I have a confession to make. I am emotional. In fact, very often when I am presented with new information, I have to process though my feelings before I can even start to think logically about it. That is to say, I am not the very model of a modern rational atheist. :-p
Reason and logic are things that I value very highly. But removing myself from the equation and consider things objectively is something I have to work very hard at–it does not come naturally. When you think about it, this is why we even have things like the scientific method. We humans have such a hard time seeing reality without coloring it with our biases and subjectivity, we need to use hard, cold facts to help us see things as they are.
It can be a fine line to walk. No one really likes to be questioned. And I really don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, because that makes me feel bad. On the other hand, I am a natural questioner, and when someone gets all offended and emotional because I questioned their idea that makes me….well, quite often offended and emotional. The good news now is that hanging around a bunch of atheists and skeptics has started to get me used to being questioned, and has taken away some of the sting and helped me to think more clearly when my assumptions are questioned. And since I value logic and reason as the best tools to help one see the world clearly, I think that is a good thing.
I had actually started this post before I found this video, but I thought it fit in pretty well. It features the cool, rational atheist and the overemotional theist. However, I suspect that when you dare question anything that someone identifies with, religious or not, the same sort of dynamic can result.