It seems to be a theistic claim common to the intertubes1 that science is a religion, or atheism takes just as much faith as religion. These are clearly erroneous claims, for a series of reasons that I won’t go into detail on. However, I’m not sure what the point of this argument is in the first place.Does reducing science or atheism to the status of religion make it less respectable? Does it make them more easily dismissible as opinion? Yes, very likely, and that’s probably why a great number of rational thinkers are offended by statements like these. In fact, this might even be the reason. Theists observe that these claims rile their ‘opponents’ and thus keep using them.However, the reality is quite alarming. If making science a religion makes it less respectable and making atheism a faith makes it more dismissible, then does that not mean that the theists are calling their beliefs and religions disrespectable and dismissible as ‘just an opinion’? Surely that’s counter to all that they’re trying to achieve?