Great article! Funny enough, I’m a Christian (albeit not always). Christopher Hitchens was always my go-to during my time of disbelief, even though there’s a lot he said that I wasn’t on board with (which you aptly pointed out). I felt like, at least, he was someone who was balanced and made polite arguments without being a total ass to the masses. The kind of guy you’d want to grab a beer with, and even though you disagreed, could still be friends at the end of the night. For many atheists, I feel they’ve fallen into the trap many of the religious-right have — yelling on street corners to the ignorant masses to convince them the folly of their ways. But has that ever really worked? Dawkins and the new atheists often leave a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouth, and if an app is created for the sole point of debate, pretty soon you’ll have the Atheist version of Kirk Cameron packaged in an app (and that’s not going to be pretty).
It was always strange to me when my other atheist friends would get so upset about religion and especially Christian beliefs (why is so much of the focus on Christianity? Plenty of other religions to knock on). I often told them, “Listen, I don’t get mad when I read Tolkein or Steven King for writing fantasy or fiction. Why get mad about something we don’t believe?” A lot of them felt it was necessary to protect people from ignorance, but all I saw was the masses getting just as pissed at them as the street corner preacher.
Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed this article, even as someone of faith now.