Last week I had a call from a newspaper reporter asking if I was worried that the 2010 Global Atheist Convention to be held in Melbourne was sold out. I said, "Of course not." People of faith have nothing to fear in doubt or skepticism. No need to picket or boycott events such as this (though some Christians are seeking to take action about it). I believe that dialogue and discussion can be helpful in all areas of belief.
One of the main speakers is Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most influential atheists. I have read his book The God Delusionand it only strengthened my faith. It is written in very emotional language and he makes sweeping generalisations about religion and faith that can't be validated. In no way did it shake my faith or give reasonable objections to the classic reasons for believing that there is a God (see my previous posts on this topic here).
Yes, a lot of damage has been done throughout history in the name of Christ - but never in the spirit of Christ. But let's not forget the incredible good that has also been done through people of faith in every sector society - education, health, arts and literature, family, business, welfare and government.
I think that Dawkins should model a little more of the tolerance he promotes, rather than being such a militant atheist trying to eradicate everyone else's belief.