"As a religion, organized Christianity, as it is now practiced is just about as genuine as tea made from a bit of paper which once lay in a drawer beside another bit of paper which once had been used to wrap a few dried tea leaves from which tea had already been made three times." - Søren Kierkegaard
Imagine a force that twists everything good into an obligation. Everything beautiful in life has a dark underside of mechanical obligations, universal claims based in imagination that comes from reading an ancient text that was never meant to kill us this way.
We pull law after law from its' pages, we create a world of ideals, a creation that puts our desires in cages rather than understanding them and being in control of ourselves.
The problem of religion, specifically Christianity, is not that it has its' doctrine wrong, not that it's practice is often horrifying and followers refuse to see it, but that its' recursive logic, its' blinding tendency to not speak truth but shibboleths, not promote freedom but mindless obligation and enslavement, and its' insidious inability to not manipulate its' followers is truly a perfect storm against the freedom and the beauty of mankind.
In or out. Heaven or Hell. An elitist group not distinguished by anything but dogmatic agreement to a created, cultural religious dogma held to be "absolute." Even still, within these groups there are the "hypocrites" and the "true believers." The single-minded uncritical exclusion of others, a hallmark of religious arrogance.
Look around. Every person is different. As many beliefs exist as do people, and no one person has all of theirs' correct. We waste time with assumptions. Belief that we know the absolute truth is nothing but arrogance, and the assumption that we are God or at the least gods. Belief that we know truth, in one of its' flavors, from our perspective, is more realistic. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit religion at all. A pity, because religion is comfortable to the extreme. We do what is "right" and don't have to think about it.
I criticize because people are better than this. I've met people of all faiths that are better than this. It is pathetic that as humanity has progressed we have not shaken off this ancient tendency to group ourselves into religious factions, but I suppose no one is perfect.
It is not helpful for us to judge other people, it is beneficial for us to judge the actions that occur close to us and the prevailing beliefs that they indicate, to critically analyze and to understand more, for the purpose of loving and respecting others.
How else can we live with ourselves any longer?