"Theology is the lining out of another way to live in the world"
I am repeating this from Thought Criminal because it so echoes the concerns I've been chasing lately (when I stop reading political blogs and comments) about Tolstoy's famous question "How should we then live?"
I differ on the transcript from TC in one minor regard (and who is to say who is right?): I think Brueggemann said Dawkins & Co. don't know what "we're" talking about. That certainly conforms with my experience and my thinking. At some point it isn't even "language games;" it's that Dawkins, et al., have the completely wrong end of the stick, or have hold of the wrong stick altogether, and they won't let go of that stick. It's a bulldog trait, but stubbornness is not as admirable as we something think it is, and isn't as distinguishable from conviction as we imagine it to be. My conviction is not a result of my refusal to concede; it stems from my experience with consideration.
One thing you cannot say about Dawkins or the "new atheists" is that they are open to consideration of ideas that challenge their own. They know what they know, and they will not be bothered to consider that they could be wrong; and then they see that stubbornness in their opponents, and decide it proves them right.
In the meantime, where are the atheist organizations in times of crisis, when people need help in the world? I don't agree with much of what Southern Baptists teach (from soteriology to Christology), but it was the largest Southern Baptist church in town that was working hard, through its members (all volunteers) to help people being relocated to Houston from New Orleans after Katrina. I went to one of their meetings to organize still more volunteers to go to the Astrodome. And while I don't have personal experience with it now, I also know the Southern Baptist Convention is working again in Texas to help flood victims.
I've not seen any prominent atheist groups rallying volunteers to make similar efforts.