Recently I've been on a communication kick, and my best example has been the Westboro Baptist Church. I've pointed out that, for all their supposed 'anti-gay' rhetoric, their rhetoric usefulness is to those who disagree with their stated beliefs. They are used - and my suspicion is, willingly - as pawns for people who want to associate certain beliefs (rejecting gay marriage, etc) with assholes and idiots.
Here's some more evidence.
An atheist rally, and who do they make sure to invite explicitly? The WBC. While, incidentally, reacting with anger to the presence of actual Christians, who are (mistakenly, in my opinion) there to offer them dialogue and to reason with them.
Why are atheists inviting the WBC to their hatefest?
Because. WBC. Is. Useful. To. Them.