Have you noticed the boom recently in books pro and anti-God? There've always been books about religion, about faith and atheism, agnosticism, and pretty much every -ism in between. But lately there's been so much mud slung around, especially by the non-believers, it's no longer safe to venture into the bookstore.
Terry Eagleton's written a book (Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate) taking both Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great), two particularly opinionated anti-religious gents, to task, arguing with them on minor points left unconsidered in their books, while also sharing their atheist views.
One chapter into Eagleton's book and I decided, ENOUGH! You all have good points. Any one of you could be right, but YOU'RE ALL GIVING ME A HEADACHE! Yes, much of religion is myth handed down from generation to generation. Yes, so much of it is so unbelievable as to be ridiculous, and yes, I find the greater majority of it hard to stomach. I also can't stand fundamentalists of any stripe. Yes, yes and yes. But the manner in which these men go about espousing their beliefs (or lack thereof) is so angry. They shout so loudly I can't even hear them. It all becomes one, big cacophony.
Calm down, or shut up!
I don't have the theological scholarship to organize all my opinions on the debate, so I had the foolish hope one of these books would have something to say that I could latch onto, to represent their side of things. Turns out two of three spew anger, and the other is so academic I can't understand a damned thing he's saying. But, in his favor, I like the cover of his book:
I'm simply tired of all of you.
The one person I am still listening to is Michael Shermer, he of Skeptic Magazine fame. His periodical is thoughtful, without being venomous. And his subject isn't always religion. He covers much, much more than that. His books are the same – well reasoned, expressed in a normal conversational tone, not at all angry and vindictive, so far as I can tell. Him I'll keep around.
But for the others, I'm glad all your books belong to libraries, so I can return them without having lined your pockets with any more money (THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL!). Your angry, angry pockets. I have no more use for any of you. Get thee hence.