I was going to include the ignorant fools of "faith" in that assessment, but my cup hath run over on my hatred and bigotry on the subject of late. Evangelicals, racists, and just plain guys from Montana have given me far too much to get upset over in recent years, and I've been stewing about it for far, far too long.
But yes, once you convince the rank and file morons and fools that there's a magical genocidal maniac in the sky threatening you with eternal torment if you don't do EXACTLY what some moldy old contradictory tome filled with unbelievable fairy tales tells you to do, because he loves you? The kid gloves come off on the sheer volume of BS you prime people to believe. Religion and "belief" literally prime the pump for every two bit snake oil peddler and carnival barker with a two dollar prayer book to prey upon those who really should know better.
A bald faced LIE on the best of days where ANY perceived good it contains is little more than the marketing blurb. It is rooted in confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and a slew of propaganda techniques, Religion compromises rational thought and exists as NOTHING MORE than an outright scam. Those who "believe" acting like dirtbags and yet being utterly blind to how ****ing stupid they act and sound.
Sure they use the WORDS tolerance, love, and enlightenment, but that's all they are for "faith" -- WORDS. Words that in context hold no more weight than the half-assed ignorant nonsensical claims that people blindly parrot about how bootcrap is somehow magically "easier". They SAY tolerance, they promote racism and xenophobia. They SAY love, they spout hatred. They SAY enlightenment, but all that's peddled from the pulpit is ignorance. Mind-numbingly dumbass ignorance.
Their moldy old tome of lies not even being able to be consistent with itself. Take what should probably be the most important of the ten step program, thou shalt not kill.
Unless they worship a different faith. (Exodus 22:19, Zechariah 13:3, Deuteronomy more than half the damned book) Unless they're gay (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:24-32), or a wise woman (Exodus 22:17), or fornicators and adulterers (Leviticus 20:10 and 21:9), or strikes their father (Exodus 21:15), or a mouthy kid (Proverbs 20:@0), or non-virgins on their wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:20-21), or blasphemers (Leviticus 24:10-16), or for working on Saturdays -- well, Sundays by the modern misinterpretation -- (Exodus 31:12-15)...
But yeah, thou shalt not kill. Of course the typical response we get from these mouth-breathers to that is "well that's the old testament, we have a new covenent with Christ"... Then why are you getting so upset over the ten commandments being taken out of court buildings?
It's all endless mindless halfwitted lame excuses so that they can continue believing their comfortable ignorant lie.
Because of course Jesus shows so much tolerance and forgiveness to those thousand pigs, the fig tree, and of course money-changers.
Admittedly that last one is a Jesus I could solidly get behind. More than a few times I've been tempted to walk into the Wall Street exchange to start flipping over tables and chase the money-grubbers around with a flail.
ALL of the propaganda techniques used to run a scam are to be found in religion. It uses the words of righteousness mated to ritualistic indoctrination, bandwagon, and glittering generality to peddle its lies, and to establish and "us vs. them" mentality against those who don't subscribe to the same fairy tale. This then extends to xenophobic rhetoric to help further that agenda and the mental co-dependency so important to maintain the lie.
See things like Mormon "missionary work" which has NOTHING to do with trying to convert people to the faith! It's all about the fact that non-Mormons react... poorly... to the missionaries on their doorstep, further reinforcing the notion in these impressionable young adults that those not of the faith are not good people and "don't you want to stay here with us in the Church?". It's about painting non-Mormons as dirtbags to the faithful. One of the many forms of mental-reinforcement used to bypass rational thought to establish cognitive dissonance.
People WANT the faith to be about peace and love, so it is even as it spews hatred and intolerance. People WANT to belong to a group of decent people or to believe that those they were raised with are same, even as they perform the most indecent and intolerant of acts. People WANT to believe that there is someone in charge of this mess they can have a close personal relationship with to "forgive" them... and so they do.
Even when it's all a fairy tale riddled with bald faced LIES. As our blessed St. George of the Church of Reason would say:
"Religion takes in billions of dollars, pays none of the taxes, and they always need a little more. Now You want a good bullshit story? HOLY SHIT!"
And the ease with which those of faith can be manipulated and preyed upon by scam artists and even bigger lies seems be directly proportional to how "devout" they are. The more they believe, the bigger the mark. It's how we have halfwits who think that our "really stable genius" president with the IQ of a house-plant is the second coming. It's how they end up believing the rhetoric of hatred and ignorance spewed by scumbucket wastes of flesh like Pat Robertson or Alex Jones...
