->''"Along comes Jesus with this wonderful, moralistic philosophy, about why we should be tolerant and understanding of our fellow human beings, and then we spend the next two thousand years killing one another, because we can't quite agree on how he said it."''
-->-- '''Interview with the Creator/MontyPython team'''

When a work of fiction is insistent on the differences between religious idealism and the realism demanded by the plot, overly religious characters may be portrayed as out of touch with the demands and opinions of the world around them. When said work of fiction is a video game, however, there may be bonuses related to the adherence to faith.

May lead to Ideological RockPaperScissors if religion, magic, and science [[ScienceFantasy coexist in the same universe]] and are [[MagicVersusScience out to get one another]].

Compare IfJesusThenAliens, NoSuchThingAsSpaceJesus, OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions, LawfulStupidChaoticStupid, and many versions of the CorruptChurch. Contrast GodGuise, in which the effect is quaint or humorous rather than abrasive, ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve, where belief actually alters reality, and FlatEarthAtheist, where ''dis''belief makes you stupid. Likely to be a [[StrawCharacter Strawman Political]]. Probably takes the Enlightenment side of RomanticismVersusEnlightenment. Overuse may be a sign that the work is an AuthorTract. If the belief is actually true, expect reinforcing action from a CelestialBureaucracy.

The polar opposite is HollywoodAtheist.

[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* Kanzaki Kaori and Stiyl Magnus in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. Granted, it was a ReligionOfEvil to begin with, but all of the [[ArtisticLicenseBiology Failing Neurology Forever]] combined with the ensuing YourMindMakesItReal… Granted, the science side in this series isn't any better...
* In ''Fullmetal Alchemist'' ([[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist both]] [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist versions]]) Ed and Al travels to a town where everyone except for the leader of the CorruptChurch runs on this trope. Such as blindly following a manipulative con artist, and when he disappears, going violent and destroying everything (which may not have been the conman's intention, but certainly was that of [[TheManBehindTheMan those who put him in power]]). While both series can come down pretty hard on religion, what they are really against is zealotry and dogma.
* ''Anime/{{Simoun}}'' [[DeConstruction takes this trope, puts it over its knee, gives it a paddling, whips it with chains, and throws its lacerated corpse in a ditch]]. The series has this one character who not only actively and knowingly disrespects the tenets of the main religion whose workings we get to see but ''forces other characters to do so against their will''; the depiction of his bitter, unhelpful, avaricious stupidity and almost palpable, reptilian sleaziness is...quite something. There ''are'' sympathetic non-religious characters, including one of the main romantic leads, but overall this is pretty much the anti-''Film/{{Agora}}'' in its portrayal of religion.
* In ''Manga/TheLegendOfMotherSarah'', the well-meaning but passive and jaded Mother Theresa would rather pray to God for an agonizing soldier's soul rather than getting a doctor to stop the hemorrhage and save his life. An act she immediately gets called out on by a fellow soldier and Sarah herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The religious fanatics in ''Webcomic/BioApocalypse'' take this trope to the extreme.
* Termight Empire in ''ComicBook/NemesisTheWarlock'' are religious fanatics seeing aliens as demons, worshipping a clearly insane leader as a God and getting themselves killed with undying fanaticism. Nemesis' battlecry is ''Credo!'' (''I Believe'' in Latin) but he points out he means it like "believe in yourself".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Agora}}'', focusing on the death of the philosopher Hypatia, depicts Christians as fanatical assholes, in which their fanaticism is raised UpToEleven thanks to the sheer intolerance towards pagans and Jews; the "stupid" part of the trope comes from the fact their intolerance blinds them to the point of stupidity, attacking at random with disastrous consequences. The accounts used comes from pagan writer [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia#Late_Antiquity_to_the_Age_of_Reason Damascius]] (who was an enemy of the Christians) and Edward Gibbon (a strong atheist).
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' depicts religious believers as stupid at a number of points, refusing to think for themselves and fracturing off into sects divided by trivialities. The Jewish revolutionary organizations and the followers of Brian are both examples.
* In ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'', the escaped prisoner, Everett, repeatedly chides people for their religious gullibility. Examples:
** When [[HollywoodAtheist Everett]] witnesses a riverside baptism service, he comments: "Well, I guess hard times flush out the chumps; everybody's lookin' for answers."
** After Everett's travel companions get baptized themselves, Everett remarks; "Baptism! You two are dumber than a bag of hammers."
