PZ Myers takes apart some condescending and familiar unhelpful advice to atheists on how to “seem nicer.” This paragraph hits the whacks the mole on the head best though:
What is “the” Christological narrative? There is none, or rather, there’s a thousand of them. We know the context, too — that the Bible is an evolving mess of over-interpreted poetry and tribal stories and crackpot history. Why you guys choose to selectively declare one interpretation of one subset of the conglomeration to be the absolute truth as dictated by anthropomorphic vapor, while another arbitrary subset is archaic and doesn’t apply anymore, is completely incomprehensible…not just to us, but to you, too.
We atheists actually do address the claims fervently held by millions of people. The sneaky trick the theological wankers pull, though, is that once we’ve smacked them down, they announce, “Oh, no — we didn’t mean those millions of believers. They’re stupid. We meant these other millions of believers.” It’s a big game of whack-a-mole. What you call “obscure Old Testament laws,” someone else will call the core of their faith. What you value as the “Christological narrative,” a member of yet another sect will call pretentious confabulations.
Atheists just cut through all the noise and call it all sewage.
The notion that you can dismiss entire books of barbaric Old Testament laws and deeds allegedly commanded to the Israelites by God Himself as “obscure” is a joke. Laws forcing rape victims to marry their rapists were not “obscure” to the women forced into such marriages. Neither did the children stoned for disobedience likely find such laws “obscure.” The obscurity of these heinous commands is just a function of their suppression from the popular mind by contemporary Western religion. They’re “obscure” in that Christians don’t bother talking about them as much as they obsess over, say, Leviticus 18:22 or Leviticus 20:13—you know, those verses which express the clear and unchanging moral commands of God.