The voice of reason doesn't need to be loud or harsh.
The New Atheism stands at a crossroads. Until now it has been spearheaded by the sort of white, male firebrands that led the charge for evangelicalism during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century. Dawkins rails against faith as "one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate." Hitchens calls the Protestant reformer John Calvin "a sadist and torturer and killer." In perhaps the unkindest cut of all (at least for a Frenchman), Michel Onfray reports in his Atheist Manifesto that the Apostle Paul was impotent and "unable to lead a sex life worthy of the name." But there is a different voice emerging – call it the new New Atheism – and with it a very different agenda from that of Hitchens and his angry acolytes. This friendlier atheism sounds more like a civil rights movement than a crusade. And it is far more likely to issue from the lips of friendly women than from the spittle of angry me