I think that this is major B.S.
It is not the atheists that bother people, but the antitheists, or those whom Udolpho would refer to as atheist "geeks."
Update: here is the relevant Udolpho quote:
Atheists who can't wait to bring it up (at work, at parties, in all their thousands of message board signatures): useless assholes to a man. And most of them are geeks, too, so they really double-up on the hideous personality flaws.
That is, it is those people whose major goal in life is to point out how much smarter they think they are than those stupid theists. Those who cannot stand the idea that someone else believes in God when they do not. Those who blame religion as the root cause of all human problems. They deny that religion is socially useful (ignoring the reality that, real or not, without religion probably 50% of America's population would turn into complete thugs the way they are doing in the U.K.).
Heather MacDonald is a good example. Sam Harris is another.
[Note: I am not talking here about people who get insulting toward religion whenever a religious person starts vigorously proselytizing them. I am talking about people who go out of their way to make the first move in insulting religious people every chance they get].
I think that most religious people don't have a problem with atheists; what they have a problem with are condescending snobs who are constantly looking down on them.
That is all.