** Toward the end of the film, when facing his own death, Everett falls on his knees and repents of his sins before God. After he is delivered from death (thanks to a sudden and massive flood of water), Everett discounts his conversion by noting that "any human being will cast about in a moment of stress." When his companions proclaim that the flood was an act of God, Everett comments, "Again, you hayseeds are showin' your want for intellect." (Note: Everett's watery salvation functions as a clever twist on DeathByIrony. Deliverance by Irony, perhaps?)
* There is a take on this trope in ''MyFatherMyLord''. Although the deeply pious father [[spoiler: is shown to have a slightly negative impact on his wife and son because of his devotion to Judaism at first, his faith ultimately is shown to have tragic consequences; a day taking his son Menachem to the Red Sea, whilst his father and the other devotees are lost in fervent prayer, he slips away into the water and drowns. His father's love for the unseen trumped his fatherly duties to keep watch over his son.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Inverted in ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'', where the huge difference of technological development between The Foundation and their neighbours leads to a religion when the Foundation tries to share their knowledge with them. This happened because it was the only way their neighbors would have accepted their technology (which they saw as sorcery).
* ''Literature/{{Dune}}''. Anyone order a thousand years of Holy Wars that nearly sent interstellar travel down the tubes? The setting specifically examines the issue of how a large populace interprets the words and deeds of a religious prophet who spoke and acted for a specific place and time. In truth the prophet(s) eventually managed to accomplish what they set out to do, human physiology and psychology advanced, and human society became more modern, peaceful, and diplomatic. ''Then'' the Bene Gesserit and Honored Matres decide to get into a fight over who can better use hypno-sex to control populations, and things get messy.
* In his nonfiction, Robert Anton Wilson of ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'' fame has declared, in direct quote that "Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence." Notably he includes dogmatic science (as opposed to progressive science) under the definition, as well. The theme of free-thinkers who dare to question the "obvious" values and beliefs of their society is constant in all his novels.
* ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' holds that both belief and emotion make you stupid. So a character who claims he has faith in his feelings must be quite insane. Mind you, characters claiming this have been known to make some rather impressive [[IJustKnew intuitive leaps]] themselves.
* Religious people in Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/{{Anathem}}'' run the full gamut of stupid, from trying to murder a guy who saved one of their members' lives to believing that strange lights in the sky are a sign that the world is going to be judged. (The work also provides numerous examples of not-stupid religious people.)
* Although the Literature/{{Discworld}} novels criticize organized religion much more than belief itself, the third ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld'' book, ''Darwin's Watch'', employs this trope somewhat.
** "Somewhat" in this case meaning "If Darwin hadn't written ''Origin of the Species'', humanity would never leave the planet before it froze."
*** He doesn't just not write it; he writes a book just as convincing in the other direction and more or less ''ends science''.
* Subverted in ''Tom's Midnight Garden''. Abel, the pious caretaker, at first appears to be a superstitious ignoramus, who thinks Tom is a demon; eventually, his belief allows him to recognize that Tom isn't evil. Later, [[spoiler: as discussed in a conversation between Hatty Bartholomew and Tom,]] the fact that [[spoiler: Abel could see Tom]] strongly implies that he was far more perceptive than anyone gave him credit for.
* [[OlderThanTheyThink Surprisingly,]] the Greek philosopher Celsus seemed to hold this view, making it OlderThanFeudalism, trying to prove that Christians were all a bunch of uneducated Roman-Empire-Equivalent-of-Hicks. Though since he valued the traditional Roman religion, in his case it wasn't this as much as [[ValuesDissonance Belief In Christianity Makes You Stupid]]. Notably, he used this as an argument for why [[ValuesDissonance Christians should be eradicated from the face of the Earth.]]
* In ''Literature/ThePaleKing'', Chris Fogle had nothing but contempt for his religious roommate and his girlfriend.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} in the ''Literature/BookOfTheLongSun''. Patera Silk's religion and gods are false, but there are facets of truth behind the lies. Silk manages to be a great leader in spite of it.
* Literature/FatherBrown’s general appearance [[ObfuscatingStupidity made him look dumb to everyone]], but this trope is continually applied to him by the fact that he is a Catholic priest: A lot of people in his stories (''The Blue Cross, The Flying Stars, The Hammer of God, The eye of Apollo'') constantly make the wrong assumption that a priest is a [[AManIsNotAVirgin celibate simpleton]] unaware that in RealLife a priest must study philosophy and theology precisely to defend his beliefs helped by logic, and the fact of hearing a lot of people confessing sins to him gives him an interesting perspective about reality. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in The Blue Cross when he explains to MasterOfDisguise GentlemanThief Flambeau how he discovered him:
--> ''"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?"'' cried Flambeau.
