People prefer a lovely lie to a painful truth. Religion has caused human beings to live in ignorance. While claiming that it provides good morals it has caused the most deaths of anything in history. The Salem witch trials, the crusades, the holocaust, 911. Religion was invented by man kind and acts as a scapegoat with which a person can focuse his bigotry through without being looked down. Religion has caused, homophobia, not allowing atheists to hold office in some states, abortion being petitioned to be banned, stem cell research to be banned, not to mention the 800 years of technilogical darkness caused by Christians known as the dark ages. Religion preaches hypocrysy. It says "though shall not kill" but yet Yahweh has killed millions "love thy neighbor" but preaches hatred towards gays
Essentially, Indoctrination into Superstitious Beliefs, reduces the Intelligence of individuals and produces stupid decisions and actions based on superstition/religion rather than from a rational consideration of the objectives and consequences. Many theistic leaders have been guilty of following superstition, rather than logic in making policies. George Bush is an excellent example of a seemingly intelligent person, making stupid blunders, because he made decisions based on his theistic concerns/beliefs.
It appears from studying history, the more Fundamentalist a Theistic Leader is, the lesser is their resultant Intelligence, regardless of their IQ that they were born with.
Religion is truly only Superstition, and should be no more respected and practiced than Astrology, Tarot Card Reading or Numerology.
They are essentially all the same.
The core of religion, if actually followed, would produce an alright society depending on what variety it is. People emphasizing kindness, forgiveness, and caring for others can hardly be called detrimental to society. At the same time, the dogmatic insistence upon order and tradition over open minds and free debate has afflicted mankind with a terrible curse. But this springs mainly not from religion itself, but the nature of man. We have this terrible need for order and tradition that leads to confirmation bias and a whole host of other issues. But again, this is who we are as a species.