I think that an atheist could be expected to consider the consequences and/or benefits of religion. I do not understand religion to be beneficial towards society in any way. One may extol the strengths of religion but I also feel that those strengths are not directly resulted from faith. It is curious that religion is the first institution founded when a new society is formed, but I suppose there is no better tool designed for mind control. A simple story told to people who desire a simple answer to be repeated to children who can grasp the concept and then mature into adults who typically perpetuate the cycle. How is this important or helpful to the masses? Perhaps the bible should be included in study, as long as it is no more exalted than Hemingway or Salinger or whomever.