Speaking to fellow atheists here:
How could we possibly have allowed this deranged man to come to represent us?
Yes. He's a brilliant author. He brought evolution to the hearts and minds of the people in a way which has not been done since Darwin himself. He converted Douglas Adams to atheism by showing him the possibilities inherent in evolutionary thought. He invented the word "meme." He has been a constant advocate for evolutionary theory in the face of creationists.
He's also a goddamn embarrassment.
He describes religion qua religion as child abuse, and advocates government interference in religious freedom. He has described religion as the central force of conflict in society. He has described God as a scientific hypothesis, open to testing - giving creationists precisely the kind of nonsense they couldn't have hoped for otherwise. He defended his perspectives by pointing to extremists on the other side - as if their precise behavior wasn't the very reason he opposes religion to begin with.
He began a movement to try to get atheists "out." Here's the thing, Mr. Dawkin, speaking as a bisexual atheist - I don't need to come out as an atheist. Really, seriously, truly - people just don't care. Atheism and the gay rights movement don't even relate in first world nations.
YOU, on the other hand, are the reason Christians are surprised by my manners when I -do- choose to relate my religious beliefs - or lack thereof, as the case may be. YOU are the reason the religious movement believes it needs to defend itself - because it does, because assholes like you are trying to take atheists on an offensive we have no business being on. You're the inspiration for the asshole on the streetcorner distributing atheist literature - yes, it's being done. You're the driving force behind billboards, bumper stickers, and a myriad assortment of atheistic drive-by literature which is just as ridiculous and pathetic when we engage in it as when the Christians do.
And you know, there's a difference.
Who are we targeting?
The Christians are targeting fellow Christians - their annoying behavior is intended to remind fellow Christians of their moral duties. "What Would Jesus Do?" isn't aimed at atheists, it's aimed at Christians - it's a message tailored to them, intended to convey a very specific idea - that Christians are supposed to aspire to be as Jesus. It's a message intended to create a more moral Christian culture, regardless of how annoying it is.
Who is an "Evolve" fish aimed at?
Who are those billboards aimed at?
What is the primary purpose of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? It isn't promoting atheism. None of this promotes atheism. It mocks religion.
You want to be an atheist? Be an atheist. But don't proselytize. Atheism doesn't need prophets, and we sure as hell don't need a crusade.
Or, in short: Fuck you, Mr. Dawkins. You and your fan club are bringing the worst aspects of religion into atheism, and you make me ashamed to use the word.
Also: Atheists? We, as a group, need to stop worshiping science, or rather specific scientific endeavors. Science doesn't work when it is worshiped. Use it. Follow it. And remain ever-critical of what those who claim to represent it have to say.