I was raised in the bosom of 'good' west of Scotland religion, firstly the Church of Scotland and then the local Baptist church - the teenage move to happy-clappy baptist bullshit the first indication of my burgeoning discomfort with the hypocritical morality that permeates religious belief and its evil child, blind-faith.
Finally the penny dropped, religion possessed no redeeming features, it was simply a tool used to control the masses - one whose message had been finely honed over centuries to fit fear and ignorance, cynically exploiting our unhappiness with the human existence condition to the benefit of the ruling classes. In short complete bullshit of the finest quality; sticky, stinky and impossible to swallow without gagging.
As I age, gracefully of course, my cynicism towards all things religious grows; the assumed ownership of the moral high ground and the use of religion to justify all things good and evil (Haiti a good case in point) are hard to stomach - atavistic notions that contribute nothing positive to the undoubted struggle that defines the life of man. How can anyone justify a military padre or a religious war?
Battles between religious stupidity and realism abound, primarily in the publishing world. If you haven't read Richard Dawkins bestseller 'The God Delusion' or the wonderful Jerry A Coyne's 'Why Evolution is True', you really should.
On the other side of the debate I recently came across Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life", a book (and I use that term advisedly) that sets out its ambitious agenda as "A groundbreaking manifesto on the meaning of life" - never in my life have I read such a meaningless pile of drivel, religious mumbo jumbo replete with complete speculation and inspired near-insanity - it is entertaining though. "The Purpose Driven Life" is heralded by the believers as the most significant book since the bible - personally I wouldn't argue with that; if ever you needed convincing that religion is simply man made cretinism this incoherent jumble of language should do the trick.
Over to Bill Maher to make the same point in his much more relaxed and entertaining style:
Edit: If you wish to read Mr Warren's book Amazon currently have 591 used copies, available from 26 pence - seems a bit expensive to me.