I say love because, despite my atheism, I think the moral and social effects of religion — the stuff the left usually complains about — are actually often quite positive, and I am not indifferent to the deep passions that people like C.S. Lewis represent with noble lions (which they worry shallow secularists must lack). It would indeed be awful if people lacked those sorts of deep passions, and if religion evokes them, it must be contended with.
I say hate — though I swear I don’t literally mean hate — because I don’t think the underlying supernatural claims are true and because there is a tendency, especially on the right, to think religion explains and causes all the good things in life. Is Europe (just slightly) more socialist? Must be because they’re so much more secular over there. Was the USSR oppressive? Must be because they didn’t believe in God.
But if you think a country’s level of religiosity is a short-cut to seeing how socially-functional and civilized it is, consider just one country that’s more Christian than the U.S.: chronically war-ravaged, brigand-plagued, impoverished Uganda.
•Their populace is 85% Christians to our mere 78%-and-shrinking…
•…with Catholics about 41% of their population to our 24% or so.
So are they in better shape than the U.S. culturally? Are you moving there soon? If so, beware the occasional witch-led armies of fanatical soldiers who think rocks can be used as magic hand grenades and that sort of thing, which Uganda seems also to have in rather larger numbers than we do.