christian right in order to have the votes to win elections. In this system Atheists will have a tough time since Atheists will be the top of the Christian Right's enemies list. Who knows maybe they will be burning Heretics [Atheists] at the stake?
Nick, Americans can launch campaigns for many thousands of offices.
The two best guarantees of winning are working to become known to voters and spending money to become known to voters.
Somewhere in the USofA, county dogcatcher is probably an elective office. A wise incumbent can make it a springboard to higher office.
America has always been a plutocracy.
In the 1787 Convention, James Madison spoke words that in France a few years later, would have resulted in his being sent to the guillotine.
To read the words of America's founders, google Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787.
Here's what Madison recorded himself as having said on June 26:
In framing a system we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes the ages will bring. An increase of population will increase the proportion who labor under all the hardships of life and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this country, but symptoms of a leveling spirit have sufficiently appeared in certain quarters to give notice of the future danger. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and check the other. It ought to be formed as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
I'm not so sure that the violent extremism in Northern Ireland is the result of religion. It may be correlated, but there are geopolitical and socio-economic reasons for the conflict as well. The members of the two sides of the conflict don't always fit within the sectarian boundaries. There are, occasionally, some Catholics who fight alongside the Protestants and vice-versa.