This is a thoughtful and favourable review of Does God Hate Women? by 50 Voices of Disbelief contributor Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. One thing that I especially like about it is that the reviewer appears to be a genuinely liberal-minded and sensible religious person. Which leads me again to the observation that such people are not our enemies - quite the contrary. What's more, I'm sure that many such people exist. It's just that we see so few of them in public life these days. It's especially encouraging that no attempt is made in this review to defend religion by claiming that Benson and Stangroom have missed the point, or that it is only a few extremists who act on their religious beliefs by oppressing others.
If all our fellow citizens who happen to have religious beliefs were like this, books such as Does God Hate Women? and 50 Voices of Disbelief would not be needed. Issues about the truth or otherwise of religious claims would still be of academic interest, and philosophy of religion would not disappear as a sub-discipline, but there would be no social or political urgency about it all.
It's at this point that some will complain that I'm too soft on religion, but I'm going to keep stating - whenever opportunities arise - that I don't have any problem with genuinely liberal religious people. I'll always count such people as allies and potential friends.
I am not an "accommodationist" towards religion, in that I think only the most liberal, non-literalist kinds of religion - together with rarefied views such as deism and pantheism - are at all philosophically compatible with science. I.e., I think that the emerging scientific picture of the world is incompatible not only with fundamentalisms of various kinds but also with many supposedly "moderate" views. But my anti-accommodationism doesn't entail that I'm personally hostile to those religious people who - unlike the Vatican hierarchs - are genuinely moderate. In fact, I wish there were more of them.