I agree it is their right to believe what they want to believe, and I don't believe I ever said otherwise. There is nothing wrong with "having religion."<quoted text>And it is their right to believe what they please. They can believe that all good people go to live on their own personal planet after death as far as I'm concerned. It's pointless to tell other people what they can or can't think and it's evil to search for a way to separate them from their ability to think differently than you. You and your buds claim they lie to themselves and others about their beliefs but if they believe what they are saying it is not a lie to THEM. It is disingenuous on your part to act like there is no deception coming from your idols like Sam Harris and his buttbuddies. Nature gave us all the ability to deceive, whether self-deception or simple avoidance, it is a survival mechanism that no beast should be expected to live without. If "having religion" is what makes someone feel good then it's nobody's business but their own, the same goes for atheism. Neither group should be at war with each other's ideology and those that want war should be shunned by decent people. Supporting domination of any group is shameful but I suspect the shame has been brainwashed out of most of the creeps on Topix.
As for whether or not religious people lie, that's another issue. Some most certainly do, whether in service of some agenda (anti gay, anti science, etc), or in an attempt to reinforce their beliefs. There is a distinction between those who knowingly lie or distort and those who truly believe that they are serving god by attempting to "teach the controversy" or some other such nonsense, but when the end result is bad either way, I don't see much of a difference.
It is important to allow freedom of belief for all, but it is also important for those beliefs to remain personal. No one has the right, whether pure of intention or not, to spread falsehoods and hate. Not that all religious people do this, obviously, but the ones that keep quiet are giving their tacit approval to the wonks who want creation science in every classroom and for every closeted gay man to have a wife. Truly believing something does not make any actions resulting from that belief automatically pure. Would it be ok for me to kill someone because I believe they are a witch?
As for "sam harris and his buttbuddies..." First of all, he is not my idol. Second of all, I have never claimed that sam harris is completely perfect, and I am sure that he has lied before. But all lies are not the same - some are certainly worse than others. Let's say sam harris one time stretched the truth in order to make a point about the danger of zealotry. Is that worse than a religious person lying about the scientific merit of creation science, or a pastor lying to his church about evolution (thus increasing anti science sentiment and increasing ignorance)?