... and it's why Westboro Baptist, the NLFT, and the KKK are nothing more than Christianity in it's most basic, truest, and purest form. No less the natural end-game of the lies and hatred spewed by collar wearing snake oil peddlers than ISIS or Hezbollah. That's what religion is, it's what history and every bit of evidence says it is, and anyone telling themselves otherwise is bullshitting themselves and allowing others to pack them full of even more bullshit.
Hence why they're very much near the top of the list of easy marks. Particularly if you play to their pre-conceived prejudices. Hence how equally blatant lies can be shoved into these know-nothings heads by Fox News, whilst they sit there screaming "fake news" about anything that contradicts what Fox or Sinclair media is telling them.
It is no wonder at that point that the overlap between said bible-thumping dipshits and these utter tools screaming right now about "America" and "Freedom" and "Rights" out there waving their penis extensions around on state building steps. The ones who don't know enough about freedom, liberty, or the inherent limits of same to even flap their damned yap on the topic.
Aka -- as I've said many the time the past decade -- those who wave the flag highest, stand tallest for the tone-deaf anthem that used to be a drinking song, and recite the socialist pledge of ritualistic indoctrination the loudest are ALWAYS first in line to trample on everything those SYMBOLS are supposed to represent. They worship the flag and the trappings of nationalism like cut rate idolaters, wanting to enshrine the 2nd amendment as if it were a commandment, whilst more than happy to wipe their backside with the Constitution and the rest of the Bill of Rights.
Which is why I think that if they're going to believe the bullshit in the Bible, they should crack that book open and read up on the parts condemning false Gods and idolatry.
See the "Karens" and "Beer swilling wife-beater wearing Joe's" out there right now not social distancing, not wearing masks, and screaming about how being asked to wear a mask or to not make unneccessary social gatherings is a violation of their "rights". BULL-***ING-SHIT!!!. Your rights end the MOMENT it treads upon or endangers the rights, well being, or liberty of others. This is why murder, rape, and theft can be illegal without being rights violations. If this was something like AIDS, and a black homosexual knew he was exposed to a partner who had the disease, these same asshats out there screaming about their "rights" would be calling for the death penalty if he went around without precautions possibly infecting others.
... and that's why I think these jokers running around screaming about how they need a haircut, or that being asked to wear a mask is a rights violation need to be charged with attempted murder, if not outright murder charges. Yes, MURDER. Why? It's premeditated!
See the deep south ass-clown preachers hiring buses to bring their faithful in. If ANY of their flock catches the disease, charge them with attempted murder. If their parishoners die from it, full on murder charges. Lock these faith-wielding predatory scumbags away in the deepest darkest pit of despair, and have Space-X come up with a way to launch the key into the sun.
I used to think that if people took the time to actually read the Bible instead of having select cherry picked passages read to them once a week, we'd have a lot less religious whackjobs. I have regrettably come to the conclusion that with the sheer level of outright worshiping sociopathic behavior, even without Religion the vast majority of people will remain racist, sexist, ignorant asses incapable of showing even a modicum of decency.
Much less actual empathy and compassion. In fact the vast majority of faith-tards being so utterly lacking in care about anyone else, it truly fits the textbook definition of both sociopathy and psychopathy. (The only difference atwixt the two being nurture vs. nature) Religion TEACHES people to be sociopaths, as does current mainstream American society. You can hear it from people right now where it's all *I* want a haircut, *I* want to go in and sit down at the restaurant, *I* want to go to the beach or to a huge party.
Me, me, me, me, me, f*** everyone else. The TEXTBOOK example of sociopathic and/or psychopathic behavior.
Which is the same thing as every time they "thank god" for something stupid, ignoring all the things that IF this creepy old genocidal maniac actually exists curses the innocent with. Because it's ALL about THEM and their close personal relationship with a fairy tale whackjob in the sky.
Hence you can take your King James piss poor translation with all the stuff added to it and removed from it for the SOLE PURPOSE of persecuting minority groups in England, and shove it where the unregulated nuclear reactor in the sky fails to cast its light.
Ah... this is in the Zoo, right? Yup, ok. I can say this in the Zoo. It's where we keep the animals.