The blog Friendly Atheist asks the question: Is it better for atheists to pursue the we must "end all religion" bit of Sam Harris or a Christopher Hitchens(confrontational).
Or should they seek to support progressive values (in and out of religion, less confrontational). As a liberal protestant, I’m keen on the first strategy: reforming churches so as to be welcoming of gay people, women, science, religious pluralism, etc.
The problem with Harris and company is that folks like me are considered the enemy, no different than fundamentalists. I think it might get more folks to join a cause to have an either/or proposition like that. Stark choices usually comes with conversion.
But it fails to develop the necessary alliances which should already exist in support of values that we can get behind from the separation of church and state to teaching science in the classrooms. We need more folks than ever for such things.
I remember the Easter challenge from the Rational Responders. One person was so excited that they found a Methodist church to place a “The God Who Wasn’t There” video in their pews. Problem was: this church was liberal. One that fully and openly accepted glbt folks.
And the poor sod who placed the video didn’t know that. Because there aren’t many contexts in the culture wars to talk to each other. Maybe Harris and others serve a purpose but I appreciate sites where this conversation can happen.