So given that—and given that there are any number of approaches to God that are in keeping with our scientific knowledge of the world—and given that America has managed to exist as a multi-credal society with very little sectarian violence—why should people like Maher and Harris and Hitchens be so invested in selling us an end to faith? And why are so many people buying?
It seems to me the answer must surely lie in part in a misguided response to 9/11—and to all the other days when jihadists have slaughtered innocents in the name of their poisonous beliefs. We are so fearful of seeming intolerant—and so collectively guilty over past intolerance—that we are paralyzed by the prospect of plainly naming the threat that faces us. Better, we think, to blame all religions than to be forced into confrontation with one. Better to destroy the pantheon than to deny any god entrance.
But this is pure intellectual cowardice. There is a cancer in Islam, specifically.