Re the question "are [Richard] Dawkins and [Christopher] Hitchens 'good' for the secular cause?" I last saw Hitchens interviewed on CNN. And there was this virulently anti-religious chap, quietly and graciously saying that, when invited, he attends the religious rites of others.
Shortly after I "came out" as a secularist I found myself attending a funeral service. I felt embarrassed, out of place, bored stiff, offended by the prayers and sermonising, cringed at the "Christian" eulogies of those I knew to be unbelievers, my ears offended by dirges wretchedly sung to live guitars; and above all I felt untrue to everybody there, especially myself, and the deceased, whom I knew to be an atheist. I vowed never again to be a part of such rites: so I applaud and am humbled by, Hitchens' understanding and tolerance.
Why should Hitchens and Dawkins be expected to toe a "party line" before they can be judged beneficial to the cause? What about free speech? The question is potentially divisive; especially at a time when we urgently need to pull together. These men make us all think, question, and analyse; no way can that be bad.