I'll go off topic for a second here.
"Atheism is a term I hate because it brands something"
AmyW, please explain what you mean by this.
Most atheists take one of two positions:
A. I am not convinced that a supernatural power (god, or whatever you want to call it) exists.
B. I am convinced that a supernatural power (god, or whatever you want to call it) does not exist.
(If the difference isn't clear, replace "supernatural power" with "colorless green squirrel.")
Neither of these positions says anything about beliefs or philosophies or dogmas, or whatever else non-atheists believe atheists believe.