It was stupid, misleading terminology when it was coined (by Gary Wolf in Wired in 2006), and it just became more muddled as everyone tried to make sense of it, and now it’s an embarrassing liability. Even before organized atheism imploded, “New Atheist” confused everyone — it wasn’t “new” after all, and it was only defined by listing a small group of people who were somehow representative. And now there’s more wrangling in the atheosphere about who belongs. Simple answer: no one, and we shouldn’t care.
Anyway, after a brief discussion with Abbey on our Discord server, I do decree a new title that is far more descriptive and less divisive, in some ways. Henceforth, the group of people previously described as “New” shall be addressed as the Smug Atheists. It covers a broader swath of the community and also has a more explicit and accurate quality.
So it shall be done.