Atheists can have tax exempt status if they file as a non-profit. And since most of us already agree that atheism (once it is practiced) is a religion, they could also start an atheistic church. I know atheists don't like being considered a religion, but they are not the ones who get to decide. Most Christians would also like to say they aren't a religion. Both stances are fairly ludicrous and discussion devolves into a game of semantics.
Doswell also misreads the right-wing politicians. They aren't trying to force their religion on people. They are trying to pass laws that would express their moral convictions, and a rational person cannot separate their moral convictions from what they believe. Just like Doswell would want laws that spring out of what he believes, these politicans want laws that spring out of what they believe. The disagreement comes in the realm of beliefs. Even though I have no love politically for the politicians he mentioned, I think he misunderstands what they are trying to do. They don't want to become the pastor-in-chief. They wouldn't make Christianity America's state religion. They just want laws that are an outgrowth of their beliefs. This isn't evil. It is all anyone wants.
Christians do use the word persecution too much. There is a great difference between persecution and discrimination.
Doswell seems to think that the majority of American are believing Christians while most of them are just Christians in name only.
We are free from persecution here in the United States. Most of the time. However, a radical Christian receives similar "persecution" as he describes atheists receiving. I can recall real, unquotationed marked persecution directed toward atheist and Christian conscientious objectors during World War II. During that time, many Christians stood up for the rights of the atheists. And we will again if another situation arises.
By the end of the article, Doswell does what he accuses Christians of doing in the beginning. He tries to paint a picture of persecution when I don't think anyone is really persecuted here in the United States. (Except maybe for some Muslims who are being held in a prison without a trial.) Don't confuse persecution with discrimination.