I'm not a strong atheist, so I can't easily dismiss matters of "God." It's not clear how there can be theism without religion. Perhaps that is a specific of American culture. A strong atheist is someone who believes there is no God; and thus usually someone who believes that belief in God is merely tradition, superstition, myth. As such, as I already noted, it is easy enough for a strong atheist to dismiss a person's theism, not take it seriously, but consider it a mere personal quirk. Which makes it easier to forget about it, and focus on other things about the person (who otherwise identifies themselves as a theist), such as, say, their interest in football or whatever. I think it is reasonable to propose that some people who were undecided on the matter of "God," slid into strong atheism precisely because it made interactions with theists easier. I'm not a strong atheist, so I don't see it that way. I'll give you another example from Buddhism: People who devote themselves to the Buddhist path, organize their whole life, every minute of every hour, accordingly; the ideal is to do everything in such a way that it furthers one's progress on the path. As opposed to simply adding some Buddhist practices and rituals to one's daily activities, while otherwise going about one's day as everyone else, disconnected from the Buddhist path. Theists do similarly: they organize their lives so that they can think of God all the time; and not just at the time of daily prayers or on Sundays. I don't understand why you find this so hard to understand. So? No. But surely you agree that there is more to theism than a dictionary entry? Because the theist, unlike the atheist, builds his life around his understanding of God, and aims to align himself with God's desires. We probably do differ on what drives friendship. Absolutely. Each theistic religion seems to have a somewhat different understanding of God, and theism. I do think that if we go with the definition of God as being the Creator, Maintainer and Controller of the Universe and all living beings in it, the Source of all good qualities, the Summum Bonum, the Supreme Person, then it follows that belief in God is something to be considered 24/7. I try to go with the individual theistic religions and their understanding of things.