The fact is that we need to respond to these atheists and pray for them. Will hearts change? Only God knows (since there really is a God). One Australian Catholic calls the new atheists a "plague". I disagree with that assessment. I see them as ripe for conversion. But, I do agree with this statement.
In an average week of atheistic bigotry in the Melbourne media, we can expect to learn that Catholics endorse child molestation, hate all other religions, would re-introduce the crusades and the auto de fe at the slightest opportunity, despise women, wish to persecute homosexuals, greedily divert public moneys for their own religious purposes, subvert public health care, brainwash children, and are masterminding the spread of the cane toad across northern Australia.Anti-Catholicism, as Philip Jenkins has pointed out, is the last acceptable prejudice.
Applied to the average totalitarian dictatorship, this charge sheet would be over the top. Ascribed to virtually any ethnic minority, it rightly would result at least in public revulsion and quite possibly in criminal charges. But applied to Christians, it seems to be accepted as just another modern blood sport, like the vilification of refugees and the elimination of the private life of the families of public figures.