The Score on Religion is Silly [Last Modified on 2006.12.03]
Religion, by itself, isn't evil, or bad, or a sign of stupidity on the part of the believer. Plenty of intelligent people maintain some form of religious belief, and religion can be a positive force in the lives of the believers as well as those around them. The problems arise when people place their religious beliefs above common sense and intellect, or when belief is thrust upon others who do not share that belief, and in some cases, the problems can outweigh the benefits. The potential good aside, any and every religion is, for lack of a better word, silly.
The stupidest claim of Judeo-Christian zealots is that "any other religion is just plain silly." They are partially right; all non-Judeo-Christian religions are silly, but so are the Judeo-Christian religions. Frankly, any belief in an established religion is a sign of a lack of creativity on the part of the believer.
Stephen Roberts put it quite succinctly: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer God than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible Gods, you will then understand why I dismiss yours."
There is so much innate silliness in religious beliefs, from creation stories to messianic beliefs to transubstantiation. The bible, aside from delivering atrocious instructions to true believers, is one of the most factually lacking, contradictory examples of the written word that has ever been written. Ancient mythologies (for example, Greco-Roman, Egyptian, or Norse) — which are most often pastiches of a broad collection of oral narratives — are actually more internally consistent than the "great books" of the Abrahamic religions.
Even the most fanatical of religious believers do not maintain a consistent view of their group's written or otherwise established tenets and concepts. Judeo-Christians, in particular, are notorious for simply picking and choosing which parts of their bibles to acknowledge. This lack of consistency undermines the point of religious organizations as a whole, and renders the whole exercise futile and quite silly. If you don't believe us, read through Leviticus sometime, and tell us whether you can wholly accept or reject every rule and regulation printed therein.
All this said, we are all free to indulge in religious beliefs, just as we are all free to feel that those religious beliefs are silly. As long as nobody attempts to force a belief — or a lack thereof — upon anyone else, we can all live together happily.