Most of the self-reighteous indignation I've found on any subject comes from people with no religion. Why are these people so whiny? Why must every enjoyable thing about life be boiled out of existence because these people can't stand the idea of God? Most of the stuff in the thread is so ridiculously petty that it saddens me.
Chances are if one of your co-workers takes a religious holiday off, it's because they are using their paid time off, or else your workplace has floating holidays that can be taken on religious celebrations. It's no more foisting twice the work on you as it is foisting twice the work on them when you take a vacation. And you'd better not be taking a vacation at a time when work might be busy!
Religious beliefs are held in high regard because religion is the institution which reinforces people morally. Most religious codes demand discipline, awareness of yourself and your neighbor, and strict adherence to moral behaviors, most of which fall under the umbrella of "first, do no harm." As a Catholic I am aware of many cafeteria Catholics who just sort of phone it in, but at the end of the day the seed for a moral, loving, Christian life is there.
I see the Treaty of Tripoli and raise The Declaration of Independence:
"We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It is not government, it is not some generic philosophy, it is God from who our rights are sourced, at least in the eyes of the Founding Fathers, about whom more lies and distortions have been written than any others in history.
As far as corrupting influences, government has done more evil than any religion, for it uses the barrel of the gun with public approval and legal immunity. "Science" thrusts great frauds upon the people when it deliberately lies to them for the benefit of a few "thinkers," all of whom are, surprise, entrenched in government and controlling the levers of "science"'s funding. More children are raped (in both number and a percentage of their profession) by teachers than priests, yet the atheist is silent about the public school and its agents as a center of respect.
In fact, almost everything evil in history can be traced back to some form of government influence and/or protectionism. Much of the historical evils atheists lambaste the church for occured when church and government were one and the same entity. Atheists choose to blame religion for the historical outcome because they cannot fathom the loving government that gives them gifties and goodies and funds their sacred "science" as being malevolent. They are seemingly incapable of defending their values except through force of law instead of force of will, or more accurately, force of love. Christians thrive and flourish where governments repeatedly trample them and kill them. The same cannot be said of atheists, whose greatest harbors lie in societies where the religious protect their unbelief. And no, atheists don't "owe us," the religious do things solely because they are righteous. True sacrifice is giving of yourself knowing you will recieve nothing in return.
The whiny, childish, petty nature of complaints against minor religious adherence are tolerated because religions preach respect for their fellow man, no matter how misguided, is a mandatory part of being a decent human being. I for one do not wish to be talked down to for my religious observances by a person whose morality varies from day-to-day, depending on how he answered "what would I do?" this morning.
To be sure, there are people out there who are con men masqueraiding their ponzi scheme as a religion, but at some point they violate laws and are punished for it, or are else called to the mat by those with true religious convictions. More dangerous are those who seek to re-establish the link between religion and government, as the radical Islamic jihadists do. There is no point to religion if it is not freely entered and freely practiced. It is discipline of the mind and soul, and cannot be coerced. To have it otherwise is tyranny. Religion is an institution fundamental to a healthy society. The Europeans who have abandoned it will be replaced soon by Muslims who haven't, and if God is merciful hopefully those few redeeming qualities of European civilization will shape the nature of the inevitable Islamic domination that will come over them.
So to bring it all back, religious ideals are elevated because they are ideals that bring liberty, true liberty to first soul, then mind, then body. Whatever minor concessions may exist do because they are valuable, and not the flights of fancy of an indolent whiner.
[17:53] <&Deck_Knight> If I Cite and Prune CiteandPrune's post, what does that make me?
[17:54] <Birkal> a citeandprune cite and prunner
[17:54] <%DHR> O_o lol
[17:54] <+Mos_Quitoxe> Cite and Prune doesn't do enough of either
[17:55] <+Mos_Quitoxe> can we make him change it or force him to pay damages
[17:55] <&Deck_Knight> It would be a lot easier for him to Cite and Prune if we made him a mod.
[17:56] <&Deck_Knight> I delegate this task to Birkal.
[17:57] <Birkal> >:|