Ya know if someone jumped up and critiqued religions the way Dawkins does, but did so from the viewpoint of enlightened pantheism as distinct from atheism, got a following, set up a religious group, churches, etc., sort of New Age Unitarian...
... people wouldn't be that bothered. Oh, another religion, great. Yeah, they slag off other religions, but they sincerely believe in their 'god', so they can.
Dawkins critiques religion and religious belief.
He does so without pandering to the opinion of such groups that their opinions are somehow worthy of greater respect because 'god' is wrapped up in it, according to them.
Why on Earth should he talk with respect and reverence of the beliefs of followers of Thor, or Mohamed or Jesus or Joseph Smith or Ron Hubbard?
Because they think so?!!
It is a silly idea, it would be like talking to a rapist as if his opinion woman say no when they mean yes meant anything. You might not like that example, but YOU would find such a person delusional as he could not justify his beliefs to you, and because you cannot justify your beliefs to him, Dawkins thinks YOU are delusional too. I stress, you don't have to like it.
Of course Dawkins can look at it from the point of view of those who take umbrage. He's perfectly aware they expect 'special treatment' for their personal opinions about god, probably because they make such a racket when they don't get them people pander to them most of the time as it is easier.
But he keeps his own standards, not theirs. He isn't going to condescend and pretend he believes in stuff that is (to him) patent nonsense, treat them like silly little religious people who are stoopid or something, and will think he believes in god or is a nice chap anyway as long as he dresses it up all purty and puts a bow in its hair. He just says it how he thinks it is. Refreshing honesty... maybe that is what is so startling.
Shock!! Horror!! Nasty man doesn't believe in MY personal version of the ultimate invisible friend,,, OR anybody's!!!!!!
And then he has the nerve to say there isn't any evidence, and that all the claimed personal internal experiences are perfectly explicable with our knowledge of how our body's work... and that as none of the proceeding is rocket science, anyone who doesn't act in line with the facts is delusional.
How very dare he!!!
What next? Going back to "S'truth" and "Zounds" to avoid offending a random passing fundy? Complaining about some Danish cartoons of the great Pophet Mo', as some one had their feelings hurt??
Now, watch the reverse game; provided someone doesn't sink to base ad hom, lying or otherwise misrepresenting an atheist's beliefs, the atheist is probably not going to give a flying act of coitus if you think he is silly, stupid, delusional, whatever, on account of his or her beliefs.
Time to skin up, this is soooooooo fricking funny...