We atheists don’t do ourselves any favours. We really don’t.
Here’s the President of the American Atheist Society, David Silverman, in conversation with Bill O’Reilly (Warning: It’s painful viewing)
At no time should an atheist make Bill O’Reilly look sane. Even when he’s babbling about tides or some crap, O’Reilly still appears to be the sensible one in the conversation. ‘Oh, calling a religion a scam isn’t an insult. Don’t be silly! We’re trying to reach out to all the secret atheists who are going to Church.’ Uhhhh… right.
I prefer to think of O’Reilly as performance art. How do people in the world respond to brute silliness? In the case of the President of American Atheists, the response is to claim that people are secretly atheist and secretly agree. It’s completely rational to believe that an invisible group of secret, anonymous people believe with you.