It's a Con Game ... all the way
The "good" aspects of religion are just "fluff" ... a smokescreen ... pre-empted from secular moral principles. They've taken over the conclusions of common, adult, living experience and claimed those principles as being of religious origin. Thus, we agree with the "love thy neighbor" type arguments of religion forgetting that such principles were already present when the new religion was formed. After all, we weren't there.
Then when something bad is said about a religion, in particular or in general, people come to its immediate defense on the premise that they are defending the "basics" of religion, i.e. those secularly learned experiential truths. This is a great ploy ... one which has gone unnoticed in the public domain for century upon century.
attacks on religion are attacks on
known, secular, philosophical truths
This reminds me of JC. Even after I had given up on Catholicism (my birth religion) as a teenager, I still believed that Jesus was a real person ... by default. Since I saw no public antipathy toward this fact, I assumed it to be true, albeit inconsequential. It is only after encountering the opposition on the Net that I have been led to investigate the matter and easily came to the proper conclusion, i.e. that no such person ever existed.
It also reminds me of the kid who hides behind and around me to avoid being hit by a snowball when I'm not even associated with the snowball fight. God, I hate that kid ;o)
Stripped of this aspect ...
Religion becomes just another con game. You are suckered in using your own experience as "bait". Then ... they zombify you and your progeny ... while emptying your wallet. What a swindle! Now that I see it naked, I admire its simplicity. It is truly an elegant plan of insidious conquest.
The worst scum in the world act out their heinous crimes in the name of religion and when someone complains ... they hide behind honorable principles which they've confiscated from the secular culture which has no such insidious plan.
But what do they get?
But, really, does any real human being want that?
Real religion is a cloak flung over the naked truth
The truth needs not the vestments of religion to validate itself as the foundation of rational civilization. It withstands the tests of time undefended, unframed and wholly unadorned. Those who foist themselves upon the foolish (these fakirs of familiar fact) are ... finally ... the feckless, foibled, fathers of festering falsehood.