For the longest, Christians felts free to say the most horrible things about atheists, agnostics an other nonbelievers, but books by prominent atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Chris Hedges caught religionist off guard and became international best-sellers. It seems many Christians have thin skin when it comes to taking the criticism about their religion despite their expertise denigrating others.
Christian religionist regularly disparaged atheists and agnostics as well as other religions hypocritically trampling the "love your enemies " faith proposition so regularly spouted as Christianity"s calling card. It seems that the wages of having a big mouth is that many times the tongue finds it has company in the form of a foot. Now that a growing number of nonbelievers fly above the radar, religionist are finding that the traditional safety conscious atheist is fast disappearing.
To makes matters worse, it turns out that the "whipping boy" is also smart, often knowing the Bible and certainly religious history far better than most nonprofessional Christians and equal to or more knowledge than Christian apologists and scholars. A recent poll by the Gallup Poll verifies this by showing that of all religious groups, atheist rank well ahead of born-again and evangelical Christians when it comes religious knowledge. Not only that, Christians failed to even capture the number two slot, which went to followers of Judaism.
In addition to intelligence, most nonbelievers are well read and on a variety of subjects, which makes for difficult debates without being a member of the clergy, a scholar or religious researcher. Not all atheists are versed in biblical scholarship; nevertheless, picking an argument with most atheists quickly becomes an idea that should have remained just that--just an idea.
Recently, President Obama met with a group of secular humanist, the first time any president even acknowledged that nonbelievers are Americans also. Former President George H. W. Bush once stated that he didn't know if atheists should be considered citizens. The historic meeting between the President and the secular group let the world know there is a growing population of atheist voters and that ignoring them might be hazardous to political longevity.
Writers like Dawkins, Harris and Hedges, so far, remain content to potshot religion without offering any real constructive thought regarding a societal shift to a more humanist stance that replaces superstition and magical thinking. Nevertheless, learning about another way of life with potential to absolve superfluous contention between competing religions is a positive step.
The next steps are in the pipeline at this moment and more will come shortly with the provisions for living a life free of superstition, religious guilt and false hopes. The universal aspect of secular humanism has the potential to change the world, but before that time comes, Christanity will find itself ridiculed, belittled and dismissed largely because its attitudes toward other religions, its insistence upon trying to turn the United States into a fascist enclave and the arrogance of its leaders.
Meanwhile, keep up the good work because George Barna already reported just how unpopular Christians have become in the book "unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters" by Barna lead researcher David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Leaders such as the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Jimmy Swaggart and many more have done what an army of atheists couldn't do--drive people away from Christianity.