In the course of our exchange he decried the tendency of atheists to:
1. get angry at Christians, and
2. dismiss Christians / believers out of hand.
What follows is my response to him:
I only get angry when Fundies try to dumb down our schools with Creationism / ID; or when their moral dictates from their supreme being impinge on the freedoms of Americans; or when they distort genuine science / invent pseudo-science in an attempt to justify myth; or when government picks my pocket to suborn religious organizations. Otherwise, I just make fun of them as a hobby ... no anger.
I imagine that you dismiss many if not most of these things as well ... in spite of whatever experience, instinct, rumor, or enthusiasm may drive these people's beliefs. You may reject these examples as being dissimilar to YOUR religious belief and thus think yours is less deserved of dismissal. But, to one who sees all fable, myth, flights of fancy, and inventions of the mind the same way there is not one iota of difference to me.
Do they have the right to these absurd thoughts and beliefs? Absolutely.
Do these beliefs deserve my respect? Nope. They warrant only ridicule, or disgust, or at best, dismissal.
But, that you must still retain that illogical grasp on supernaturalism, and can't just acknowledge the teachings attributed to Jesus as a refinement of morality and good guide for civilization, is tantamount to why we still have a vestigial tail, and body hair. Eventually, that too will pass.