|40 harmful effects of religion/Christianity
- The discouragement of rational, critical thought.
- Vilification of homosexuality, resulting in discrimination, parents
disowning their children, murder, and suicide.
- Women treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings.
- Children growing up to hate and fear science and scientists, because
science disproves their parents' religion - leading to appalling
- Tens of thousands tortured and killed as witches (a practice which
still continues today).
- People aren't making the most of this life because of their belief
in an afterlife.
- People dying because they believe their faith makes them immune to
snake venom, or other lethal aspects of reality.
- People dying - and letting their children die - because their religion
forbids accepting medical help.
- People choked, starved, poisoned, or beaten to death during exorcisms.
- Genital mutilation of babies endorsed by religious texts.
- Psychological and physiological conditions blamed on demons,
preventing believers from seeking medical care for themselves and
- People disowning family members for leaving their religion.
- Friendships and romances severed or never started over religious differences.
- "Abstinence-only" sex education, resulting in five times the amount
sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies - often leading
to ill-fated "emergency" marriages.
- Women having septic abortions-or being forced to have unwanted children
they resent-because religious organizations have gotten laws passed
making abortion illegal or inaccessible.
- Censorship (often destructive) of speech, art, books, music, films,
poetry, songs and, if possible, thought.
- The demonization of other religions, e.g. Christianity demonizing Pagans
- Children spending the period of their lives when the brain is most
receptive to learning new information reading, rereading, and even
memorizing religious texts.
- People who believe the world is about to end neglect their education,
are not financially responsible, and in extreme cases take part
in mass suicides.
- Long-term environmental issues ignored because of beliefs that
the rapture/apocalypse or something will happen soon, so they don't matter.
- Wives told they will be tortured forever if they leave their abusive
husbands (and vice versa).
- Holy wars - followers of different faiths (or even the same faith)
killing each other in the name of their (benevolent, loving and merciful)
- The destruction of great works of art considered to be
pornographic/blasphemous, and the persecution of the artists.
- Slavery condoned by religious texts.
- Children traumatized by vivid stories of eternal burning and torture
to ensure that they'll be too frightened to even question religion.
- Terminal patients in constant agony who would end their lives if they
didn't believe it would result in eternal torture.
- School boards having to spend time and money and resources on the
fight to have evolution taught in the schools.
- Persecution of "heretics"/scientists, like Giordano Bruno (burned at
the stake) and Galileo Galilei.
- Blue laws forcing other businesses to stay closed or limit sales,
while churches can generate more revenue.
- Mayors, senators, and presidents voted into office not because they're
right for the job, but because of their religious beliefs.
- Abuse of power, authority and trust by religious leaders (for financial
gain or sexual abuse of followers and even children).
- People accepting visual and auditory hallucinations unquestioningly as
divine, sometimes with fatal results.
- Discrimination against atheists, such as laws stating they may not
hold public office or testify in court, or in half a dozen countries
around the world, laws requiring their execution
- Missionaries destroying/converting smaller, "heathen" religions and cultures.
- Hardship compounded by the guilt required to reconcile the idea of a
fair god with reality ("why is God punishing me? What have I done wrong?
Don't I have enough faith?").
- Human achievements-from skillful surgery to to emergency
landings-attributed to gods instead of to the people actually responsible.
- Mother Teresa, prolonging the agony of terminal patients and denying
them pain relief, so she can offer their suffering as a gift to her god.
- Tens of billions annually in the US alone spent to build, maintain,
and staff houses of worship.
- Grief and horror caused by the belief that dead friends and family
members are tortured as punishment for disbelief.
- Natural disasters and other tragedies used to claim God is displeased
and present demands to avoid similar events (it's like terrorism, but
without having to plan or do anything).