This is How You Know Your Religion is Harmful…

Neil Carter offers up a fantastic list of ways you know your religion is harmful at his blog Godless in Dixie.

In short:

Your Religion May Be Harmful…

1) If it inspires inactivity when action is what is needed.
2) If it teaches you to accept things as they are when they should be changed.
3) If it conditions you to overly rely on subjective sources of decision-making.
4) If it discourages critical thinking skills.
5) If it teaches you to distrust science.
6) If its other-worldly promises distract you from finding solutions to this-world problems.
7) If it leads you to actively discriminate against others because of their gender, their sexual orientation, or their beliefs.
8) If it teaches you to fundamentally distrust yourself and to view yourself as essentially broken, weak, or unable to think for yourself.
9) If it sucks a significant amount of time or money from your life.

He goes into depth for each item listed above. I don’t disagree with any of them, though one commenter rightly notes that #9 could be okay if you actively want to give your time and money to a particular group. The bigger problem is how the church spends that money.

There are so many more items to add to this list, though, and that’s where we need your help.

If you can list another reason in the comments, I’ll pick a random winner next week to receive a free shirt (with a design like the one below) from Reasonist Products! (Just be sure to tag your answers with #ReligionHarmsYouIf if you’d like to be considered for the contest.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • invivoMark

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it makes children feel guilty or afraid when there’s nothing to fear and they’ve done nothing wrong.

  • Bitter Lizard

    If it substitutes willful irrationality for reason, it’s harmful. Since that applies to all religions, a list isn’t really necessary.

  • trj

    If it makes you come up with excuses to justify atrocities like genocide, infanticide, war crimes or slavery. #ReligionHarmsYouIf

  • Conspirator

    If it comes between you and your family or loved ones. I’ve known of Catholic families that have become divided because someone divorced then remarried. But a more obvious problem is the practice by Jehova’s Witnesses of shunning family members that leave the church. #ReligionHarmsYouIf

  • The Other Weirdo

    I read his post, but he uses a truly hideous example for #1. I shudder at what poor Maggie has to go through. Memories of a time not too long ago.

  • busterggi

    You know your religion is harmful when it says destroying humanity so an imaginary being can rule the world is a good thing.

  • wvsasha

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you have to teach your babies to pray for forgiveness for their “sins” every night….

  • Not Brunette

    If it encourages you act contradictory to its own core philosophies and teachings. (i.e., don’t judge others, love one another, give to the poor… and yet many sects seem to actively encourage hate, judgment, and selfishness under various excuses/rationalizations).

  • Jen

    If its promises of the next life distract you from living this one.

    • usclat


  • Andrew Lounsbury

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you’ve been molested by a priest.

  • Neil

    But how can the atheist consistently define “harm”? I find this to be the biggest dilemma with the atheist position. It is smuggled into their argument, or it comes back to either cultural subjectivity, personal subjectivism, or the magical “evolution did it!” (all of which fail to explain our everyday experience of morality). And to suggest that a strictly biological process can create immaterial, transcendent, prescriptive guidelines of behavior is just kind of silly.

    • EdmondWherever

      Harm… hurts. If you’ve ever been harmed, you should be familiar with the concept. It shouldn’t take much “defining”.
      I’m not sure what alternative you’d suggest to reach a definition. I take it you’re a theist. So how does a theist define harm? Do you allow the Bible to TELL you what it is? If something hurts, but the Bible doesn’t say it’s harmful, wouldn’t you know it was harmful ANYWAY?
      Does this argument stop with atheists, or do you also believe that people in OTHER religions have a disadvantage when defining harm?
      We don’t need to rely on evolution, or any biological processes, to arrive at a definition of harm. We only need to be capable of perceiving harm, to define it.

      • Neil

        Indulge me…Define Harm. I’ll get to my definition of harm later, I want to hear a CONSISTENT definition of harm from an atheistic point of view.

        • guest

          If you don’t know what common English words mean, might I suggest a dictionary?

        • RobMcCune

          Harm is what is detrimental to an individual physically, mentally and psychologically. Now let’s see you be consistent in your definitions.

          • Neil

            So is harm morally wrong?

            • cary_w

              It depends, in some cases it is, in some cases it isn’t, sometimes causing some harm leads to a greater good.

