Chris Hedges, in his review of Christopher Hitchens's book God Is Not Great, makes many points in rebutting the hostility that militant atheists express against religion. Much of the review relates specifically to what Hitchens wrote in his book, but I was particularly interested in his general commentary on how religion expresses a fundamental human urge:
God is a human concept. Religion is a way we attempt, always imperfectly, to wrestle with the mystery and meaning of existence. It acknowledges the dark impulses and urges that can overpower us. It struggles to explain the importance and value of the moral life. The question is not whether God exists. The question is whether we concern ourselves with, or are utterly indifferent to, the sanctity and ultimate transcendence of human existence. God is that mysterious force — and you can give it many names as many religions do — that works upon us and through us to seek and achieve truth, beauty, and goodness. God is a verb. God is a process accomplishing itself, not an asserted existence. And God is inescapable.