I disagree strongly with the article saying "Who we are is acceptable and ... we are unconditionally loved. On that point, all religions agree, even if in practice many of their followers fail to live up to such lofty expectations."

That is simply wrong.

God's alleged unconditional love means little to most of us.  We prefer to unconditionally love ourselves.  We know that in sexual matters, the rules of religion that supposedly came from God are not for our wellbeing.

If a religion is man-made it will contain errors and errors in themselves lead to harm for many. The religion will command harmful beliefs and practices in the name of a God who supposedly commands the bad things for a mysterious but ultimately good purpose. So the terrible things are ultimately worthwhile. Humanity is not all good so how could any religion a person creates be all good? Remember, the craftiest way for you to do evil is to get people to believe in doctrines that will set them up for inner turmoil such as eternal punishment and that God may kill their baby as part of his plan. That way it looks like you are not to blame for their torment and for putting them at risk. Get people to believe in the supernatural and in its mysterious ways - that gets them to turn off the reality check function. They will find it hard to see or heal the effects of their indoctrination.

And what is loving about some religions saying we have the power to be bad for all eternity? What about innocent until proven guilty? Even the worst of us is more good than bad inside. And Jesus even if he did stop stoning of adulteresses to death did not apologise for or repudiate the stoning of adulteresses prior to that. In fact he said the Law of Moses was indeed written by God like it claims meaning the cruel command to stone came from the God he put forward as a sign of perfection to be emulated and worshipped. He supposedly claimed to be that God! Jesus used the expression bad people. It shows that Christianity's foundational doctrine that he regards actions as bad not the people is hypocrisy.

Though the law cannot start banning thought crimes, it should discourage harmful doctrines. There is no use waiting until people are actually harmed by them. The risk is there.


This article covers it all for me. It mentions and describes the core problems that Christianity brought to me in childhood. I remember the nightmares I had through fearing Satan.

Christianity is complex and is often not taught fully or properly and some Christians deliberately water down the faith. That is why those who say that Christianity is good for many need to ask themselves if those who benefit really understand it or know it. Christian guilt is a powerful thing. I never admitted as a child or teenager how miserable my faith made me. It felt like an awful crime - something unspeakable.

It offends me that the comments regarding the article say it is wrong but do not say why. A child being upset by somebody saying there is no Heaven is just a child thing. It does not compare to somebody saying that unbelievers are at risk of going to Hell forever at death - what would that do to a child whose parents do not believe.

Further References

Dein, S. (2012). Mental health and the paranormal. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 31 (1) 61–74.

Dutton, E., Madison, G., & Dunkel, C. (2017). The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”: the Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centred Around the Worship of Moral Gods Is Associated with High Mutational Load. Evolutionary Psychological Science. doi:10.1007/s40806-017-0133-5

Farias, M., Underwood, R., & Claridge, G. (2012). Unusual but sound minds: Mental health indicators in spiritual individuals. British Journal of Psychology, no-no. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.2012.02128.x

May, M. (2017). Should I Stay or Should I Go? Religious (Dis)Affiliation and Depressive Symptomatology. Society and Mental Health, 2156869317748713. doi:10.1177/2156869317748713

Nie, F., & Olson, D. V. A. (2016). Demonic Influence: The Negative Mental Health Effects of Belief in Demons. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55(3), 498-515. doi:10.1111/jssr.12287

Orenstein, A. (2002). Religion and Paranormal Belief. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(2), 301-311. doi:10.1111/1468-5906.00118

Rogers, P., Caswell, N., & Brewer, G. (2017). 2D:4D digit ratio and types of adult paranormal belief: An attempted replication and extension of Voracek (2009) with a UK sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 92-97. doi:

Schofield, K., & Claridge, G. (2007). Paranormal experiences and mental health: Schizotypy as an underlying factor. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(7), 1908-1916. doi:

Schulter, G., & Papousek, I. (2008). Believing in paranormal phenomena: Relations to asymmetry of body and brain. Cortex, 44(10), 1326-1335. doi:

Thalbourne, M. A., & Delin, P. S. (1994). A common thread underlying belief in the paranormal, creative personality, mystical experience and psychopathology. Journal of Parapsychology, 58(1), 3-38.

Voracek, M. (2009). Who wants to believe? Associations between digit ratio (2D:4D) and paranormal and superstitious beliefs. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(2), 105-109. doi:

Wilson, M. S., Bulbulia, J., & Sibley, C. G. (2014). Differences and similarities in religious and paranormal beliefs: a typology of distinct faith signatures. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 4(2), 104-126. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2013.779934

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