As we come up on Memorial Day, that ancient religious festival, it's worth reading PZ Myers' eleven reasons to hate religion, such as
I. Literalism. We in the evo-creo wars know this one well. If the Bible says it, it must be literally true. There was a world-wide flood, there was an ark, the earth is 6000 years old, etc. One antiquated hodge-podge of a book becomes the arbiter of truth, with the added benefit that its clutter and inconsistency and diversity of authorship means you can justify anything with the right random quote.Read them all! The comments are good too!
II. Authoritarianism. Once you've abandoned individual thought to the dictates of a book, you're accustomed to surrendering intellectual autonomy…so you pass responsibility on to others. Religious history is a parade of petty tyrannies, where religious authorities, from your local parish priest to the pope and Pat Robertson, get to tell you what is right. Unfortunately, their credentials as authorities on righteousness always seem to rest on assertions about the words of prior religious authorities.