In a recently publicised act of terror, a group of Muslim men killed anyone who was unable to recite verses from the Quran.
From the 12th to the 19th century, members of Christianity were responsible for killing those who didn't share their beliefs through the horrible combination of church and state that was The Inquisition.
Members of small churches, independent religious groups, sects and cults all spew hate against anyone and anything that does not conform to their view of rightness. While they may not kill anyone, they still threaten torture or death at the hand of whatever god they worship.
Wars have been started, mass murder and genocide perpetrated (and praised), and basic human freedoms have been trampled on, by people who felt fully justified because they did it in the name of a higher power. The common denominator of so much tragedy and hate throughout human history is religion. It does more harm than good.
While there are religious outreach programmes, and groups that provide genuine help and support for its members and others, these are by far the exception. What's more, they are all a thinly veiled attempt to indoctrinate. They will help you to a meal, while telling you that you will die unless you believe what they do.
People are free to believe as they wish. However they are not free to act on beliefs in a way that causes harm to others. Especially are they not free to incite hatred or threaten others for not believing as they do.
Yet religions continue to do as they wish with impunity, providing justification for hatred and bigotry. And in the epitome of cognitive dissonance, they claim that the hatred they preach isn’t hatred, it is love, and that they don’t hate people, they hate “sins”. A “sin” is nothing more than something that goes against what they think you should believe or do, and those beliefs change with time. So what they are really saying is that they don’t hate you, they hate the person that you are and they are free to decide why to hate you at will.
Religions continue to do as they wish with impunity, providing justification for hatred and bigotry.
Ever so often some religious people will take it a step further and convert their hate into action. They are often quickly dismissed as "extremists" by those who do not support their actions. Yet what they perpetrate is only the logical conclusion of religious dogma, to be carried out by their god eventually. Will they be aghast when their god kills on a scale that no human is capable of?
The existence of charities, non-profit organisation, and community based programmes that don't operate in the name of any god shows that we are capable of so much good without the burden of religious dogma.
Humans once served kings without question. Now that is a relic of the past. We can only hope that humanity will mature past religion as well.