Faith. That is my biggest issue here. Faith.

Now, the problem is that it is respected. Even admired. This needs to stop.

"If one man is deluded, he is insane. If many are deluded, it is a religion" - Unknown

The problem is that religion, and religious faith is acceptable in adults. The fundamental difference between Santa and God is that one is acceptable to believe in as an adult.

Cognitive dissonance, the theory that explains what goes on in the mind whenever you have two contradictory ideas, has much to say on this subject.

You see, when a person has two contradictory ideas, for example he is being handed the evidence for evolution, and on the other hand believes in literal creation... then he has to rectify the dissonance. This can be done by toning down one or the other, rejecting one or the other, rationalizing it, or ignoring it entirely. The more emotionally charged, and the more that one has invested in the idea, the more likely they are to favor that one by rationalizing the evidence away.

Groups come together to try to ease this dissonance via cognitive masturbation, and call it Church.

The fundamentalist, who has been handed religion as a very emotionally charged item (religious experiences do happen, but they are not gifts from God, but rather the mind itself releasing endorphins), will rationalize anything away that contradicts his extremely emotionally charged ideals.

A person who generally views himself as good will, upon finding himself with irrational hatred of a person or groups, try to rationalize it away. If the person is religious, he will tie the religion and the bigotry together, if possible, or try to rationalize away the bigotry as reasonable in other ways. As religion is already an emotionally charged item, tying the two together gives a justification and a reason to promote the bigotry all at once, they become tied together.

I hate the fundamentalist preachers for giving people who are insecure about their sexuality or that of others a religious-based reason for their bigotry, thus tying the two together and strengthening both: he needs the religion to justify the bigotry, and the bigotry gives him a reason to strengthen the religion, to justify the bigotry. It is a self-feeding loop.

Dissonance, learn to recognize it and deal with it: if the real world disagrees with your emotionally charged ideas, strongly consider what the real world has to say, rather than using your emotions as a justification for bigotry and intolerance. Stop lashing out at the world because it interferes with the fantasy world that you have constructed, and realize that this fantasy world is just that - a fantasy world. And realize that justifications that seem sound to you at the time are very possibly not, if the idea is highly emotionally charged - the more emotionally charged it is, the more strength that is put into the justifications.

So, that said: Have a good day, and take this post seriously, and consider what I have stated.