It was a PR fiasco, a real goofing of the floof.
Now, skeptics are a proud tribe willing to weather PR flaps, so I hope that's not the reason for CFI's change of heart. I really hope the CFI leadership simply reflected upon the distinction between being right and being right for the wrong reasons.
I live in a spam trap at Orac's site so I'll copy my comment there here:
CFI seems to define "religion" as "lies." Who wouldn't oppose lies?
However, "religion" can be a placeholder for "first person data that are uncorroborated or impossible to corroborate."
Third person data rules. But life is lived within the first person. And he is often a poor, confused, suffering shmuck about to be hit by a bus.
If Mr. First Person isn't trying to fark up our third person data set, I say we let him have his unverifiable personal experience of "transcendence" or whatever. Why not?
I can bully you into saying, "2+2=4." Or I can teach you arithmetic and allow you to figure out the answer for yourself.
Getting the right answer is important. But the method used to derive that answer is even more important, because all future answers depend upon it.