ARTIFICIAL SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS HAVE REAL CONSEQUENCES AND RELIGION IS AN ARTIFICIAL CONSTRUCT

Avoid artificial social constructs.  They are there for something.  They have consequences. A thing does not have to be real or true to have results. Identify and keep out of such constructs.  Religion is a major artificial social construct.  This is on the human level.  Assuming religion is not really revealed by God but concocted by man/woman it is also a spiritual artificial social construct.  Unlike other social constructs it is doubly one.  Another interesting thought is that if some intelligence is behind religion such as a mischievous or stupid spirit it has a third way of being an artificial construct.

A religion's faith determines how it sees and values you. So if a religion is wrong it is valuing its idea of you and not you. Consider Roman Catholicism. This religion does not treat you and approach you as a person but as a child of a God who exercises his authority in and through the Catholic Church, his only true and authorised religion. The atheist treats you as you without such accoutrements and without the filter of religious doctrine. So if you know the Catholic Church or any religion is false then get out of it. The God believer treats you as something to be used in the service of God. They might deny that they believe in exploiting people. But in the light of the fact that God supposedly is forced to tolerate evil for a greater good, what if using somebody for God was the lesser evil? If God comes first then you have to be open to using even if you will never have to use. The more errors a religion makes about your role in the world, the less it is valuing you for you. It is valuing you as a religionist or "spiritual person" not as a person. Even if the religion disapproves of hurting others, it is helping that hurt to take place and its being unable to see it makes the problem worse not better. If the religion is unlikely to be the true religion then leave it.

Explain to your family and friends that religion is a system and if the system is wrong or evil then you have to go.

Do not see religion as part of you to the degree that your religious label is you. That is a very one-dimensional interpretation and insulting. Would you like to be defined by your hair colour or your hometown? Or worse, do you want to be reduced to that label? You will be in strongly religious communities? Then why be defined by your religion and why define others by theirs? It is wrong to say religion is people. It is not. People are people.

If you stay in a religion that you know is probably or actually man-made though it claims to be invested with divine authority, you are enabling the problems that occur when religion is treated not as a religion but as a label. It doesn't matter if the problem is a big one or a tiny one. You are enabling and that is that. To enable a religion that tells grave lies and does grave damage is to be a very bad person.

Consider how in Ireland people who believe nothing Catholicism teaches can claim to be Catholic and consider how this claim is accepted by their families and friends and communities. Consider how people are accepted as Catholics despite the fact that Protestants believe more of what Catholics believe than them.

What about the Catholic cherry-pickers who claim the pope as their spiritual leader and then reject his teaching when it does not suit them?

In many countries, there are vastly more people who are labelled Catholics than people who are really believing Catholics. Labels when used by people who do not care much about your faith development or beliefs or spiritual growth are about furthering division and a sense of division. The troubles caused by an us versus them mentality start off with a sense that my community comes first and they are outside of it. It can grow into violent sectarianism or a passive acceptance or support of violent sectarianism. It labels dishonest people who claim to be Catholic believers and who cherry-pick as Catholics thus enabling their dishonesty. Dishonesty has a huge role to play in fomenting sectarianism too.

Labelling is essential in politics. It seeks to think of or treat a person with a label differently from one with another label. Politics can easily become the root of all evil. Religion and politics share many features. Labelling is always political and irresponsible in places with a sectarian problem. Even when a country enjoys peace, labelling opens the door to the risk of label-based division and strife.

To stay in a religion, unless leaving will be a worse evil and bad example than staying (eg if you will suffer an honour killing for leaving or if you have to leave your children with the religion at the risk of them being sexually abused), is saying you are okay with the errors and prejudices of the religion.

If a religion is racist, your membership says you are okay with racism.  If you actively support the religion's racism, the reason you feel you can do it is because the other members who passively support it are saying they are okay with it by their passive support. That feeling is the main thing you need to become an activist in favour of your religion's evil. They are still as much to blame as you if not more. If any member objects to your activism, you will see her or him as an intellectually dishonest hypocrite or as somebody who is ignorant of his or her religion. You don't want to be even partly okay with racism so passive support is out! You may deny giving your support but people will see you as engaging in double speak and will read your approval for racism between the lines. The truth of what you think is told between the lines. Let us take another look at the concept of passive support. Passive support from others would refer to when your evil is not challenged by others. Their silence shows a willingness for the evil to be done. If those others are members and let themselves be listed and regarded as members then that is more than passive support. It is active support.

