There is currently a kerfluffle going on between the Gnu Atheists and the Accommodationists about tone and strategy. Unfortunately, most of the complaints by the Accommodation camp miss the point.
The role of mockery is not to deconvert believers. The goal is to delegitimize authority, thus creating space for people to deconvert on their own. Or not, actually: your average Gnu Atheist is less interested in creating unbelievers than they are in creating thinkers. If you've got a really good reason for being a theist, one so good you think other people should share it, we'd like to hear about it. Or, if you don't have a good reason, but you want to privately entertain your own private fantasies, that's fine, too, as long as we don't hear about it. The only thing the Gnus want to shut down is the presumption that you can assert unbelievable things and have them automatically respected because you somehow worked in the word "faith".
Anyway, as most people have heard, you can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into. And since most believers hold their position for social or emotional causes, rational argument is simply not going to accomplish anything. How does one go about calling into question social orthodoxy, then?
The answer is obvious. Mockery is the traditional, time-honored way of challenging social orthodoxy. As long as faith is the socially dominant position, it will be the appropriate target of mockery. As long as the inflated fabulisms of priests are taken seriously, they will require puncturing.
When you find a believer who has a rational argument, send them to me. When you find a believer who has an emotional crisis, hold their hand and explain how we have made good, happy lives without faith, despite the inherent indifference of our cold universe. But when you find a believer who believes because Very Important People said it was Right and Wise, then by all means, point, laugh, and scorn.