It’s a good thing you call yourself an old coot. I prefer curmudgeon myself and that’s how I think of myself.
When you say “we” do you honestly believe you speak for all atheists? I think you speak for yourself, and that’s great. And if you are choosing to use the Royal “we” then you may also have an entirely different set of problems.
Personally, I considered myself an atheist for the longest time, but mostly because I found there to be no sense in organized religion or their concepts of “God” (variously). But then I discovered a “concept” of god that suited me, so I could no longer consider myself an “atheist,” could I? Still, outside of any religious belief, but no longer an atheist. Not any sort of “mystical” belief, either, nothing “higher power” or “intelligence” to it. Just “my own” (not really) concept based upon physics, mostly.
You do accept physics, do you not?