Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Norm Macdonald stirred up a Sunday evening hornet’s nest with a series of tweets and replies on religion, tolerance, and respect for people of faith. It seems to have started with the above tweet from a reader of his who took offense at a public expression of faith during a PGA tournament broadcast.

Undoubtedly to the Christian-bashing reader’s surprise, Macdonald responded in defense of those who read scripture:

Macdonald retweeted a reader who opined that a lot of PGA golfers read scripture:

The comedian added:

Next came a flood of outraged tweets from atheist Twitter users, some of which Macdonald retweeted.

Some simply couldn’t believe it:

One non-believer said religion was the worst thing to ever happen to Earth:

Another claimed religion has caused more human deaths than anything else:

Macdonald came off looking tolerant and reasonable, whereas some of his more strident atheist critics seemed judgmental and hysterical.

Update: Norm Macdonald sadly deleted his tweets, after being attacked.