The majority of people who express contempt for Richard Dawkins do not do so because he is “shrill” or “conceited”. They despise him because he unapologetically treads all over a cherished tradition that furiously forbids the criticism of religion. This tradition has shielded religion from much-needed criticism and ridicule. In the process of protecting this ancient and idiotic institution, this malign tradition has protected ignorance, barbarism, misogyny, and has been the proud proponent of unspeakable human rights abuses. Despite all of this, many still find it very difficult to ignore this silly and dangerous social relic from the ancient world.
Many of Richard Dawkins’ critics are self-professed Liberals, yet they find it impossible to walk the walk when it comes to their own liberalism. They become outraged when someone expresses contempt for religions that foster and zealously promote gender-inequality, homophobia, misogyny, totalitarianism, and all of the other anti-Liberal values which should be despised by those who call themselves Liberal. Dawkins doesn’t stray from his liberalism. He does not turn an apathetic blind eye to the suffering of the victims of conservative and totalitarian religions. He refuses to sit quietly and allow religious zealots and pseudo-Liberals to work hand in hand to dilute and dismantle the fundamental human rights of his fellow human beings, and for this, I suspect, many cannot stand him.