My arguments against faith were really those of a schoolboy.
~ Francis S. Collins
In response to my 2 part series entitled, “Ignorance of Biblical Proportion,” (the thesis of which is that nearly every atheist I’ve ever heard, read, or interacted with knows very little of the Bible and church history) an atheist reader writes:
All the atheists I know grew up in the Christian church so know and learned exactly what you also learned. Then, after finding so many problems and contradictions in the Bible itself [they left the Christian faith].
Perhaps if I knew the atheists of which she speaks I would change my opinion. But as it stands I've yet to come across an atheist (celebrity or otherwise) who is truly knowledgeable with regard to sacred scripture and history.
That being said, I do believe that many atheists "grew up" in a church of some kind and then left the church upon leaving home. In fact it’s quite likely that they abandoned the church much earlier than this. That is, while they may have been physically present they were mentally absent. Thus their knowledge of the faith may be even more stunted than appears.
It is now clear to me that my reasons for becoming and remaining an atheist from about the age eighteen to thirty-eight were intellectually superficial and largely without a deeply thought basis. ~ Paul C. Vitz
Whatever the case, the Christianity such folks "know" and reject is FAR from mature or robust. Their "knowledge" of the Faith is at best sophomoric and at worst infantile. And this shows in their straw-man argumentation (typically served with a side order of ad hominems smothered in condescension).
But we must try to see past all this.
When the Christianity they left behind is the stuff of misremembered Bible stories and children’s church, is it any wonder they compare “faith” to fairy tales? Sometimes ridicule evinces more than mockery.
Collins’ and Vitz’s essays appear in “A Place For Truth,” edited by Dallas Willard.