Fortun, if you want to really mess with the heads of your opponents in the last paragraph, innocently ask them about Isaac Newton -- whether he ever experienced persecution at the hands of the religious, how he dealt with the religious worldview and whether his thinking about it influenced his science? And then blink prettily while listening to them expound.
Newton was, of course, a religious fanatic who spent the last 10 years of his life focussing not on physics, but on decoding the prophecies he believed were encoded in the Bible. To the extent he was "persecuted by the religious" it was because the establishment, mainline Anglicans running the show were uncomfortable with his crazy-ass Biblical literalism. And there's an interesting argument to be made that this fruitcake side of Newton (he was also an avid alchemist, at a time when that was no longer at all confused with mainstream science -- it was regarded as hokum by Newton's mentors and colleagues) actually contributed to his major discoveries and formalization of science itself. He was willing to believe daring ideas like "action at a distance" which the other scientists of the day regarded as mystical nonsense, until he was able to prove it with math. I mean, how *exactly* does the Sun act on the Earth? By magic? IIRC Hooke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hooke) and others really wanted some more reasonable, less bizarre mechanism where particles would act on each other, all physically adjacent, all the way across the solar system. (There are other crucial moments of It Takes A Fruitcake Weirdo in science, eg Mendeleev, which is one big problem with Movement Atheism's reification of Science as the commonsensical, NSF-funded middle and everything else as scornable wackjobbery).
I wish you luck with your transition and I also want to say there are lots of awesome open-minded atheists out there; you will find your people.