This is the video clip that so many of my colleagues are excited about. They think Neil deGrasse Tyson has hit the nail on the head. They agree with him that Dawkins is being "insensitive" when he criticizes religion.
I'm not familiar with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Is he famous in America? Is he a good educator? Is he effective? Has he been going around the country giving lectures where he gently and kindly urges his audiences to question their religious beliefs? Has he been softly pleading with Americans to respect atheists? Has he been speaking out, quietly, against the Ted Haggards and Jerry Falwells of this world? Is his strategy working?
Richard Dawkins has done more in the past two months to stimulate a dialogue on religion than all the rest of us have done in five decades. The blogs are full of excitement about atheism and religion. Dawkins has been at dozens of universities, appeared on dozens of TV shows, and been featured in major articles in most newspapers. The debate made the cover of Time magazine. There have been several symposia like the one Tyson was invited to. There wouldn't even have been a symposium without Dawkins.
People all over North America are questioning religion. I've seen it on the streets in my own neighborhood and overheard discussions in the restaurants. All of a sudden, people are realizing there are atheists in their midst—and they're not so bad after all. Ask yourself this: how does the Dawkins' form of education compare with the efforts of people like Neil deGrasse Tysons?