              The example that first comes to mind is immunizing my kids. The shot caused my son a small amount of physical and psychological (because he’s deathly afraid of needles) harm and had a very slight risk of greater harm to him because of the ever-so-slight chance of a bad reaction, but I felt like it was still morally the right thing to do because it should protect him from very harmful, perhaps even life threatening, diseases. It is also the morally correct thing to do because it not only protects him, but protects our immediate community from an epidemic and to some extent helps protect all of society from deadly epidemics. Not all “harm” is equal, the slight harm caused by a shot is outweighed by the good caused by everyone immunizing their kids.

              So I suppose the real question is, “Is the harm caused by religion outweighed by the good done by religion?” In my opinion the answer is no. But again, I don’t claim to speak for any other people, atheist or theist. Certainly religion does some good (charity work, emotional support, moral guidance, that sort of thing), but those things don’t require religion, they all can exist without religion, and in my opinion, they don’t make up for all the harm done by religion. Things like the physical and emotional distress described in the list above.

            • Artor

              Is nuance harmful to you? Is framing complex questions in black & white moral?

            • usclat

              That isn’t the point, now is it Neil? The point is that harm may be defined in many ways but for the most part we know it when we see it. Like when it comes in the form of a fantasy-based thought system. You know, like religion.

            • EdmondWherever

              No, harm is undesirable. It’s unpleasant. Life forms with a sense of self-interest and survival try to avoid it.
              Sometimes harm is morally right. It’s wrong to cage someone and take away their freedom, but not if they’re being caged as a punishment.

            • DavidMHart

              It is is you inflict it on someone unnecessarily, or without their consent. This gets you around cases like doctors carrying out surgery, or legal systems carrying out genuinely rehabilitating criminal penalties, but allows you to condemn cruelty inflicted for cruelty’s sake, or simply for one’s own gain.

              On that definition, causing harm (or doing actions that carry a realistic risk of causing harm) is what we mean by ‘morally wrong’ in pretty much any ordinary everyday sense of the phrase.

              If you think that is inconsistent, and can show that one would need to presuppose the existence of supernatural entities in order to make it consistent, then please go ahead and explain how.

            • Spuddie

              If you have to ask the question, you won’t understand the answer.

              Do you find acting with malice and forethought to be a bad thing or not?

        • Chas Swedberg

          What do you mean by “consistent definition?” The qualifier appears important to you as you’ve repeated all three times you’ve asked, to the point of capitalization.

        • EdmondWherever

          Harm is unpleasant, sometimes destructive, consequences to actions. See also what I said in response to your later post below.

        • Spuddie

          Why do you need consistency from atheists?

          It certainly does not exist in your brand of theism. Biblical notions of morality are at various times capricious, arbitrary and without purpose besides enforcing social rigidity.

          Do you seek consistency from some alternate source because you have realized your own view has none? Judging by your questions and assuming you ask them in good faith, the answer must be, yes.

    • EdmondWherever

      Your religion may be harmful if…

      It leads you to devalue the feelings and experiences of people outside your religion.


    • mikedave

      How can a theist consistently define harm? For Christianity for example they can attempt to interpret the tortured passages of the Bible, but it is clear the interpretations change over time to fit the morality of the period. The Bible used to be used to justify slavery, most don’t interpret it that way anymore. The bible used to be used to justify child abuse, most people don’t interpret it that way any more. The bible used to be used to justify racism, most people don’t interpret it that way anymore. The bible is still used to justify homophobia, this is changing before your eyes and won’t interpreted that way anymore in a decade or two.

      The interpretations are at least as subjective any humanistic definition

      • Neil

        I’ll get to that later, i’m still waiting for a consistent definition of harm from an atheistic perspective.

        • cary_w

          Why should atheists be expected to have a consistent definition of harm? Certainly Christians don’t have a consistent definition of harm, they vary wildly about what causes harm. I would expect athiests to have an even greater variety of definitions because we do not have a single leader, book of rules or specific set of beliefs.

          That said, I define “harm” as something that causes physical or mental distress. But I don’t claim to speak for any other atheists.

          • Glasofruix

            Many christians don’t even have a consistent definition of their own faith.

        • RobMcCune

          In other words you got nothin’ that would satisfy the standards you insist other’s beliefs must be held to.

        • mikedave

          What are you on about definitions for, go to your dictionary the word doesn’t change meaning depending on your religious views. Theists don’t get a special definition all to themselves, its all the same.

        • Nate Frein

          The consistent definition is that “it depends”.

          That’s how all social interactions work.

