Last week I quoted Jackson Lear's Nation article about how new atheists like Sam Harris aren't just reductionist in their rejection of religion, but their embrace of an aggressive ideological positivism can be just as dangerous as any fanaticism that comes from the right. Right-wing ideologues are more in the news these days, but I think an argument can be made that the Harrises and Kurzweils of the world are wittingly or unwittingly working for an alternative, transhuman future that is more ominous than anything envisioned in the feverish imaginations on the Right.
Atheists get things mixed up when they blame religion when the real problem is an unbalanced ideology, whether secular or religious in its style. Religious wars were the cause of absurd levels of violence and destruction in 17th century Europe, but the most massively destructive violence in Europe's recent history has been motivated by secular ideologies like Fascism and Communism. Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's purges were not motivated by religious zeal. Religious attitudes and behaviors can be a part of an ideology, but insofar as a religion has a genuine faith dimension to it, that part of it cannot be contained within any ideology, and it usually works at cross purposes with fanatical ideological agendas.