Shalini Sehkar's blog Scientia Natura is presently closed because, according to a Sandwalk commenter, there's "some bad stuff going on." I hope Shalini resolves whatever is going on and returns to blogging. But rather than kiss her ass and tell her how great I think she is, I'll write instead about a topic I think she would find interesting.
I've identified three stances of atheist writers towards theism: "Militant" atheists (myself, Shalini, P.Z. Myers, Pat Condell, perhaps Hitchens); friendly atheists (Hemant Mehta, Dawkins); and appeasers (Shermer).
Friendly atheists are willing to engage logically, rationally and politely with theists. Militant atheists are not. In my case, I've tried being nice, and the level of bullshit, obfuscation and direct personal attacks have entirely worn away my patience. Theism is, in my opinion, all bollocks from start to finish, and its adherents are impervious to reason. But that's just me; I'm not a very patient person to begin with. If you want to be patient, reasonable and polite in your advocacy of atheism and naturalism, more power to you. I don't even need to be "patient" at all with friendly atheists; I don't object to friendliness per se.
But I personally am not "friendly" about atheism, and I resent being told directly or indirectly* to tone down my rhetoric or be more friendly. I bristle when anyone demands that I change what I write or say for any reason other than the truthfulness of my words. And if you think I'm wrong about something, don't tell me to shut up, just tell me where and why I'm wrong.
*Easy way to spot an appeaser: He calls Dawkins a "militant" atheist or criticizes Dawkins for his stridency, shrillness, fundamentalism or similar characterizations. Dawkins is one of the most patient, reasonable and polite atheist advocates ever; his worst "crime" is making atheism popular.
The number of stone cold stupid atheists seems vanishingly small. I've hung out extensively on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board, I subscribe to Planet Atheism, I regularly audit blogs on the Atheist Blogroll, and I follow the Carnival of the Godless. I even go to the occasional meatspace American Atheists meeting. Out of the thousands of atheists I know or have read, I can't remember ever meeting one who was an illiterate asshole.
There will never be an atheist mass movement*. Atheists are individualists and proud to be individualists. Our individuality is our greatest weakness (especially in a democracy that deifies mass movements), but it's also our greatest strength: We cannot be easily manipulated or driven like a herd of sheep off the cliff of some ridiculous ideology like Stalinism.
*It is possible to make the members of a mass movement atheists, usually by virtually deifying some person, but that's a little different.
So, if you want to be friendly, be friendly. I won't criticize you for being friendly, and I won't demand that you say "theistard" and "cretinist" or that you relentlessly mock religion a la Pat Condell. In return, I expect that you won't criticize me for saying that theism and supernaturalism is utter bullshit, and simply mocking and not bothering to rebut for the thousandth time the dumb theist argument du jour.
Tell me (or anyone else) to shut up, tell me to toe the atheist party line, and I'll say, "Fuck you very much, appeasing bastard," and keep on writing the way I want to write.