Couldn’t have said this better myself:
The problem is faith.
Faith is a hole in your brain. Faith stops critical thinking. Faith is a failure point inculcated into people’s minds, an unguarded weak point that allows all kinds of nasty, maggoty, wretched ideas to crawl into their heads and take up occupancy. Supporting faith is like supporting people who refuse to be vaccinated: they’re harmless in and of themselves, they may be perfectly healthy right now, but they represent fertile ground for disease, and they represent potential severe damage to the social compact. When you’re in a culture that worships Abraham’s insanity, you’re fostering the nonsense that enables the Son of Sam.
O’Brien misses the big flaw. She says, “somehow, we’ve allowed religion to be defined by the stupid and the warped,” but there’s no “somehow” about it. It’s intrinsic to the nature of the beast. When the core of the institution is an acceptance of irrational, the ones who will climb to the top are those most able to exploit the delusions of the masses, or who are most earnest and unhesitating in their endorsement of foolishness. This is what religion does best: build a hierarchy of clowns and tyrants on the wishful thinking of the innocent. Why should we want that to be a model for a democratic political system?
It’s part of a larger post on the comments of Barbara O’Brien, who’s been busy defending believers from those of us lefties who are atheists. The whole thing is a good read, but the section above was particularly spot on.