        • Jeff See
        • allein

          What’s with this “I’ll get to that later” bullshit? If you have something to say, say it. Stop trying to trap people into some kind of definitional gotcha.

        • Astreja

          Hint for you, Neil: If someone yells “Quit it! That hurts!” or if the villagers are chasing you away with pointed sticks and blazing torches, you’ve probably just done something harmful.

        • smrnda

          Could you give me a consistent definition of the word ‘chair’ please? Or a consistent definition of ‘bald’ as opposed to ‘balding?’ Perhaps a consistent definition of ‘hot’ or ‘cold?’

          Outside of mathematical definitions, all terms are imprecise, but that doesn’t prevent communication. I don’t see why the word ‘harm’ should be held to higher standards for precision than the word ‘cold.’ The lack of a precise grad to define ‘cold’ hasn’t stopped anyone from using the term.

          • baal

            I can’t always define a chair all that well but I can sit on them. Google image search seems to do a decent job or setting the parameters as well.

        • Glasofruix

          Oh come on, that’s like the third time you asked the same crap, while refusing to adress it by yourself.

        • Discordia

          How about you stop fishing for answers? What you are hoping to get is something you can use your religious dogma to label as wrong or immoral, as you obviously believe that atheists are incapable of acting in a moral way.

          Morality is determined by society, which is why slavery was legal in America 200 years ago. If morality was determined solely by your Holy Bible, then slavery would still be legal and women would still be sold as wives at the age of twelve for fifty pieces of silver. It would still be legal for people to stone people to death for working on Sunday or being gay or eating shrimp or worshiping other gods or even worshiping the same god in a different manner (Methodist vs Catholic vs Pentecostal vs Greek Orthodox vs Calvinists).

          How about you accept that we non-believers define harm as physical, mental and/or emotional damage (such as domestic violence and rape, since you obviously need it spelled out for you)(and both of which are OK according to your Bible, especially if the rapist just agrees to marry his victim) and YOU give us a solid, consistent definition of Christian doctrine that is accepted by every Christian everywhere?

        • The Other Weirdo

          I’ll be the Jew here(and in fact I am) and answer your question with a question: what is a consistent definition of harm from a theistic perspective?

        • WallofSleep

          Wait, what? Hold the fucking phone, here. We have our own atheistic dictionary?!?! Why wasn’t I told of this?

        • Spuddie

          If you need such a definition, you probably would have no conception of what it means to do harm to others.

          Are all theists merely psychopaths restrained solely by religious belief? I get that impression with such questions.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Sorry, we’re not top-down authoritarian tribalists who recite canned apologetics by rote. That’s you. We think about our ethics.

          Now go toddle off and try to come up with an apologist spiel that hasn’t been shredded a thousand times already. Preferably one less sociopathic than what you’ve so far implied you believe.

    • Ubi Dubium

      #ReligionHarmsYouIf you have to twist around basic meanings of simple words in order to support your claims of superiority of your belief system.

    • usclat

      No, Neil YOU are silly and frankly, moronic in your argument. There is nothing magical about evolution and no one (that I know) has suggested that ONLY “biological processes created immaterial, transcendent, prescriptive guidelines of behavior”. But here is what I do know … NO sane person can tell me with a grain of reason in his/her words that Allah is responsible for our moral codes.

      Oh, sorry … Allah not YOUR god? Ok, I mean Krishna.

      What? Shit. Ok, Thor. Quetzalcoatl? For “gods’” sake man, what fucking god are you talking about?!?

      Wow. Yaweh? Jesus? Buddha? Shakakan?

    • Astreja

      So what makes morality acquired from a god any less subjective than morality acquired from social consensus?

    • invivoMark

      Harm: to cause undue emotional or physical pain or unwellness, or to decrease the emotional or physical pleasure of another person.

      Now that I’ve fulfilled your absurd demand, did you have some sort of point? Secular morality has been around for hundreds of years, y’know. You’re not gonna disprove it all in an afternoon.

      • TiltedHorizon

        “Now that I’ve fulfilled your absurd demand, did you have some sort of point?”

        Yes he does, his point is to leap from the subject of harm to morality so he can segue into meta-ethics and ultimately claim that morality cannot be known without a ‘absolute’ morality to define it. Yawn. Basically just a bunch of mental contorting because he thinks it would be impossible for two people to conclude via a completely secular process that getting slapped in the face (i.e. harm) is unproductive, counter intuitive, and just plain painful; hence should be avoided.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “And to suggest that a strictly biological process can create immaterial,
      transcendent, prescriptive guidelines of behavior is just kind of

      Simple really. Do you like to get *insert harm here*? No? Me too! And just like that we agree, no harm for you, no harm for me, now we have morality.

