Reno offers his take on the current trend of anti-faith authors/speakers in First Things’ “On the Square” blog:
The intemperate, even violent tone in recent criticisms of faith is quite striking. Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens: They seem an agitated crew, quick to caricature, quick to denounce, quick to slash away at what they take to be the delusions and conceits of faith. And the phenomenon is not strictly literary. All of us know a friend or acquaintance who has surprised us in a dark moment of anger, making cutting comments about the life of faith. There is no way around it. There is something about faith that agitates unbelief.
The great poet Lord Byron knew the complicated power that faith has over unbelief. He built his play Cain, a dramatization of the Cain and Abel story, around the effect of piety on doubt; and, in his version of the original murder and first death, Byron gives us insight into the present crop of crusading unbelievers.