--> The shadow of a smile crossed the [[ObfuscatingStupidity round, simple face]] of his clerical opponent.
--> ''"'Oh, by being a [[AManIsNotAVirgin celibate simpleton]], I suppose,'' he said. ''Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but [[{{Confessional}} hear men's real sins]] is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."''
--> ''"What?"'' asked the thief, almost gaping.
--> ''"You attacked reason,"'' said Father Brown. ''[[WhatAnIdiot "It's bad theology.]]"''
** In this case, it is TruthInTelevision, being inspired by the remarks Chesterton heard students making about Monsignor O'Connor.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', most of humanity appears this way. Best shown when Aziraphale gets accidentally exorcised by [[ChurchMilitant Shadwell]] and spends the next several hours body-surfing around the aether, causing nearly everyone he encounters to assume they're being inhabited by a Demon. With slight irritation, Aziraphale has to correct them that he's actually an ''Angel''.
** Aziraphale also excoriates a televangelist and his congregation for the ludicrous notion of the Rapture, pointing out that during the Final Battle, the Angels fighting in the Celestial War will simply be ''too busy'' fighting the forces of Hell to go around picking random people up. Between the Heavenly War and the War down on Earth, any human that dies in the crossfire will be considered acceptable civilian casualties and it's up to God to clean ''that'' mess up... And that's if they actually ''win''!
*** It's not really belief in general, it's just that that specific aspect (which is pretty much unique to American evangelicals) happens to be wrong.
* In ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'', Nessarose Thropp is a religious fanatic whose contributions to conversation are often not wanted and perceived by whoever is narrating as narrow-minded or too innocent.
* In ''Glow'' by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Waverly has this belief about religion, even though she is dating the highly religious Kieran. When she and all the girls on her GenerationShip, the Empyrean, are kidnapped by their sister ship, she distrusts their zealous captain, Pastor Anne Mather. Later, when she sees the same tendencies in Kieran, [[spoiler: who has taken over the Empyrean after the death of the captain]], she automatically distrusts him and all his followers.
* In Creator/PiersAnthony's mega-book ''Tarot'', a distant world was settled by members of several different religions, each so convinced that ''theirs'' was the true way (so far as to not even speak to or help others during crises) that the only way they got anything done was to all agree to a pact to never bring up religious belief, as long as the main character, Brother Paul, was there investigating a local phenomenon.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} in ''[[Literature/HouseOfNight Lenobia's Vow]]''. Religious characters are [[BlackAndWhiteMorality either good or evil]], but none of them are stupid. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when Lenobia and Sister Madeleine talk about their morning routines.
-->"Sister, for several weeks I have been leaving our quarters before dawn and returning before most of the ship awakens."
-->"Yes, child. I know."
-->"Oh. I thought you were praying."
-->"Lenobia, I believe you will discover that many of my good sisters and I are able to think and pray at the same time."
* In ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Voices]]'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin. It's not so much belief ''itself'' that makes you stupid (Member and other people in Ansul worship their FantasyPantheon with devotion), but mindless and inflexible adherence to religious dogma. Particularly if that dogma says that books and reading are the devil's work.
* Subverted in ''Literature/LandsOfIceAndMice''. While the Thule shamans view things through a religious prism, they are largely responsible for many of their society's advancements. One example is Manupataq, a shaman who pretty much invented quarantine procedure after surviving [[ThePlague the arrival of European diseases like smallpox]]. Of course, her religion also believes that Jesus Christ is a ''plague god''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Franchise/StarTrek, at least until ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' fleshed out the Bajorans as more than spiritual cannon fodder for the Cardassians. Many episodes throughout the series explore the importance of Faith (spiritual and otherwise) as well as the nebulous boundary between SufficientlyAdvancedAliens (be they benign or malicious) and ''Actual Gods'', especially when they really are (relatively) Omniscient.
