Why are atheists angry?

Over at Huffpo's religion page, Rabbi David Wolpe (whom some may know from his debates with Sam Harris) asks why we atheists are such a pissy bunch:
It is curious that a religion site draws responses mostly from atheists, and that the atheists are very unhappy. They are unhappy with the bible ("foolish fairy tales" is one of the more generous descriptions), unhappy with the idea of God (the "imaginary dictator" whose task in human history, apparently, is to ensure that oppression and evil triumph) and very unhappy with anyone (read: me) who presumes to offer religious advice to the religious.
Whenever religious folks start talking about angry atheists, I feel like it's mostly just them projecting their frustrations.  It's like Daniel Dennett said (I'm paraphrasing): there's not really any nice way to tell people that their most cherished beliefs are basically nonsense. And yeah, we're a little irked at the way religious nutbaggery can and often does impede science education, promote bigotry, oppress women, and incite violence. But I'm also unaware of any atheists who think that all or even most religious people are like that. Most people follow a pretty liberalized, culturally diluted theology and don't make a big fuss over it. It's the really vocal ignoramuses that annoy us non-believers.

I think it also comes back to the fact that religious thought and skeptical inquiry are inherently at odds with each other, and when atheists start challenging religious beliefs, it makes people a little uncomfortable. Nobody likes it when their sacred cows get sent to the slaughterhouse, but there's nothing intrinsically malicious about provoking people into a little self-reflection. Now, I'm sure there are atheist assholes who just hurl insults and haven't put much thought into their non-belief. But that's no more representative of most atheists than the shouting fundie morons are representative of most religious people.

Wolpe goes on to speculate about why atheists are angry. But since it's all rooted in a spurious claim to begin with, he's just pissing into the wind.


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