Intelligent and well-written article about the religious apologetics that is 
rampant these days, and why intelligent people shouldn't stand for it. The 
author makes many good points, but among my favorites are the following, in 
which I've highlighted my favorite section in red:

How are we to rid ourselves of religion? I don’t know a nonbeliever 
who considers it likely that we will. Even Christopher Hitchens likened 
it to the rats of Camus’ “The Plague,” always scurrying about in a 
city’s sewers, ready to spring forth on us when we have forgotten about 
the pestilence they carry. But we can take action to ensure that we do 
not unwittingly favor religion’s continuation by taking stances, both 
public and private. (I wrote about this previously for Salon here.) 
Nonbelievers need to approach faith as a subject like any other, one we can 
talk about and criticize without fear of causing offense – or, in 
the case of Islam, concern for our physical safety.

This is in 
fact our constitutional right. The First Amendment forbids Congress from 
establishing an official religion and protects free speech – including 
speech that offends the sentiments of believers. If we disbelieve what 
religion’s canon tells us, we need to say so openly, and in mixed 
company, pointing out that no rational person could believe it or accept it as 
true and valid, were it not for indoctrination, immaturity, 
willful abandonment of reason, fear, or simple feeblemindedness.

We can also cease displaying knee-jerk respect for those who propagate 
faith. A priest, rabbi, or imam should merit no more deference than a 
witch doctor – all traffic in gullibility, human misery and 
vulnerability, and none can prove the efficacy of their ministrations. 
We must point out the inherent dangerousness of faith itself – of 
believing things to be true without evidence. The British poet Perce 
Bysshe Shelley, writing two centuries ago, put it bluntly: “God is an 
hypothesis, and, as such, stands in need of proof: the onus probandi” – the 
burden of proof – “rests on the theist.” Claims made on the basis of religion 
should be met by demands for evidence.

Reza Aslan’s atheism problem: “Fundamentalist” atheists aren’t the issue, 
apologists for religions are

Reza Aslan’s atheism problem: “Fundamentalist” atheists ...
Major religions all contain macabre fables, explicit injunctions for vile 
behavior no civilzed person should accept  
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