* The ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Believers" depicts a family from a zealously religious species refusing to allow Dr. Franklin perform simple life-saving surgery on their son because their religion states that he will lose his spirit if he is cut open. The alien parents are earnest and loving, but their arguments are little more than strawmen, and their culture is depicted as insular and close-minded at every turn. Franklin's belief that Science is superior to Religion fits this trope as well, right up to the point where [[spoiler:he saves the child, expecting the parents to turn around and realize he was right, only to have the wind taken out of his self-righteous sails when the parents kill their own child, believing him to be effectively a soulless zombie]]. In the end, the episode leaves who was right and who was wrong ambiguous and up to the viewer to decide.
** The episode "Confession and Lamentations" is much less ambiguous: the Markab race is plagued by Drafa, an airborne disease 100% contagious and 100% lethal, and due to the widespread belief of it being a divine punishment for immorality, the Markab failed to take the appropriate precautions, even forbidding the few Markab who believed it to be just a deadly disease from enlisting help from non-Markab and negating funds to study it. In the end Franklin manages to find a vaccine and a cure thanks to Lazarenn (a Markab doctor on the station), becoming ill and sacrificing himself to allow him to study the illness, but by then the entire Markab population on the station is dead, and the losses among the wider Markab population are so great that the race is not genetically viable anymore, dooming it to die out in a few generations.
** On the other hand, ''Babylon 5'' averts this trope more often than your typical Space Opera TV show, for instance including an entire order of Catholic monks who stay on the station for a season to learn more about alien religions, who are never depicted as either unintelligent or deluded. Indeed, nearly all shades of belief (and nonbelief) tend to get a fair shake on the show.
* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', [[spoiler:Richard Alpert]] is Catholic, and, in 1867, he accidentally kills a man while getting medicine for his dying wife, gets arrested, is told he can't be absolved for his sins[[note]]Which is ''also'' bad theology[[/note]], and then crashes on the island. Naturally, he is willing to believe he's gone to hell when told just that by an apparition of his dead wife and a mysterious Man in Black. Exploiting [[spoiler:Richard's]] faith, the Man in Black tells him he can only escape "hell" by killing "the devil," the Man in Black's archenemy [[spoiler:Jacob]]. The plan falls through when [[spoiler:Jacob]] explains [[spoiler:Richard]] is not dead, not in hell, and was misled by the Man in Black.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** A staple of the classic series. Religion was usually portrayed as the antithesis of science and any character fanatically loyal to a "god" and doing things in "his" name would ultimately be revealed to be deluded and worshiping a mad computer ([[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E4TheFaceOfEvil "The Face of Evil"]]), an empty spacesuit ([[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E5PlanetOfFire "Planet of Fire"]]), etc.
** Modern ''Series/DoctorWho'' has used this and its opposite, but an example of the trope being played straight would be [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter "The Doctor's Daughter"]], where the soldiers' "creation myth" turns out to be [[spoiler: only a week old, due to the nature of their clone-based reproduction and the atrocious death rate of the war]].
*** Explored also in the two-parter ''Impossible Planet'' and ''The Satan Pit'', when the Doctor confronts what may or may not be the ''original'', actual, factual, Devil. What really bugs him is the claim that it ''predates'' the Universe, but in the end he admits that just because ''he'' believes that's impossible/gibberish doesn't mean it couldn't really be so.
* Averted on ''Series/TheXFiles'', of all shows. Though the premise of aliens and the paranormal may seem like the antithesis of religion (as it's usually portrayed), religion gets a ''ton'' of screen time during the series. Besides the Monster of the Week episodes that deal with things like stigmata, demonic possession, and recordings made by Christ, the show has a lot of religious undertones. However, these undertones aren't "God is responsible for everything on the show" kind of things. More questioning religion and how it came to be. At one point, Scully finds an extraterrestrial engraving that contains passages from the Bible, and Scully herself experiences a birthing experience similar to the birth of Christ. This interplay of religion and science also plays a large role in Scully's character development. Though a skeptic of Mulder's theories, she is a practicing Catholic and often must reconcile what she's learning with her faith. Played straight in earlier seasons, however. Mulder does everything but call Scully an idiot for her belief. It comes out horribly, however, as up to this point, Mulder has yet to come up with any significant proof for his own theories. And someone who believes in spirits and some sort of afterlife who criticizes the religious will always seem a bit silly. Scully calls Mulder out on this several times.
* Somewhat subverted in ''Series/{{Lewis}}'', with DS James Hathaway being an ex-seminary student, and also incredibly smart. PlayedStraight when he reveals his involvement in the suicide case of "Life Born of Fire" [[spoiler:He told his gay friend that God couldn't love him as he was, starting the chain of events that led to his suicide]].