A ridiculous religion or an evil one, should not become a religious superpower. Yet some religions have achieved this. Christianity and Islam being the worst of the bunch. Usually the religion gets its power through political forces who have a need to popularise it. Religion does the bullying needed to keep society in a bit of order so it saves the state spending loads on increasing the police force. The bigger the number of those who are taken to be religious adherents - in most cases they are not real adherents but heretics who are going with the flow - the more respectable and sensible joining the religion and staying in it is thought to be. And outsiders of the faith seem to accept the religion's presence in society which enables the power of the faith. It is essentially enabling that keeps the religion in existence and keeps it powerful and influential. That is why cutting ties is so important if you find out that God's religion is really just a man-made set-up or if the religion can do grave harm.

If Christians or Muslims maim and terrorise, people will say they follow a perverted form of Christianity or Islam. At least they admit that they are still Christian or Muslim. Islamic State even if it is not proper Islam is still a religion.

Religion uses the sweet hypocrisy of, "We love sinners and hate the sins they do" because a more confrontational approach drives people away. Though we know that if you really hate sins you must hate the sinner because the sin is simply an indication of the PERSONAL evil that the person has become, we are softened up to religion. To be in a religion you consider wrong and dangerous is bad for it can wear you down and pollute you. That you want to stay shows that you are being breastfed by its conniving charm.

The worse the religion is, the hastier your retreat must be. Do not collude with a religion whose standard doctrines are wrong or harmful by staying in it. By your silence and by letting your name stay on its books you are colluding with it by refusing to exercise your right of free speech and freedom of religion and talk and walk.

Being a passive member is still being a member. It is still support. There is such a thing as passive support. By being a member you are supporting the religion far better than you would be by being an outsider and yet promoting it in missionary work.

Being passive in a religion you can't believe in or that you know is false instead of asserting the rights of truth and your rights is protective behaviour. If there is no confrontation there is no pain for you. You refuse to take responsibility for healing your own fears and vulnerabilities. But if you avoid the pain of confrontation you will meet the pain of feeling you cannot be yourself and you feel that the society around you or your religion is a threat and a bully. And if you don't take responsibility for doing something about your fears then you are holding on to them and risking making them worse. You are being deliberately bad to yourself and by implication others when you refuse to make a stand for the truth or what you believe to be the truth. You are being bad to yourself and by implication others - what damage you do your inner self at least indirectly impacts on others eventually - if you refuse to take responsibility.

If my religious group claims to be sure that its doctrines are all objectively true, then what if yours disagrees? Clearly religion has to undermine tolerance. If it acts tolerant it is being hypocritical. It may act tolerant but that does not change the fact that it is in essence intolerant. A dog that is trained to sing like a bird is still essentially a barker even if he never barks. It is his nature. Anything that can be done without such as religion that embodies intrinsic intolerance is bad no matter how inconsistent it is with its intolerant nature.  Even if a religion is not bad but just something extra for people to abuse and fight about it is better gotten rid of.

One thing is for sure, when an organisation or religion is based on hypocrisy such as loving sinners and hating sins there should be no need for that religion. There is no need for religion if its members are no better or worse than atheists. Anything that has no right to exist has no right to be the cause of fighting and bigotry even if it says it forbids those things. Anything there is no need for should disband if people fight and hate over it. Systems of bad example are to blame for all the evil their members do over them.

With matters such as these, you don't wait until harm is done before you take action. Bad principles corrupt people and when action is taken it may be too late to stop the rot. If an irrational belief leads you to murder, the belief in itself is still no better or worse than a belief that the gnome in the garden is an incarnation of God. The consequences of a belief have nothing to do with the degree of rationality or irrationality. The bad results take place because the belief is irrational - how irrational it is or not has nothing to do with it. Believing that 2+2=3 is just as irrational whether you kill over it or whether you keep your belief to yourself.

There are those who say, "religion is good." In other words, those in religion who behave badly are not acting as part of the religion. That accuses those who say there is such a thing as bad religion of being bigots. And those who are not religious are accused of being potentially dangerous if not actually bad.

If there are good people in the Church, they will be still good people if the Church collapses. If they cease to be good without the Church then they were not really good in the first place. The effect of attacks on the correctness of Catholic belief and the collapse of the Church should not affect the goodness of the members.

A social construct, particularly one that has burrowed into everything and being around for a long time, such as religion is something that will always be too big for you to know very well or understand very well. That is where the danger is.  You know enough.  Go.