I’ve given this a bit of thought over the past several months, especially when I’ve been inclined to say, “Can we start ignoring him now?” Eventually, I realized that I pay attention to posts about Dawkins in much the same way as I pay attention to Right Wing Watch. As you and Lee said, he’s a rich and influential person and so even his most ludicrous and poisonous statements get media attention and a public hearing. Several years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I’d ever regard Dawkins in this way.
Second, I have a longstanding interest in the ways governments (the US and UK in particular), corporations, and their networks of think tanks and political organizations surreptitiously spread their ideologies and work to sabotage social justice movements. In light of the involvement of some known atheists with AEI and some of the recent organization/foundation shenanigans, I’m even more concerned than ever that the atheist and skeptical movements have been and are being used as vehicles for these interests.
Third, I’m disappointed. It’s largely my own fault, I admit, because I hadn’t sufficiently investigated what Dawkins and others had said in the past and hadn’t been attentive enough to some evidence. Nevertheless, I had difficulty believing that he and others would be so resistant to applying to themselves the principles they so passionately, publicly espoused, or that they could so callously defend some of the things they have.
Finally, I care about the atheist/secularist cause. I feel that I need to know what people like Dawkins are saying so that I can distance myself from them and my anti-faith advocacy and values from theirs.