In Hating God I go to some lengths to explain why atheists are not, and in fact cannot be, haters of God in any genuine sense of the word and that, conversely, those who really do hate God, cannot be atheists. A new term was needed, and so I revived a forgotten word—misotheismThe people who truly hate and reject God are those who believe in one.
There is absolutely nothing unusual about people expressing disgust and dislike of fictional characters, and that includes the atheists. What is more unusual and, indeed, highly paradoxical, is to encounter people who do believe in the existence of God (hence, for them God is not a fictional character) and yet to reject that God on moral grounds.The difference is significant.
If we refuse to make a distinction between the hatred of a fictional character and the hatred of, say, one’s mother-in-law, then we must refuse to make other kinds of distinctions as well. If hating a non-existing personage and hating an existing one are one and the same, then worshipping God and worshiping Harry Potter must also be considered on the same level.Although the article is a response to a specific book review by a Christian, it's worth reading even if you haven't read the book in question.