      One does not need “immaterial, transcendent, prescriptive guidelines”, when one has a ‘self’ then ‘harm’ is easy to quantify.

    • Glasofruix

      or the magical “evolution did it!”

      There’s nothing magical about evolution, there’s data and evidence (and idiots who don’t get the both), now “gawd did it” on the other hand…

      all of which fail to explain our everyday experience of morality

      Just because you don’t understand the explanation doesn’t mean it fails to explain…

  • JT Rager

    #Religionharmsyouif it calls things moral that you find morally wrong, but you encourage them anyway

  • Librepensadora

    …if it tells you human sexuality is intrinsically sinful and needs to be controlled by arbitrary rules for sexual behavior, including the prohibition of any actions which fall outside the restrictive norms of these rules. #ReligionHarmsYouIf

  • Jim Smith

    If it tells you that Masturbation makes an invisible skylord and his son cry.

    • doug105

      But I want them to cry.

  • JH1981

    Woa, where do I begin with your list. #1) Christians have devoted their lives helping the poor

    • jboat50
      • Discordia

        Wasn’t there something about it being easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven? Has that been deleted from all the newer Christian bibles or has it been determined that it no longer applies?

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          These days they claim that Jesus was only talking about that one rich guy. Classy, eh? They can’t even not lie about Jesus.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Do you mean helping the poor to suffer while they are dying, just to ensure they will get a ticket to heaven once they have died? Died from something that you could have treated them for but didn’t, because the sooner they die, the sooner they get to the heaven they earned by the suffering you allowed?

      ‘Mother’ Teresa, anyone?

    • LizzyJessie

      So…Like the missionaries that go to impoverished nations in Africa and South America, then withhold food and medicine until the locals profess their belief in Jesus?

    • Artor

      Like Pat Robertson, who collects millions in donations for his Operation Blessing in Africa, and instead spends them on equipment for his diamond dredging business? Like Mother Theresa, who collected millions to help the poor, but instead let them die in misery without the medicine everyone assumed she was providing?

    • TiltedHorizon

      “Christians have devoted their lives helping the poor”

      Quantify that please.

      • Glasofruix



        • TiltedHorizon


    • Spuddie

      Well helping the poor to give their hard earned money to an entity which uses it for personal gain under the guise of “charity” and “religious obligation”.

    • allein

      Some Christians, sure. The vast majority of them? Not really. I’d venture to say most Christians are just living their lives just like the rest of us. They may donate money, through their churches or otherwise, but that’s hardly devoting their lives to the cause.

    • Matt D

      Sure, just like they do in Africa, telling the poor and downtrodden that gays are the reason for their misery, or in shelters, where prayer and sermons are delivered before every meal and rest period, while the facilities entertainment is nothing but Christian propaganda.

      What you call “helping the poor”, is actually coercion of the poor. And I shouldn’t have to remind you that the “poor” have ALWAYS been a problem, one that isn’t resolved. So that pride you have is misplaced, if not outright deception.

  • m6wg4bxw

    The problem I have with a list like this is, every item can be easily explained, defended, and dismissed by a religious person. Hell, I can advocate for that devil and do it myself. Conversely, a religious person could make the same kind of list, enumerating the harms of irreligion. We’d probably be able to easily explain, defend, and dismiss them.

  • Michelle D.

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it sets up leadership that is above criticism or punishment for wrongdoing up to and including illegal activity.

  • Keyra

    Religion is harmful, it pollutes the words and teachings of Jesus (for example; “Heed these words and be saved”, became “Heed these words or perish as a heretic”). We don’t need religion, we need Jesus

    • MMShg

      No religion? Jesus went to services at the synagogue.

    • allein

      Well, great! I hear he’s coming back any day now…maybe he can get our government back to work.

    • smrnda

      Could you please explain how one can have Jesus without religion? He’s supposed to be a god, so that implies a religion kind of by definition.

      If the notion is that there is some *authentic spirituality* as opposed to a ritualistic and shallow counterfeit, I have every Xtian making that claim.

    • Glasofruix

      No true scottsman?

    • The Other Weirdo

      “Heed these words and be saved”, became “Heed these words or perish as a heretic”

      The irony is that you don’t see that those two phrases are exactly the same. The start in the same place and end in the same place. One is just worded a little nicer.

