The British biologist Richard Dawkins has, in the past decade, made himself an outspoken crusader for atheism. Andrew Brown notes something akin to blind religious devotion among his most dedicated followers, some of whom are willing to pay membership dues:
[T]he Richard Dawkins website offers followers the chance to join the “Reason Circle,” which, like Dante’s Hell, is itself arranged in concentric circles. For $85 a month, you get discounts on his merchandise, and the chance to meet “Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science personalities.” . . . After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive “Darwin Circle” and then the “Evolution Circle,” he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins. . . . At this point, it is obvious to everyone except the participants that what we have here is a religion without the good bits. . . .
Like all scriptures, the Books of Dawkins contain numerous contradictions: in The God Delusion itself he moves within fifteen pages from condemning a pope who had baptized children taken away from Jewish parents to commending [the] suggestion that the children of creationists be taken away because teaching your children religion is comparable to child abuse.