"Belief is more complicated than either the believers or the disbelievers among us are usually willing to admit. Too often I hear people referring to God as a delusion and religion as some kind of neurological disorder. All their qualms and suspicions are justified [in the wake of religious violence discussed just before this quote]. But if all they see is the ugly face of faith and the danger in spiritual connection, they have become as absolute in their disbelief as any religious fanatic. They have become fanatics of secularism who are as problematic as the fanatics of faith, because ultimately it is the fanaticism that kills, not the faith."The second quote is for those faithful folks who use their religion as a weapon to beat people with, doing great harm. It is from the one-time atheist and later Christian writer C.S. Lewis and is found in his book Mere Christianity. He writes powerfully:
"All the worst pleasures are surely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the animal self and the diabolical self. The diabolical self is the worst of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither."
I think that gives everyone a little something to think about before stepping up on the next soap box.