What do we really want most of all in the world? Peace, equality, fairness, freedom. That's a reasonable list, I think. Does removing religion appear in that list? Should it? (A believer might ask the same about removing atheism!) If you believe that some aspects of religion get in the way of those ideals, it might seem like a good idea to attack religion, and yet religion has considerable privileges and protection within our cultures. Religion is precious to many people, and so there is understandable defensiveness when religious beliefs are challenged.
So, how about not challenging certain religious beliefs - not by ignoring those beliefs, but by putting aside the fact that those beliefs are religious in origin?
Suppose someone says that a woman's opinion is legally worth half that of a man's opinion, and they say that it is because of religious law. How about responding that you aren't going to talk about religious law, you are going to talk about principles of equality? Nothing strident, simply a statement like this: "Sorry, but I'm not going to discuss supernatural beliefs".
You see, if you allow religion to come into things, you are allowing a barrier to be put up, a source of immediate conversation-stoppers. So:
Don't talk about Christianity, talk about science and evolution.
Don't talk about Islam, talk about the equality of women.
Don't talk about Islam, talk about the importance of legal equality for same-sex couples.
Don't talk about Christianity, talk about the importance of stem cell research.
And, controversially, don't talk about Islam being full of bad ideas, just talk about the bad ideas. If someone wants to mention Islam.... "Sorry, but..." etc. This is absolutely not a criticism of Sam Harris - it's only a suggestion for a parallel strategy for dealing with bad ideas.
Who knows? By not allowing the defensiveness that can appear when religion is mentioned, we might change more minds, and if someone believes in evolution and yet thinks they are still a Biblical literalist, do we care?