The Westboro Baptist Church, a 40-member church comprised largely of one man's family is made world famous by the news media for its outrageous protests. Now there are probably only three reasons the media consciously decided to make such a tiny church such an enormous story over a period of many years: 1) that the news media actually believes Westboro is an accurate representative of what a significant number of Christians really think or 2) they know that 99.9% of Christians do not even remotely believe as they do but want to create a sweeping narrative in order to influence the public to think about Christians in a certain way. or 3) the news media knows that conflict creates history (and money) so it blew the story way out of proportion to create more viewership, advertisers and dollars.
Now, if the answer is either 2 or 3, the media has really done a number on the perceptions of the average American. I would go so far as to say they are largely guilty of perpetrating hate, bigotry and prejudice against a whole segment of society (i.e. theologically conservative Christians) which has only inflamed today's culture wars with half-truths and distortions. The answer obviously could not be that such an insignificant, un-influential church was really that big of a news story. It's not. Other news stories have faded into history but this one has not.
Having engaged many persons on Facebook and elsewhere I know that there is actually a significant number of non-Christians actually believe #1 about theologically conservative Christians. First before I give advice to the secular minded person, I think Christians are partly responsible for this by simply isolating themselves in their houses and not getting to know any of their neighbors. If this is the case, then of course the neighbor will only know Christians through what they learn about them on TV. Just today I had someone tell me I was ignorant --- to just turn on the TV to learn what most Christians think. I told him he would learn more if he turned off the TV. So Christians, get to know your secular neighbors. Perhaps this would lessen the coarse dialog and be a step toward living peacefully with one another even while holding vastly differing views.
But if you are a secularist reading this and really think Christians are like #1, I would encourage you to turn off the TV and meet some real theologically conservative Christians. They are your neighbors. I think you will soon see that they really do believe they are no more deserving of heaven than you. If you do meet someone professing to be a Christian and they still think they are more deserving of heaven than you, then by definition, they are not Christians but moralists (a Christian heresy). To a Christian, being "saved" means that you have exhausted your own resources and have no righteousness of your own -- that our only hope is in the righteousness of Another.