Oh man, this is one of my pet peeves, haha. The worst part is that even atheists do it. I bet a lot of you watched The Ledge
, that movie that Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson or whatever wrote and directed a couple years ago. That movie made me throw up in my mouth so many times. It was FULL of dumb atheist stereotypes that it just reinforced, but somehow also was rife with real problems with the atheist movement but without recognizing that they are problems, and without any of the good things about real-life atheists. The main character is only an atheist because his daughter died, and he is a greasy misogynist who is constantly sexually harassing a married religious woman in his apartment building who has firmly and repeatedly told him to back off. Naturally, since this movie is an atheist's fantasy, she eventually sees the error of her ways and lets him fuck some sense into her. How lucky for this foolish woman that this smart, correct man is willing to induct her into the wonderful world of bodily pleasures and then mansplain to her how wrong she is about her silly imaginary friend! Ugh. This movie is like so many things that are wrong with the atheist movement conveniently rolled up into one nauseating bundle.
Common to all portrayals of the Hollywood Atheist is the idea that faith is the natural state and something must occur to drive the character away from the norm.
EXACTLY. Also, common to the rest of American culture (and probably most of the world). A friend - a religious friend, actually, so kudos to him for noticing and naming this phenomenon - came up with what I think is the perfect term for this: "theonormativity."