-->'''Hathaway''': Have you ever been so sure you were right and then you look back and you can't believe what you thought? I was training to be a priest! It was so exciting. I was surrounded by people who thought just like me and I thought just like them! But these things they say, it's so easy. Like breathing, you just believe it and I believed!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheSexPistols: ''I kick you in the brains when you kneel down to pray/ pray to your god.'' - ''No Feelings'' - ''Music/NeverMindTheBollocksHeresTheSexPistols''.
* Music/FrankZappa: Also a staple in a lot of his songs: ''Cosmik Debris'' (''Music/{{Apostrophe}}''), ''Dumb All Over'', ''Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk'', ''The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing'',...
* ''Music/{{Imagine}}'' by Music/JohnLennon where he imagines a world where religion, countries, possessions, heaven or hell don't exist and people could live in harmony, of brotherhood of men. In ''God'', ''I Found Out'' and ''Working Class Hero'' from ''Music/JohnLennonPlasticOnoBand'' he also criticizes religion.
* Music/BadReligion: A theme in their work too.
* Music/TheRollingStones: The line ''I watched with glee as your kings and queens fought for ten decades for the gods they made'' - ''Sympathy For The Devil'' from ''Music/BeggarsBanquet''.
* Music/DeadKennedy: On their album ''Music/{{Frankenchrist}} the track ''Jock-O-Rama''.
* Music/MarilynManson: A staple in his work too.
* Music/BobDylan: ''With God On Our Side'' (Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:New Media]]
* "Creepy Steve" in the CharacterBlog series ''WebVideo/KateModern'' is blissfully unaware of the criminal actions of the Hymn of One.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Adeptus Mechanicus of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' believe that all knowledge ''already exists'', and that it must be found from ruins of the past rather than sought out--in this case, they're right, because the majority of human technological prowess was lost during the Age of Strife, and they're trying to recover it from various Forge Worlds. They tend to call any new technologies, human or alien, heresy unless they can be called a 'modification' of an existing STC technology. The Predator Annihilator is a well known example of this.
*** Their behavior towards the Necrons is a shining example of this. What do you do when there's an army of dormant killbots that 's lain undisturbed for countless millenia? Why, wake them up to revere them and then act surprised when they get disintegrated to a man (and if they're told not to, [[Literature/CiaphasCain by someone who actually knows what he's talking about]], they go and do it anyway). Not helping this is the all-but-stated fact that the Omnissiah they worship (as an aspect of the Emperor, to keep the Inquisition off their backs) is in fact the Void Dragon, one of the Necrons' gods.
** Even the mainline [[CrystalDragonJesus Imperial Church]] has this. [[InvokedTrope One of their creeds]] is "Blessed is the mind too small for doubt."
** The Warhammer 40000 universe plays with this trope, because there is actually little space for belief. All tenets of religion ([[PhysicalGod the existence of God-Emperor and ruinous powers of Chaos to name a few]]) are based on fact. The members of the clergy (especially members of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Mechanicus) are usually the best-educated people around.
** The Emperor, agreeing with this trope, outlawed any form of faith so human belief wouldn't empower Chaos anymore. Not only did it not work as faith is only a part of Chaos, as it feeds on emotions as well, but also [[NiceJobBreakingItHero let everybody in the dark about existence of nasty dark gods and demons be vulnerable to their offers of attaining great power for a terrible price]]. This led to the Literature/HorusHeresy.
** The Sisters of Battle tend to let their faith and holy zeal overcome their tactical sense, leading to getting slaughtered pointlessly.
** This is the general view of the Tau Empire. Their species has an innate resistance to the Warp that basically makes them immune to the psychic temptations and explosions that plague humanity (and don't even use Warp travel), so they simply don't get that the powers of Chaos are real, writing off daemons appearing in realspace as a particularly unpleasant species of alien.
** And then there's the orks, though in their case it's more being naturally stupid and their belief being a collective psychic power that occasionally fails entertainingly, so it's all good (they've gone to war over which of their twin gods is which, [[BloodKnight and couldn't care less]]).
* Inverted in the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' setting ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', thanks to heavy use of ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve.
** And the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms. [[AndIMustScream Considering what happens to the Faithless]], you'd be much dumber to ''not'' worship a god.
