I sort of understand how you feel and there is definitely a difference of opinion in various regions of the country. Sad to say, some people in the so-called bible belt might think that somebody from the northeast or from a large metropolitan city is a dissolute sinner who is prone to every kind of vice. All a person would need to say when in the company of somebody from said bible belt is that they are an "athiest". You will then be able to hear a pin drop.
I always was and am of the opinion that religious beliefs are personal and should be handled delicately in social situations. This is why it is said that you shouldn't discuss religion or politics in a setting with strangers.
So, if somebody decides to be a maverick and blurt out that he is ( take your pick )...he should not be surprised if he meets with something less than friendly.