any other apologist for any organization that has anything like "excommunication".
Bizarre comparison. "Excommmunication" simply means "everyone take note: this person is not inside the Church". Church members routinely read books written by excommunicated persons, and of course talk to them.
The Catholic Church is a teaching organization. The Catholic Church excommunicating a priest who starts to promote abortion is analogous to (hypothetically) Greenpeace firing its spokesperson because he started promoting mass deforestation. And I am sure Greenpeace would do this without thinking twice.
I'll just pose the question: Do you really think a US presidential candidate could claim to be anything but Christian and still win the election?
Except you omitted a critical information - this goes the other way around too. Look at the attacks against Santorum because he read verboten books written by Josemaria Escrivá.
Prejudice and closed-mindedness are human traits. The anti-theists (also called "neoatheists") simply put every bad action in history in two big lists:
1) Evil among members of big traditional religions
2) Evil from anywhere else.
Then they omit list number 2, and present list 1 in isolation as evidence that "religion is evil".
Oh, by the way: neoatheists who say that "religion is evil", but then scream of human rights violations because someone said "atheism is bad" are enormously inconsistent to say the least.