Honestly, when you find someone is religious, do you have the same amount of respect for them as you may have before you made that discovery? I can’t say that I do. The second I find out that someone believes in imaginary friends in the sky, my estimation of them as a rational human being drops. The same thing happens when I find out that they reject any form of reality. I just can’t accept that intelligent, rational people actually fall for this crap.
Mostly because they don’t. Oh sure, you can find people who are otherwise intelligent and rational who happen to be religious, but they absolutely do not, in any instance, treat their religion intelligently or rationally. If they did, it is literally impossible for them to adopt that view at all, period. They could no more believe in gods than they could believe in leprechauns or unicorns or honest politicians. No one in their right mind thinks those things are real. You don’t find sane people who argue that they do and certainly not that think they can use the tools of the intellect and science to find evidence for them. They just make excuses for why we shouldn’t actually expect to come up with anything and that’s simply sad.
And guess what? The religious don’t respect other religious people either. They all think theirs is the only god and everyone else has it wrong. That’s not respecting the other guy’s religious beliefs, is it? Christians do not respect the beliefs of Muslims or Buddhists or Jews. They think all of those other groups have it completely wrong. In fact, some groups spend a considerable amount of time banging on your door to tell you that you’re wrong and they’re right. I don’t see how that qualifies as respect, do you?
But it really offends some people when I say I don’t respect the religious. They want me to respect people’s right to believe. I do. I just don’t respect what they believe. I cannot stop them from believing it though, even though I wish they wouldn’t. I simply lack the amazing atheist mind control powers required to stop them from doing so, so I throw up my hands, roll my eyes and think they’re idiots for believing unsupported and unjustified things. I really don’t care if that offends you at all. I no more owe you respect for believing stupid things than I owe you consideration for wanting unreasonable things. Don’t like it? Don’t talk to me. I honestly don’t think I’ll miss you a bit.