Last week, while introducing a moving video by Carl Sagan, I made a rather off-handed generalization about atheists:
Perhaps it's just me, but many of my encounters with atheist remind me of my encounters with the born-again. Indeed I often suspect that the latter was once the former, and is really angry about it.
One often doesn't realize he's invoked a stereotype until after the fact. I received quite a bit of pushback in comments, and on twitter, accusing me of doing just that. I actually hadn't realized that there was a stereotype of the overbearing atheist. But I did know that when you generalize about broad groups of people, you often end up in trouble.
So it was with me. All I can really say is the following--My bad, ye band of godless heathens. Or more seriously, I was wrong to speak in such a sweeping manner. Weasel phrases like "Perhaps it's just me" don't make it right.
MORE: Shut down the thread. It's rather amazing to start with an apology and see commenters reduced to calling each other stupid. Cleary there's a subject cap here. The quantity of comments never impresses me. The quality--or lack thereof--always does.