Gary begins his article by asking: “Where do you stand on God?” He immediately follows this question with:
It's a question you may prefer not to be asked. But I'm afraid I have no choice. We find ourselves, this very autumn, three and a half centuries after the intellectual martyrdom of Galileo, caught up in a struggle of ultimate importance, when each one of us must make a commitment. It is time to declare our position.
This is the challenge posed by the New Atheists. We are called upon, we lax agnostics, we noncommittal nonbelievers, we vague deists who would be embarrassed to defend antique absurdities like the Virgin Birth or the notion that Mary rose into heaven without dying, or any other blatant myth; we are called out, we fence-sitters, and told to help exorcise this debilitating curse: the curse of faith.
The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking.
Three writers have sounded this call to arms. They are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. A few months ago, I set out to talk with them. I wanted to find out what it would mean to enlist in the war against faith.
IMO, the following from Gary’s introduction, sums up the primary presupposition of the “New Atheists”:
They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil.
Thus we have the battle-cry for “the war against faith”.
Interestingly enough, Gary (who appears to embrace agnosticism), towards the end of his article, weighed in with:
Where does this leave us, we who have been called upon to join this uncompromising war against faith? What shall we do, we potential enlistees? Myself, I've decided to refuse the call. The irony of the New Atheism – this prophetic attack on prophecy, this extremism in opposition to extremism – is too much for me.
This brings me to the book pictured at the beginning of this thread. Most of David Hart’s tome is available online in “limited preview” via Google Books.
For those interested in a less vigorous treatment, the same author has just this month penned a scaled-down/popular level critique of the “New Atheism”: First Things - Believe It or Not.
So much for initial foray into the hostile territory of the “New Atheists”—I would like to encourage others to provide links to other scholarly critiques/treatments of this dark, 21st century movement in the combox.
Grace and peace,