In response to religion negatively affecting peoples lives
I was going to post this in this thread
but considering it is not a negative story it is not appropriate yet I do think it needs to be said. I just don't want to go off topic in the thread. Just treat this as A response to that thread.
I know this is not exactly what is wanted in this thread but in the interest of balance and not only presenting one side of the coin. Threads like these cause misunderstandings which lead theists to believe that all atheists are atheists because they have had a bad experience with religion and they would believe if they did not have that experience.
I had a positive experience with religion, my parents raised me christian. I was never left with the impression that I would burn for ever in hell if I did one thing wrong. Hell my church pretty much said that good people go to heaven christian or not. My parents never forced me to attend church, they gave me the choice to come or not and I chose to go when I believed. I never felt coerced to believe or continue believing when I stopped going to church and stopped believing. My parents messed up in plenty ways but religion really was not one of those areas imo.
Beyond my childhood sure I have run into some nasty pieces of work but I cannot say any of them have negatively affected my life. If you say religion I cannot think of a way I have been negatively affected. I would go so far as to say religion has been a positive force in my life.
How closely what I was raised as to christianity is traditionally meant to be is irrelevant, no matter what, it was religion, and I think it was positive on the whole.
The point of this story is I think it is important to keep in mind that not every atheist has some horror story about religion. I also think it is important for atheists to realize that religion does not have to be a negative thing (beyond creating belief in something which doesn't exist). I mean at the end of the day religion is nothing more than a community with common beliefs.
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.