One of the many issues with the protest/riot leaders, and many of the followers, is that they don't believe in God. They don't believe in a higher power, truth or law above themselves (some sort of objective truth of physical and moral reality doesn't adequately serve this role for them either). They are arrogant and think their own reason should rule the world. They overestimate their wisdom and knowledge like the French revolutionaries.
I say this as an atheist. Atheism is dangerous. It's one example of the more broadly dangerous mindset of the revolutionary who thinks he's wiser than the traditions of his society.
If you're going to be an atheist or seek large change, you ought to actually read books, study, learn, debate, etc. Want to rely on your own reason? Develop it yourself. Don't just trust professors and other authorities.
No, learn more than that. You haven't done enough. People do so little and call it being educated and think they're done. And they're so intolerant of disagreement, debate, and being questioned.
Tell you what. If you think you learned enough to believe a bunch of radical athiest outlier beliefs, give an overview of what you did to learn it in the comments below and I'll ask you a some questions to check for holes in your studying.
Or stick to common sense and traditional values and beliefs just like your religious neighbors, and then being an atheist isn't such a big deal. Which traditions? The ones that built America (and more broadly Western civilization starting with the Greeks) and made it great.