The first three paragraphs were, I thought, both useful and humorous. A good *review*. But then, it seemed to me, that you shot yourself in the foot by trying to climb on the author's band wagon by sliding off into your own little leaflet, so to speak.
"the fish in the barrel of religion have already been shot by far more efficient marksmen like Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris."
Nice analogy, but do check the barrel - it's still full of "fish". I haven't read Harris, yet, but Dawkins and Hitchens have both failed miserably in their attempts to call time on religion.
"As a long-lapsed Catholic and committed atheist I often find myself resenting the description "lapsed" as if at some future juncture I'll be brought back to my devotional senses"
You must surely be VERY long-lapsed to have written this. Have you forgotten that the RC organisation works on the belief that it is God's ONLY representative on Earth and that no one get's out alive? Protestants, Muslims, Mormons, Tree Worshippers, even members of the Eastern Orthodox church - nothing and no one is truly or completely outside of the RC domain. And after all, that was once true, in a way.
"It's quite possible, of course, that in this debate neither side is likely to convince the other, with cloudy dictum on one hand and vinegary logic on the other."
Well of course they won't. Look more closely at the kind of people you seem to be talking about and you may discover that you are talking about two sides of just one coin - fundamentalism.
"For all that, it seems to me that the case against the nonsense of religion (for which our generation ought to feel compelled to apologise to posterity) is ordinarily overwhelmingly persuasive."
Which "generation" are you talking about, I wonder. A generation is, I believe, commonly held to be about 20 years in length, so referring to "our generation" is hardly a clear-cut description.
And in what sense do you imagine that religion is nonsense? If you gotten this from Mr Dawkins you really do need to research his numerous claims, because THEY are all too often the real "nonsense" in his work.
Likewise why should this unidentified generational group apologise to anyone?
For allowing freedom of speech - and for holding back the threat of the thought police to come? Do you really look forward to a world-wide, computer-based, technologically driven version of the Russian NKVD or East German Stasi (secret police), children being taught to spy and report on their parents and fellow pupils?
We overcame that once already. Do you seriously want it back again?