To be popular I would have to either shut up or lie. Or I can continue to speak out and be unpopular (or as my cousin recently said, be "a dickhead".)
From my interactions with Christians I know that people don't like it when you expose their god as imaginary or as a fraud. (And, as far as the "God of the Bible" goes, he has been completely disproved*. Maybe, just maybe, there might be something out in the Universe that, because of technology or evolution, the word "god" might seem to be the only description available, but it won't be the "God of the Bible", and that is absolutely certain. Sorry.)
Which brings me to today's main point: The State is today's most popular god. I will repeat that: Statism, the belief in the legitimacy of The State, what most people mean when they say "government", is nothing but a religion where The State is the god. A person can believe in the god of The State alone, or in conjunction with supernatural god(s), or neither.
A little explanation is in order. People who worship, or at least believe in, a supernatural god have their own concept of that god in their mind that really doesn't mesh very well with anyone else's concept of god. The only reason they don't notice this fact is that they haven't examined it too closely (or in the right way) and they only see the god they personally imagine (or interpret through writings they read) and they assume that's the god everyone they worship with sees as well. If they could actually get inside the head of the person sitting in the pew next to them they'd be shocked at the god that person is worshiping- and vice versa. The reason I know this is that I asked a lot of people over a long period of time to describe "God" in detail to me. And I kept digging deeper into their concept. Beyond the most superficial description there was no similarity from one person to the next, even when they believed they worshiped the same god in the same church. Even the descriptions, personality traits, and characteristics of the "Biblical God" are completely different in the New Testament than in the Old Testament. But people try not to notice. It is as if many different objects- rocks, turtles, watermelons, books, ice cubes, televisions, and pillows- are painted the same color and given the same surface texture and said to be the same thing.
The statist's god is the opposite. The god of The State comes in many forms that are all much more similar than they are different, except on the surface. Unlike supernatural gods, with the god of The State only the minor details differ. Like how the people who control the State are selected or take power. The deeper you dig, the more identical the States are. They all share the characteristics of supporting themselves through theft, a monopoly of "legalized" force, and very few people questioning the legitimacy of this god, even when they oppose the particular form they happen to dislike. In this case it is like taking a bunch of watermelons and painting them differently, or gluing a bunch of different things to the surface and claiming that they are all completely different from one another. More than believe in any particular version of a supernatural god. Tragically, most people still believe some form of State is inevitable and necessary.
Even worse than opposing the god of State, in the eyes of the Believers, is exposing it as a fraud. And it IS a fraud. It is imaginary insofar as it doesn't exist as a monolithic real thing; it is made up of individual people who have the same flaws as those the State Worshipers pretend The State will protect us from. It is a fraud because it doesn't protect any innocent person from anything, it simply takes the place of the freelance thief and aggressor and claims its actions are good, where the same actions would be bad if you or I committed them without working for The State. So we must be protected from those bad guys by others doing the same thing? Ridiculous!
What got me thinking on this was a comment I made on an "atheist's" video, which caused her to comment back to me "you're an idiot". Among other things. It comes down to the fact that I simply got her to expose the fact that she still believes in a god, but her god is The State. I pity her for that.
* Before someone starts harping on the common belief that "you can't prove a negative"- yes you can. I can prove that my hip pocket does not contain a 25-ton, fluorescent orange, living, breathing, flying Tyrannosaurus rex. But suppose I made the claim that such a creature was in my hip pocket. You could prove that my hip pocket doesn't contain that creature in spite of my claims, probably without even coming to me and examining the inside of my pocket. You can use logic, and the laws of the Universe, to disprove my preposterous claim. You can prove a negative.
Added: I have modified somewhat my contention that The State is analogous to god. Read my newer thoughts here.