** The TabletopGame/{{Eberron}} setting is deliberately vague about whether most of its gods "really" exist or not. It's not even slightly vague about the fact that in practical terms it doesn't matter; everyone goes to the same place when they die at least in the short (cosmologically speaking) term, and clerics of all faiths, even the ones that mutually contradict each other, get clerical spells. Any "Commune with Deity" type spells get you something like an archangel instead, who, if '''really''' pressed on the issue, may admit they've never actually ''seen'' the gods either. There are several established faiths, but a cleric who really wants to can devote himself to an ideal or concept instead with no penalties (some of the established faiths have prestige classes with special abilities, for which you must be a member of that faith, but all regular clerical spells work just fine for any cleric).
* The SeventhSea setting has the Vaticine church, which actually [[InvertedTrope inverts]] the trope by advancing the position that all of the world is a puzzle that their god, Theus, laid out for humanity to unravel, and thus the church is one of the greatest forces for scientific advancement in the world. However, the [[UsefulNotes/TheSpanishInquisition Castillian Inquisition]] is just as bad for the advancement of science as it sounds.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Shown in ''VideoGame/{{Anno 1404}}'' with Marie D'Artois' initially innocent and then increasingly delusional fervor of, but also done with great care so as to not paint religion as a whole this way: all of the other main characters are devoutly religious, and show themselves to be very good and wise people through their religion rather than in spite of it. This also gives a bit of contrast between the villains' Corrupt Church and the heroes' Saintly Church. If you have her as an A.I. player in Continuous Mode, her belief makes her a wildcard (She's rated as a medium difficulty A.I.).
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] constantly in FourX games, especially the works of Creator/SidMeier:
** Adopting general policies related to theocratic government often slows down your researching ability (generally either halving the rate or stopping Libraries, Universities, etc. from applying bonuses). The tradeoff is faith-empowered troops and cheaper (if not outright free) variants thereof, along with marginally happier citizens (or in Civ II, ''no unhappy citizens at all'').
** Civ IV is unique among the series to feature distinct religions, and boy, [[ZigZaggingTrope does it play with this trope.]]
*** In general, each of the seven religions serves as merely a diplomatic modifier, encouraging alliances between empires of the same religion and directing animosity towards the heathens that dare to worship some other deity. The difference is almost entirely cosmetic, and the only reason conflict even comes about is because [[IdiotBall the AI is programmed to automatically hate empires of different religions.]] In multiplayer games, religion is a non-factor in deciding allies and enemies. In this case, Belief Makes The AI Stupid(er).
*** Religious governments do not receive any penalty to research, but a government with the "Free Religion" civic, which cancels out the government's religious affiliation, grants a bonus to research. However, the game also rewards religious diversity (i.e. spreading multiple religions), especially since Free Religion gives ''better'' bonuses the more religions you have in your empire, and the natural setting is paganism, so there is no 'state atheism' setting, despite the presence of Communism and State Property. Additionally, Monasteries (which are available to all religions) grant nice early research bonuses.
** Same goes for the Lord's Believers (and ExpansionPack counterpart Cult of Planet) in ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', except it's permanent due to ideology separating factions rather than nationality.
*** Note, however, that the Believers are specifically identified as [[PlanetOfHats scary fanatics]] and are not supposed to be representative of religion in general, any more than Zakharov's [[ForScience willingness to perform unethical research]] is supposed to be representative of all scientists.
*** Also {{subverted|Trope}} with Sister Miriam's [[EncyclopediaExposita in-game bio and quotes]]: While she's definitely wary of technological advancement, she hardly thinks that ScienceIsBad (at least, not at first). She is also a trained psychologist and (like all of the leaders) has a deep, philosophical ''reason'' for her concerns. Miriam seems to have read and understood [[Creator/FyodorDostoevsky Dostoyevsky]], to some degree--not scientific, but not stupid either. And considering how creepy some late-game technologies are, she really [[JerkassHasAPoint has a point]] about some of them, such as the folly of putting an AI in charge of entire cities.
*** The ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' roleplaying supplement examines it further: The best and brightest in Believer society are more likely to become theologians than scientists, and new technology has to be vetted by the MoralGuardians for approved uses before it becomes commonplace.
** ''VideoGame/PandoraFirstContact'' also has this in it's own religious faction, which also suffers from a penalty to researching new technology.
** Ironically, this trope was ''useful'' in Civ 2: The theocracy was inept when it came to scientific advancement, but the religious fervor made every citizen satisfied with his life and it was the best kind of regime to win war: Jumping from democracy in times of peace to theocracy in times of war and back to democracy once the war was won was a very efficient strategy (for beginners, at any rate).
