I can respect those who straightforwardly disagree with the conclusions of the “new atheists,” though I think that many of these critiques, like Alister McGrath’s criticism of Dawkins, are only very partially successful. I cannot respect someone who is just shocked, shocked by what these horrible, horrible men are saying (though they largely agree with them in substance) and who get the vapors because of these atheists’ rude, crude style. One thing I haven’t mentioned is just how patronizing this attitude is. Are religious people hothouse flowers or like the proper young ladies of the 19th Century whose tender ears had to be protected from any suggestion of indelicacy or impropriety? Must liberals be their gallant guardians who rush to their defense when they are insulted by unbelieving boors? If, on the other hand, religious sensibilities really are that delicate, then tough shit. If religious people are going to ladle out the vitriol, as they so often do, then they have no right to complain if atheists spit some of it back into their eyes.