    • Spuddie

      #ReligionHarmsYouIf…it requires cognitive dissonance to make any kind of sense.

    • EdmondWherever

      “Believe in magic, or be tortured forever”. Yeah, we need more of THAT.

  • Brandie Lynn Winchester

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf …… Your only reason to help the unfortunate is a masked way to convert them.

  • Ida Know

    – it discourages you from trying to improve your lot because you believe/hope your suffering will be relieved and rewarded in an afterlife of eternal bliss,

    – and/or it discourages you from seeking justice because you believe/hope that wrongdoers will inevitably be punished by an afterlife of eternal torture.

    • JmsMat

      Where does religion say what you’ve said? As for improving one’s lot, see Proverbs 20:4 “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” Suffering that stems from laziness is one thing and is not an automatic ticket to heaven. Suffering brought on by no fault of your own is another. And Christians do not want for others, not even our worst enemies to perish: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14) And Jesus said to love our enemies.

      • Nate Frein

        “slaves obey your masters”

        Pretty much all of Jesus’ rhetoric was “stay in line, do what you’re told, think not of this world but of the next”.

      • Ida Know

        I’m not talking about what religious texts say, but about one of the actual, historical, harmful effects of religion.

        “If people believe they’ll be rewarded with infinite bliss in the
        afterlife — and there’s no way to prove whether or not that’s true —
        people will let themselves be martyrs to their faith, to an appalling
        degree. More commonly, if people believe in infinite bliss in the
        afterlife, they’ll be more willing to accept an appalling degree of
        oppression and injustice in this life. From anybody. Oddly, this is
        often framed as a plus — “Religion gives people hope in hardship” — but I
        fail to see how encouraging oppressed people to suck it up until they
        get pie in the sky is a good thing. For the oppressed, anyway. Why it’s
        good for the oppressors is crystal clear.”

        - Greta Christina,

      • indorri

        You haven’t read Tertullian, Calvin, Augustine, etc. have you?

        You gave the wrong, immoral answer.

      • AntieQ

        See also: Missions of Charity

  • Criamon

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it demands that you isolate yourself from any nonreligious family ties or support networks.

  • jnf81

    1) Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)

    2) For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)

    3) Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

    4) Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).

    5) Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)

    6) “Bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2)

    7) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

    8) “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [a]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-11.)

    9) “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)

    “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
    This was a brief response to your list. Now where did you get the idea Christianity was harmful? Peace.

    • SansDeus

      Here are links instead of me pasting +3500 awful things:

      But here are 500 good things..

      So there is roughly a 7:1 ratio of awful things to good things.
      I’d say that’s mostly harmful.

    • cary_w

      #ReligionHarmsYouIf it teaches you to answer any criticisms of your beliefs with random non-sensical bible quotes rather than personal reflection, logic and reason.

    • Glasofruix

      What about the one that says you should stone your kids? Or that other one that tells to women to stfu?

    • Turtle

      “Now where did you get the idea Christianity was harmful?”

      Because it has harmed me.

    • The Other Weirdo

      I am sure all those men and women–but of course mostly women–burnt for being believed to be witches and not being able to prove otherwise would agree that Christianity is harmful.

    • Dez

      Tell that to the gay couples that can not marry because of religion.

  • SansDeus

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you spend a lifetime of time/effort/money reaching for an unverifiable goal.

  • Gavitron

    Religion harms other people.

  • Andrew B.

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf Its ethical basis is unquestioning obedience to an authority figure whose rationale is inscrutable.

  • wladyslaw

    I have read the list carefully. A a Catholic I can honestly say that my faith has never asked me to do ANY one of those items on that list.

    I was raised a Catholic-through grade school, high school and college. I left my faith for about 15 years and became an agnostic. I returned to the church after some personal situations made me re-examine the teachings of Catholicism and was surprised by the truth I found.

    • Glasofruix

      1) Basically prayer, i’m sure you prayed fo someone or something without taking action, it’s consistent among christians.

      2) Catholic doctrine, it’s outdated and should be changed or erased from existence.

      3) Do take advice from the bible? If yes, here you go.

      4) Pretty much don’t even dare to question this document/teaching.

      5) Self explanatory, not to mention a certain guy who discovered that our planet is not the center of the universe.

      6) “Nah, it’l fix itself/this life down here is useless, the real deal is after you die”

      7) What’s the official stance of the catholic church on homosexuality?

