We are repulsed by the kindly old man who turns out to be a child molester precisely because he is so nice. Evil done by a "good" person is worse and more repulsive than evil done by somebody that has never done a good thing in their life. So we should not stay in a religion just because we like some of the members or worse, some of the teachings.  If the teachings are so good then why do you need to stay in the religion?  Why not take them with you?

The harm religion does is horrible but the allies and the hypocrites provide an environment for it. 

And hypocrites use the excuse, "Leave?  But my religion was bad but it is getting better so I should stay".

Religious people and their sympathisers have a habit of saying that when a religion is bad or dangerous the problem is not the religion but people using it for evil purposes. They might blame politics or something else. They choose to ignore solo religious terrorists who say they act for God but who are clearly not using God to promote their cause for they want to go their own way. They are not trying to make others justify them. They really are acting for God. Their argument that there is no bad religion means that anything that is bad is not religion. But that makes no sense. It is not equally good for a religion to say there is no God and another to say there is. One of them has to be wrong and wrong is bad. Also, if there is no bad religion then you cannot say, "Okay I have nothing against Catholics, I am just against the Catholic system." The argument that there is no bad religion simply refuses to admit the role some religion plays in violence and it defends religious systems at the expense of those who challenge and fear them.

You shouldn't say you should stay in your religion despite its previous wickedness because it is improving now and becoming good. Why are you not in a religion that has done less harm?

The previous badness proves that the religious system is not intrinsically inoculated against becoming evil and officially evil. It is the system that is the problem. If you are serious about being good, you will find a religion that might have reasonable immunity against evil granted by a God or something.

Staying in a supposedly evolving religion doesn't fit the sensible advice that instead of trying to change others we must start with ourselves. This means coming out of religion if it is dodgy. There is no justification for being in a religion if you are better than that religion. If you are that great then why do you need to be in the religion? It will be a hindrance. You don't want to be good in spite of your religion but because of it.

There is nothing praiseworthy about a person who stays in a religion with a terrible history when there are religions out there that have a reasonably harmless history. For example, why be a Catholic and not a Quaker?

The first identifies with one of the most bigoted faiths of all time and the other identifies with one of peace.

While many believe that a religion is not to blame if its members have faults, this can be an excuse for encouraging a bad religion. There is something wrong if they have too many faults and have no more holiness than people in general do.

Another problem is that being in a religion makes things more difficult for secularism. Secularism means that the state is to be neutral in religious matters - this principally means that it does not take orders from religious leaders. The layperson gives those leaders money to spread their power and influence. Even in a secular state, they still aim for a say in what the state does and are happy to meddle. A religion has a better way of communicating than anything else does. In Catholic Ireland, the government feared the Church for most people went to Mass which meant the clergy could tell them what government policies they must oppose as incompatible with the faith. In this way, votes were really priest votes.

Religion likes to pose as a hospital for sinners in order to get people to remain loyal to it despite the evil it has done or still does and even the lies it tells. This is used as an excuse for ignoring the terrible things people in the religion may do and for staying in a religion despite its corruption and lies. It is an excuse for a true hospital cures people. A hospital made up of doctors who tell lies and are corrupt is not a hospital but a circus. Also, if it churns out bishops who cover up for paedophile priests and other monsters it is not a real hospital for sinners. The religion with the least bad people should then be considered as a possible hospital for sinners. The hospital for sinners argument has only got some force if it tells you to find the best religion. And Catholicism does not want you to search but to join it and stay in it. The hospital for sinners argument is disingenuous and is another way of using "We are not all bad" to lure people in.

If somebody is looking for a religion and finds one that has scriptures that encourage violence and evil in the name of God, that person if decent will be put off. Nobody who knows the Bible and its violence should be in a Christian Church. If you are good, you have to be better than your religion by default if it has scriptures like that.

What about those influenced to join the religion or whose service to the religion is reinforced because of your example? You don't want to influence them that way. It is not fair. And influence is unavoidable.

Know why you are into religion

It is vital that you know why you accept religion. You need to do that before you can make a mature and firm decision to leave it.

Religious faith starts with the need to think that there is some power better and stronger than cruel and callous nature - that is the supernatural or the paranormal. That may or may not be expressed as belief in God. Some want to believe in supernatural power in the hope that it will help good to prevail ultimately over evil. Others want to believe in that power for less noble reasons. They hope for wealth and power and the eradication of their enemies.

Both camps want to believe that there is a power greater than nature that can deal with the cruelty of nature. Some want this power to benefit some people. Some want this power to benefit themselves and to hell with everybody else. The desire for power is behind it. They think a supernatural being will endow supernatural power on them. Those that think it will not do that, decide that the next best thing is to just accept what that being will do. That is also a way of empowering yourself.

The atheist accepts whatever comes. The believer in God does that too.

But there is a difference.

The atheist knows that accepting what cannot be changed by her means that the worst could happen.

The believer thinks that accepting what cannot be changed by him means that the worst never really happens for God is with us all the time helping good to triumph over evil.

More Reasons

If you have at least one serious disagreement with the teaching of your Church, do the honest thing and leave it.

If you don't, you cannot distinguish between yourself and a hypocrite.

Hypocrites pay homage to values they do not live by. The hypocrite indirectly supports the teaching of their Church.

A religion exists to teach what it says is the truth. The hypocrite does not have real respect for the religion but latches on to it to use it.

Having your name on the membership list is the minimal support you are giving.

You are promoting a structure and information channel that advocates something you consider seriously wrong.

Every religion has essential teachings otherwise it is not a religion. A religion cannot be unity and keep up a community if it lets people think what they want. A religion is a faith more than a community. You can't have a golf club if the members believe that golf must be abolished. As a member, you are morally obliged to believe in the required teachings of the Church. You demean yourself unless you get rid of the obligation by leaving.

You can't complain if somebody starts up a dangerous religion when you support one with dangerous doctrine.

Most religious people ignore their leaders and gods when the leaders and gods advocate something evil. For example, how many Catholics do you know would ask a pharmacist to stop stocking condoms? How many Christians are willing to?

People disobeying their religion in the name of progress is not a sign of that religion making progress. It is a sign that they should form their own faith that accepts them. The disobedience is unnecessary.

If you suspect that a religion is right to teach dangerous doctrine then to undermine it you have to leave it!

You are part of the problem until you leave. Your example of staying is bad for others. It encourages division and disagreement and a religion cannot exist if it allows people to think what they want. Standards are needed for any organisation.

True tolerance and freedom require that people treat their faith as a private belief and keep it out of the public arena and their civic and state duties. For example, if the oath of the President requires them to call on God for help that discriminates against those who may believe in God but who do not wish to promote the belief as they do not see enough benefit in it. It discriminates against atheists. The lazy humanitarian who believes in God can become president while the self-sacrificing atheist humanitarian cannot. Quit a religion that hates and opposes secularism on the spot - (Catholicism admits that it hates the sin of secularism). Secularists can and do abuse politics but at least their guiding principle is right. To let the separation between religion and state be undermined is an abuse in itself and can only lead to abuse that is as bad if not worse. At least the secularist has no excuse.

All that we have read shows how discouraging much religion is. Come out of it. It needs to die.

It is only a human system. Let it die.



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