Now frankly, many of us religious folks could take that claim more seriously if atheists didn't go out of their way to question our intelligence from the get-go.
Even Wagener suggests religion "thrives on ignorance," as if there are few scholars or serious thinkers among the religious.
That's just not the case.
How humble is it for atheists to suggest that most of their fellow humans - past and present - are their intellectual inferiors?
Anyway, Wagener writes:
The religious contend that they are the humblest of people because they are as nothing before their god. But if they believe that the allmighty creator of the universe has a relationship with them as individuals, its not very humble, is it? The atheist on the other hand sees himself as a higher order primate and a total insignificant speck in the context of the cosmos and geological time. That's humility.
But suppose a Divine Intelligence purposed to create intelligent creatures who could respond to and interact with Him/Her/It and provided an environment for them (something like the poet Keats' "vale of soul-making") that would serve that end - would it not then be the proper thing (and not unhumble at all) to respond to and interact with this Intelligence?
And if (and I do emphasize the if) that were the case, the atheist's claim to be "a total insignificant speck" would then not be humility so much as copping out?
Wagener goes on in this same vein when he writes:
The good deeds that religions do are to be applauded though. Every soup kitchen and every jersey knitted for a child is wonderful, but the motive is immoral if the idea is to buy timeshare in heaven or gain more converts. These people will never know the intense satisfaction derived from doing a good deed out of an innate sense of morality and not because it is dictated from outside by some god.
That is an oversimplification atheists seem prone to make - even those who were once religious believers and should know better.
Religious believers think of that "innate sense of morality" as coming from the moral law written by God on the human heart. Again, responding to that innate sense of morality is right and proper thing to do,
What God adds to the picture is this: now doing good deeds becomes a matter of duty, rather than something one may choose to do in order to obtain that "intense satisfaction."
I'm not arguing here that the religious worldview is the correct one, just suggesting that in explaining atheism Mr. Wagener has misrepresented religious believers.