Generalizations are indispensible. But why should we put up with fallacies?
It is this mindset that Crichton says cannot be eradicated, which he criticizes as dangerous in the extreme, and which he characterizes as religious.
Of course, there are plenty of believers who are tolerant and open-minded. Of course, there are plenty of non-believers who aren't. Of course, there are plenty of people who treat non-religious ideas in a religious way - that's the point of Crichton's article, isn't it?
Anyway, that's how I read it.