There are many reasons why rational people work toward eliminating religion:
1) There is the problem of delusion, where religious people do things that would (in any other context) be considered signs of mental illness. The most prominent of these is the idea of believing in an imaginary being to the point where you feel like you are talking to, and hearing replies from, this being. In the same way that a doctor does not wish to see anyone suffer from an infection, a rational person has the desire to help heal religious delusion, rather than seeing it fester.
2) There is the problem with superstition, where religious people begin to believe in superstitions like prayer. Again, the desire is to heal this behavior, since superstitions help no one.
3) There are the side effects of delusion and superstition. Religious people in large numbers start to believe things, and express those beliefs publicly, even though they are completely wrong. The most obvious of these side effects is creationism as practiced in the United States. In this case, the belief is ridiculous from a scientific standpoint. Therefore, creationists in the millions start to fight against science, to the detriment of all.
4) There is the desire of the religious, if they form a majority, to become theocratic. They want to display their religion publicly. We find things like “in God we trust” on the money, “One nation under God” in the pledge, prayers at public ceremonies, etc. This sort of behavior then leads to denial of free speech rights for non-believers, and ability of non-believers to run for public office, and, in advanced cases, imprisonment and murder of non-believers (not unusual in Islamic countries). You begin to see articles like this: Agnostic’s Guide to Surviving the Bible Belt .
5) There are the behaviors that for unexplainable reasons attach themselves to mainstream religions. These behaviors are abhorrent, and include racism, sexism, bigotry, slavery, etc. Christianity and Islam are both fundamentally sexist, for example.
6) And then there is the violent, extremist side of religion, the best most recent example being 9/11/2001.
Religious violence wreaks of insanity. And that insanity can go in many directions, as demonstrated in today’s topic: Dominionism, aka reconstructionism:
Generally, Reconstructionism seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of “Biblical Law.” Reconstructionism would eliminate not only democracy but many of its manifestations, such as labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment beyond such crimes as kidnapping, rape, and murder to include, among other things, blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.
Reconstructionism has expanded from the works of a small group of scholars to inform a wide swath of conservative Christian thought and action. While many Reconstructionist political positions are commonly held conservative views, what is significant is that Reconstructionists have created a comprehensive program, with Biblical justifications for far right political policies. Many post-World War II conservative, anticommunist activists were also, if secondarily, conservative Christians. However, the Reconstructionist movement calls on conservatives to be Christians first, and to build a church-based political movement from there.
For much of Reconstructionism’s short history it has been an ideology in search of a constituency. But its influence has grown far beyond the founders’ expectations. As Reconstructionist author Gary North observes, “We once were shepherds without sheep. No longer.”
This article talks about a reconstructionist named George Grant:
Grant wrote a book entitled, “The Changing of the Guard: The Vital Role Christians Play in America’s Cultural Drama” which contains this quote:
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less…
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.
It is this sort of theocratic insanity that drives rational people to heal the religious of their delusions. Here is one way to think about it: if we can heal the masses of casual believers, it would eliminate the mental ecosystem that supports fringe members like George Grant.
For more information: Why atheists care about religion
If you are a Christian or a Muslim and would like to better understand your delusion, please see: