Not a Christian myself and anti-state/society installed appeasements to religions, I agree with the atheist's position -- almost. They are at least requesting that if the cross isn't removed, then have other religions represented. But I'm not an atheist either.
Nolocontendere makes good points. In speaking of religious symbols, be they cross or something else:
I so do despise all the false justifications to bring yet more division to the people with these cult symbols. Because that's all it is -symbolic red flags to yank emotional chains. This 'provide comfort' canard is the most sickening of all phrases. It's a denigrating, condescending insult that our overlords constantly use to insinuate that the empty crap they do is always of positive benefit to citizens, a la "Bush/Obama to visit flood ravaged county to provide comfort". It's a made up marketing phrase that pretends to read the minds of people to justify the power institutions have over them. "Pope provides comfort to millions on Easter Sunday".