An article on Fox News, Anglican Spiritual Leader Slams Popular Atheist Writers reports that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams thinks that these atheists writers miss their mark.
"When believers pick up Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, we may feel as we turn the pages: 'This is not it. Whatever the religion being attacked here, it's not actually what I believe in,"' the archbishop said.
Actually, it is a very common defense mechanism for an individual, when faced with evidence that condemns his view, to answer, "That's not what I believe." It saves the ego - saves the individual from having to say, "Maybe I was wrong."
The fact is, the positions that these writers wrote about were very popular at the time. If people are now unwilling to admit that they ever held such views, then the world is a better place because of it. They will, of course, refuse to give these writers credit. But, then, the question of who gets credit is not actually as important as the fact that somebody has brought about real change for a better world.