A hard lesson for many culturally conservative Christians to learn is that liberal Christians aren't really on their side. Their problem with the Gnu atheists isn't that the Gnus want to persecute, mock, belittle and generally attack Christians. Their problem is that liberal Christians aren't excluded from their ire.
If Richard Dawkins today announced that he was all wrong, and while atheism is the most rational position in the world in his view, the REAL problem is conservative Christians - the 'Religious Right' - and the left-wing Christians were the atheist's allies... you'd see a fair chunk of Christians celebrate Dawkins as a font of wisdom and the world's most brilliant scientist besides. Even ones calling Dawkins a hateful bigot right now.