Who is a doctor to cure cancer? How dare he presume to interfere! Religion is harmful. It should be discouraged, supressed, and banned at every opportunity. Like racism and sexism (which are core components of the major religions), religion shouldn't get a free pass, sorry.
How can you compare curing a disease with banning religion?
While I do agree that religion can be and often is harmful, and that it should be discouraged, I can't bring myself to condone forcing people to disbelieve anything. Banning any kind of belief is harmful in more ways than I can even think of - one of them is the fact that banning religion is making martyrs out of believers and reinforcing belief. In Christianity martyrdom is the very basis of religion, so what good would persecution do?
Anyway, China, like many other so-called Communist countries is very much religious - the whole system is one big religion, forcing people to believe one particular thing over all others. Please, explain how it's different than, say, Afghanistan as the Taliban would have wanted it (and had it for years, for that matter). What the West call political persecution is actually a religious one.
The only antidote to any kind of religion is education. Knowledge. That's what should be encouraged. I firmly believe no belief system (even those based on fairy tales and nonsensical myths) should be banned, but I also believe they should be made extinct - by education and active promotion of critical thinking based on relevant information and facts.
I never said Chinese people were smarter than Americans in general, but I hold them in a higher esteem than Americans specifically with regard to their non-belief in the creationist tripe and Christianity in general. Christians in Chinese society are laughed at and their beliefs are not respected. They are thought to be stupid by most people. As they should be.
The Chinese are taught to think their system and leaders are gods, for lack of a better term. Any kind of criticism is not just discouraged but outright banned (at least it used to be), so they don't know how to think and believe anything else. How does that differ from rabid 'insert name of religion here'?
How am I being ignorant? I know full well the danger and harm of religion. It's a cancer that must be cured.
So do any kind of systems that ban people from believing, saying and doing what they want. In that way the kind of wannabe Communism, as practised in China, should be 'cured' as well.
Are you saying that religion deserves respect? Specifically which aspect of it? And how do you plan to seperate those good aspects from the bad?
Nobody is saying that religion deserves respect just for being what it is. It's just an idea - like the ones thought of by Chairman Mao. An idea is not alive, so you can't really respect it, can you? It does nothing by itself and actions are the ones that deserve respect or lack thereof. People who believe in any kind of god do not deserve respect just for the fact that they believe. Personally, I don't give a flying frak about someone else's beliefs. But I do care about their actions. If those are good, the person deserves my respect and vice versa. Enforcing Mao's ideas was ... well, often really, really bad. Sometimes not so much. Which aspect of it should be 'respected'? How do you separate the good from the bad?
Separating the wheat from the chaff is easy. Is an idea good and worth spreading? Then spread it. Does it suck? Don't. It's quite simple.