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Why Sometimes Religion Should Be Criticized

By David Niose

Feb. 14, 2013

Most people, understanding good manners, have distaste for those who are vocally critical of the religious beliefs of others. Theological decisions are recognized as deeply personal, and common decency dictates that we respect the rights of others to believe what they wish, assuming those beliefs cause no harm to others.

The vast majority of humanists, even those actively engaged in the secular movement, share the general public's sentiments on this issue. Live and let live, right?

We should realize, however, that the social norm that discourages the criticism of religion can work to the great advantage of religious political activists. Social conservatives, for example, righteously claiming the highest moral authority grounded in religion, knowing that criticism of religion is considered off-limits, can demand that their policy positions be given legitimacy even when those positions lack any rational basis.

To read the rest of this Psychology Today article by AHA President Emeritus David Niose click here.

David NioseDavid Niose is the President Emeritus of the AHA Board of Directors and the author of Nonbeliever Nation.