I found this article through the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website.
My initial reaction was this...
"Aren't we being attacked by Terrorists .... NOT 'religous people' ?"
The Bible says "Thou shalt not kill" and I think the Koran says something very similiar. Now, you'd be correct if you said "well the Bible says all sorts of things". Of course it is massively misinterpreted, often by people looking for ways to justify their actions rather than examine them.
But are'nt those people in the extreme, the worst kind of Religious misguided fools ?
I am all for CSI and an understanding of how society works, but as a Religous person myself I bristle a bit at the suggestion that I am following a creed that is undermining society in some way. In fact I don't really follow organised religion. I have my own independent ideas going back to Ancient Egypt. Ideas that would inspire the Greeks, and eventually, in part, lead to the modern Science we follow today. This is not a "fringe" idea but is well know in Academia, Archaelogy and the History of Science (see Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, or any history of original Greek thought, or even The Spirituality of Science: Ann Druyan on a New Collection of Carl Sagan Lectures
). Many of the first logicians were closely related to Greek religous and spiritual ideas, as have been many Scientists over the centuries. Turning to Spiritual wonderment and Religous thinking when they reached the edge of their Science. This did not mean they gave up their intellect. Far from it. I have come to appreciate Religion and Spirituality, in all it's world forms (Buddhist, Hindu, Celtic, Gnostic ...) as a vital tool that can be used to understand one's deeper and more subconscious ideas and feelings.
Myths and Legends contain many profound ideas about human behaviour, but do we throw them out as "unscientific" ?
So I find it disturbing to find CSI , or this meeting, talking about Religion as "the enemy", or saying that we live in a "Secular Society" when millions, if not billions of people follow Religion everyday in one form or another !
I am not alone in these ideas. Chairman of The Planetary Society Neil deGrasse Tyson, discussed similar ideas at the "Beyond Belief" conference, in his own unique way. He uses a story about Science and Art from his own life.
To be secular is also a completely valid way of existing and should be respected like any other pursuit, but I do wonder if the "God Debate" could do with some fresh air blowing into it !