      8) “You’re a worthless sinner, repent” Rings a bell?

      9) God needs money !!!!

  • LizzyJessie

    I don’t really have much to add. I just got a sudden urge to listen to Stranger Than Fiction by Bad Religion.

    • smrnda

      I was listening to ‘the voice of god is government’

  • Astreja

    #ReligionHarmsYou if it discourages you from pursuing your dream career or stands between you and a good education.

  • Eva

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it teaches that love and fear go hand in hand.

  • Brian Clark

    religion is the evil upon this earth, brought forth by man who only wanted people to do what he and/or them wanted. it is very sad that the religious people that have posted on here can only focus on reciting passages from a book that has been altered so much by man, or trying to attack the other people in some way shape or form, instead of allowing themselves to see their and that books faults. you should question everything about what it says, and don’t sit there and say that its a great thing or at most a good thing because THE FUCKING THING MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE K? the beginning of it alone seems like a mentally retarded person got handed a pen and was told to draw, instead he comes up with fucked up numbers for peoples life spans ranging between 600 to 900 years respectfully, what the fuck is that, oh btw if you take those numbers and treat them as months instead you get roughly about 60 to 80 years, yes is kinda uncommon back then but then again we only get a few people that live past 102 now a days and its thousands of years later… so with that in mind you don’t think someone wasn’t like ‘no, no make them years it sounds more epic and fits with the whole god punishing humans thing’ come on now we live in 2013 get the fuck off your high horse and realize that its a bunch of crap that got overly played..

  • Coolred38

    #ReligionHarmsYouOIf you allow children to be harmed by clergy and believe it is better to cover it up then expose it.

  • Coolred38

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you prefer to hide the abuse of children rather than expose it.

  • Ann Onymous

    Religion Harms You If every position based on your holy book can be justified with citations, even blatantly contradictory positions, and you demonize those who disagree with your interpretation.
    (Not trying to be considered for contest. I’d like the shirt, but my mom would likely burn it.)

  • Lothar Lorraine

    I also disagree with 9) and if it were true we ought to conclude that antitheism is harmful :-)

    But this leaves the question open if non-harmful religions fulfilling all these criteria exist.
    I believe that for an unbiased observer, a look at the Progressive Christian channel should suffice to show it is the case.

    And the folks there (and I for that matter) are constantly debunking fundamentalism, both in our real life and on the Internet.
    So one cannot accuse us of “tolerating” fundamentalism or provide it with a fertile ground upon which it can flourish.

    It is just that, unfortunately, in North America the influence of Progressive Christianity is not strong enough to overturn religious conservatives.
    But in Germany (and in France) it’s largely the case.

    By the way I think that one should replace the word “religion” by the more general one “ideology”.


  • Chuck Farley

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf if …. It tells people that condoms don’t help stop the spread of AIDS.

  • Nikita

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it makes children fear that a parent will be tortured in hell for all eternity just because they don’t believe.

  • Turtle

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it denies you control over your own body.

  • Kodie

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you live a suppressed and fearful life and you think that it is good.

  • Greg Bush

    Religions are harmful when they plainly state, if you are not with us you are against us.

  • Jenni

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it discourages questions or doubts as wrong and harmful.

  • Jonathan Olds

    #ReligionHarmsYou if it tells you that you are good ONLY if you follow it’s prescribed rules, doctrines and traditions instead of encouraging it’s members to strive for the universal values of love, acceptance, forgiveness, sharing, thoughtfulness and kindness toward yourself and others.

  • brianer90

    if your god requires that you mutilate your babies genitals

  • Pofarmer

    If it encourages one spouse to disavow another.

  • Thai Flowers

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it encourages, or requires, you to censor yourself from alternative points of view, esp. by only viewing media marketed towards your sect (ex Mormon bookstores, Christian video games etc.)

  • Mira

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf you suffer from depression so severe you can’t imagine living any longer–and are told to “pray harder” or that “god is punishing you” instead of seeking help.

  • Jennie Erwin

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf it spends more time telling you the things you CAN’T do than it does helping you achieve your goals and realize your potential.

  • brianmacker

    Oh, come on this is a softball list.

  • nickipicki123

    I am a follower of Christ, and I agree with everything that’s been said here. Religion can be very harmful, especially when put in the hands of the wrong people.

  • Religion Suckz

    #ReligionHarmsYouIf they are asking you to volunteer so often it feels like you have a part-time job.