I feel a need to explain something very carefully.
I am often told that I'm critical of religion, in some way or other, and there is some truth there, but when it happens there's a reason why.
I am pro love and anti harm. That is my basic attitude/mindset/way of thinking/whatever you like to call it. Ethics R Us. That does not mean that I claim to be all love and zero harm, it means that's what I seek. Nobody's perfect and nobody is expected to be. To err is human. But that's my thing. That's my priority.
Where did I get that from? Where did I develop this? Life, I guess. Upbringing, experience, preferences, observations, etc etc. No single person or book. Just an awareness, a mindfulness.
Love = good.
Harm = bad.
More love, less harm.
This is what I seek.
This is what I choose.
This is what I teach.
This is what I expect.
You can call it my personal philosophy if you like.
I would be at a loss if anyone objected to it, how can you object to it?
So. When I see a lack of love, I am saddened, and I protest.
When I see harm, I am saddened and I protest.
IF I see that lack of love, or that harm in a religious example, I protest. If I complain about a religious example, it's because of this. If I avoid a religious example it's because of this. If I speak out against a religious example it's because of this.
I do not dislike religious examples just because they are "different", or foreign, or whatever. They have to have caused harm, or shown a lack of love.
If you, personally, feel offended, because I have said something negative about your religion, then think again. It's not about you.
If you think your religion as a whole has been insulted because I said something negative about it, think again. Look at the specifics.
There is a lot of talk about respect. I respect people.
I am told I should respect beliefs. What, automatically? Just because they are beliefs? Not likely!
If it's a belief that leads to love, and prevents or avoids harm, I'll respect it.
If it's a belief that leads to a lack of love, or causes harm, I do not respect it. I reject it.
Beliefs are opinions. Nothing more or less. I do not have to respect your opinion. I can listen to it, consider it, and give you the time to explain it. But if it's an opinion that I not only do not share, but see as harmful, I shall say so. I shall explain why. I shall still respect you, as a human being, but I shall not, and SHOULD NOT respect your harmful opinion.
We can argue over what is harmful, and I'm sure we shall.