To my non-believing readers and cyber friends:
Horrible, horrible things have been done throughout history in the name of God. I know that some of the most vile, condescending people imaginable practice their odiousness in the name of God and religion.
That behavior tarnishes every one of us who believe in God. The ideas that "religion poisons everything" (Hitchens) and that belief in God is a "delusion" (Dawkins), draw a line in the sand at exactly the wrong place, I believe. Those who practice evil in the name of God are the poisoners and the deluded.
"God said it, I believe it," the battle cry of our religious fundamentalist friends and neighbors. They have so much trouble looking beyond the pages of their cherished scriptures, in the process throwing away the fruit of centuries of human progress. They feel especially threatened by science, even though the majority of us believers don't. The opprobrium due them will hang over the heads of folks like myself, even though we hate witch hunts (literally), inquisitions, holy wars and etc., as much as the nonbeliever, nor can we fathom practicing racism and sexism in the name of ancient sacred tradition.
I am not one of them and their load is more than I could bear.