I’m trying to understand the general critique of religion and religious institutions that I hear among severe … anti religionists or atheists. Not humanistic atheists (who may think of religion as a neutral event), but those who are angry at what religious language represents. they are hostile against facts and desire there to be no confusion between facts and the imagination.

This is what I gather.

1. Stupid people are stupid. And religious.
2. Violent stupid people are stupid and violent. And religious.
3. Violence and stupidity = religion.
4. Religion hates sex, unless it’s for babies.
5. Peace and smarts = something else but its not religion.
6. Religion hates women (see #4).
7. Assholes = religion.
8. Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, Stalin, George Bush and everything evil = religion (see #7).
9. People who are religious don’t think for themselves (see #1).
10. Everything bad about religion in the media is true.
11. Everything good in church is merely good human beings who may accidentally are a part of a religious institution.
12. Immature people = religion.
13. Religion is something, but whatever it is, it is bad.

In my experience it is… more complicated. If they think religion is that “organized” I doubt they have spent that much time in religious institutions.

Religion cannot be easily reduced to a set of beliefs. As David Hart says, defining religion is like hunting the snark.

Later in the week, I’ll give reasons why religious institutions are good.