My reponse (currently stuck in moderation, it seems) to an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
The article by Dr Abramovich reads like a series of random comments, dashed off in unreflective anger. It is so permeated by distortions and misrepresentations that there is no hope of exposing them all in a 300-word comment. I'll be highly selective.
First, Dr Abramovich appeals to the authority of Einstein and Hawking as if the writings of those physicists support theistic beliefs. Both made points by using the word "God" metaphorically, but Hawking is not a theist and Einstein was at pains to explain that he did not believe in a personal deity.
Second, Dr Abramovich displays a total insensitivity to literary tone when he reads the books of Dawkins and others. E.g., he fails to notice that The God Delusion is written thoughtfully, with a light touch, and is frequently humorous. Readers should judge for themselves whether the books that Dr Abramovich condemns match his simplistic and tendentious description.
Third, I am tired of the specious argument that various supposedly "secular" political idealogies also did enormous harm. Yes indeed, Hitler and Nazism were responsible for terrible atrocities. Likewise Stalin and Pol Pot. However, Hitler was no atheist - and in any event, contemporary so-called "New Atheists" (a mere journalistic label) are political liberals and pluralists. They oppose all structures of comprehensive, authoritarian, apocalyptic dogma, including Nazism, Stalinism, and Pol Pot's agrarian communism. Such structures of thought do tend to perpretrate horrors, precisely because they so closely imitate the monotheistic religions.
The article is riddled with error in every paragraph, and its author seems to be totally unaware of the current state of the debate that he is naively attempting to enter. Dr Abramovich is the one who is out of his depth and clearly floundering.
Co-editor, 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
Edit: Looks like it didn't get through. I tried again with a few words removed to make absolutely certain it wasn't over 300 words, and it's now on the site.