If I were to mock religious belief as childish, if I were to suggest
that worshipping a supernatural deity, convinced that it cares
about your welfare, is like worrying about monsters in the closet
who find you tasty enough to eat, if I were to describe God as
our creation, likening him to a mechanical gorilla, I'd violate the
norms of civility and religious correctness. I'd be excoriated as
an example of the cynical, liberal elite responsible for America's
moral decline. I'd be pitied for my spiritual blindness; some people
would try to enlighten and convert me. I'd receive hate mail.
Atheists generate about as much sympathy as pedophiles. But,
while pedophilia may at least be characterized as a disease,
atheism is a choice, a willful rejection of beliefs to which vast
majorities of people cling.