If someone tells you they have a deep and profound relationship with their god/goddess/saint/whatever they are more than likely treated with respect.
If someone tells you they have a deep and profound relationship with the Flying Spaghetti Monster or an invisible pink unicorn then they are treated like they are crazy.
What I am asking is why are they not both treated the exact same way since they are acting and believing the exact same way?
Religion is the only aspect of our society where you are encouraged to believe, talk about and spread complete and utter bullshit. AND it is considered rude to even consider thinking differently.
The Constitution of the United States is rather clear on this point:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesSo no preferential treatment to religion, but no impediment to practicing it either. That is fine and I am not here to debate Constitutional law or the wisdom of our Founding Fathers (I happen to think they got it right).
Except churches get tax exempt status and the religious faithful are not locked away for believing in utter bullshit.
While I do tend to agree with Hitchens that "religion poisons everything", unlike him I don't care what people actually do in their own homes or churches for that matter.
I think religion is nothing more than a complex set of superstitions at best or a cleverly evil means of controlling the population at worse.
Atheism, for the record, is not another religion.
To quote Bill Maher "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sexual position."
(btw this is the same video where he unbaptizes Edward Davies)
A person can be a theist and not even be religious.
But atheism is not on the same continuum of regions, it is by definition completely off of the continuum.
Being an atheist is easy to do really, there is simply put no evidence what so ever for God.
But if hard evidence did show up, like Bill Maher, says then we have to change our minds. Those are our rules, you caught us. See how easy that is? But so far no evidence has happened and it has to be evidence where there is no other plausible natural explanation.
What would it take for you to change your views? What sort of evidence would you need to to change your current religious or theistic view-point?