Originally Posted by Anna James
Well, almost all of the scientists who did the European Enlightenment, Newton, Darwin, etc, were religious people. Not to mention that all Renaisssance mind, no matter if they worked in artistic or scientific field, were religious. The most profound music was written for churches - masses, Requiems, etc. If we are to throw away from our human cultural output everything that was created by religious people or for religious purposes, or inspired by religion, we'll be left with hardly anything.
It's true, religious leader/s tend/ed to try to control and castrate science / Christianity/ and some kinds of arts and philosophy /Islam/; but on other hand the same leader/s encourages arts and philosophy /Christianity/ and science /Islam/. Religion is nothing more than a tool - it depend on how is being used, and who is using it. Every religion in use is based on interpretations, and every religious person is free to interpret it in his/her own mind in any way they want - if they grow thorns or roses depends on who is interpreting how.
People with open minds reconcile their religion with whatever things they open their minds to, and for them religion is inspiration, not a dogma. If there are people who prefer to hug the said dogmas body and soul this is their choice, not the fault of religion per se.
I hope I am doing this correctly. I think what Anna James said is vital for us to remember, and what to call attention to what was said.
I am particularly sensitive to the important of freedom of religion to our liberty. Religion gives followers a shared experience based on shared convictions and principles. It means we can take care of each other and protect our rights to liberty and justice. This is not the case with secular government that overrides our rights with human authority over all of us. Such was the case in Germany that brought it to the NAZI horrors and such in the case in the US today.