Let's get one thing straight: Agnosticism is not some kind of weak-tea atheism. Agnosticism is not atheism or theism. It is radical skepticism, doubt in the possibility of certainty, opposition to the unwarranted certainties that atheism and theism offer.Well, no. That's not what those words mean. And no radical skeptic would consider for a moment the possibility that unseen, all-powerful being(s) are influencing our day-to-day lives despite the absence of a shred of evidence of it over the entire course of history. And it's not like nobody was looking.
The reason the "new atheists" as so shrill and strident about the fact that there are no gods (yes, we call conclusions reached after thorough study of overwhelming evidence "facts") is not that we hate religious people. It's not that we, as the author of this article believes, "display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence." In fact, every available bit of evidence points to no gods.
Before memetics, it was puzzling to see that so many people believed in something that wasn't real. But now we understand the dynamics of mind viruses and how certain ideas catch on regardless of how true they are. The god meme grew from below, out of people's desire to have a simple explanation of things they didn't understand, and from above, as priests and politicians found they could use it to control people. Which they still do. There's a reason churches are tax exempt.
No, the reason we are shouting so loud that there is no god is that we believe everything will work better if people think and act based on reality rather than on fantasy. It makes me nauseous when I see the President of the United States talk about his imaginary friend. What other ridiculous things does he believe and how do they factor into his decision making? How much did fairy stories influence Bush to get us into two wars? And we won't even talk about the beliefs of the kids who crashed five planes on Sept. 11.
The "new atheists" see the tipping point coming and we want to kill the god meme before it kills us. We have important decisions to make and I'd rather not have my elected officials making them based on chicken entrails.
As for the "new agnostic," let me offer Ron Rosenbaum a better definition: An atheist who's afraid to tell his mother. Ron, grow a pair.