** In the DS version of ''Revolution'', this trope is played straight and inverted. The closest thing to a theocracy is the 'Fundamentalism' government type, whereby cities abandon scientific study for the sake of culture. However, religion in general actually improves scientific advancement by giving you access to technology like the printing press.
* ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis'', though not a Sid Meier game, features a slider that dictates the church's activities: one side puts focus towards the arts, humanities, and sciences, while the other side focuses on missionary and conversion efforts. Interestingly, a [[strike:later patch]] popular GameMod renamed the slider from "Innovation vs. Narrowmindedness" to the more even-handed "Innovation vs. Tradition" to emphasize the fact that both sides are equally viable choices depending on the player's strategy, making it more a case of [[ShapedLikeItself Conservatism Makes You Conservative]]. ''Which'' religion you culture belongs to can have a bigger effect. There's your choice of state religion, and your religious/cultural 'tech group'. Catholics and Protestants share a 'latin' tech group, the best, but Reformed>Protestant>Catholic>Counter-reformed, and so on. Because of the game's time period, there is strictly speaking no 'no belief' setting to make you 'less stupid'.
* In ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'', this trope is mostly [[InvertedTrope inverted]]. Scientific progress is aided by a ruler's Learning skill, which also determines a character's theological ability. The highest Learning bonus is given by the "Mastermind Theologician" educational trait.
* Portrayed oddly in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': The higher a character's Faith stat, [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve the more damage he deals]] ''and'' [[YourMindMakesItReal receives with magic]]. If it's too high, he'll desert to pursue a higher calling. On the other hand, atheists are utterly useless when it comes to casting magic but make for effective walls against it. The main story could also be a subversion. There ''are'' some pretty stupid and/or horrible people involved in the religion, but [[InMysteriousWays there is a hint of divine intervention]] to help out Ramza here and there, and he's not what you'd call dense by any means. He's just an UnwittingPawn because he refuses to be a scheming, ManipulativeBastard like [[GambitPileup every villain and their dog]].
* The [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]] of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' hold Forerunner technology as religious artifacts. They simply copy the artifacts as they are, and it is considered heresy to change or improve on them in any way, shape, or form. Ironically, despite being leaps and bounds ahead of humanity technologically, their mathematics are way behind, as all they do is copy. When humans get hold of Covenant/Forerunner technology and apply the superior mathematics, it is far more powerful than anything the Covenant make. In one of the books Cortana got better effects from a captured ship's engines and weapons simply by fiddling with the settings.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', while it's certainly true most of the priests are decent people and the gods are mostly benevolent, the Church itself participates in mass censorship, oppressed the necromancers into demon-worship thereby creating one of the {{Big Bad}}s of the series, and perpetrated the genocide of the Ayleid.
** In the other Franchise/TheElderScrolls games, it's played with. The way the story is told (player perspective only) and the way said player receives information about the religions (other character perspectives only) most religions claim this about most other religions.
** Of course, one must consider that Necromancy by it's very nature is considered an abomination by law abiding magicka users, and that by all accounts the Ayleids were pretty big dicks.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is a subversion. The intelligent, level-headed followers of the Order of Lorelei (ie: Tear and Ion) are on the side of good. The [[KnightTemplar Knight Templars]] like [[ObviouslyEvil Mohs]], on the other hand...
** On the same palm, [[spoiler:the entire military division of the Order is manipulated into helping (or worse, cooperating) with the BigBad's evil plans. Its higher-ranking members have names like [[CardCarryingVillain "Dist the Reaper" and "Asch the Bloody"]].]]
*** Although, as it turns out, [[spoiler:said characters are trying to ''destroy'' the aforementioned deity-equivalent.]]
* Justified in ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2''. [[CorruptChurch The Holy Church]] is actively repressing all non-religious knowledge.
** Izebel comments to herself that Laelius, a knight of TheEmpire bent on restoring the GloryDays, does not know that during said days the common soldiers of the empire was responsible for most of the construction and would have been perfectly able of reconstructing a stone arch bridge.
* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' gives us Unitology, a religion that preaches oneness of all humanity, but only after death. They also don't reveal the whole [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Necromoprh mutation thing]] except to their most exclusive members, i.e. the ones that have paid the most money and are thus the most loyal.
* Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei's Messians and Gaians. Ye gods. Both, while having many, many good points in favor of their own sides. Still, their favorite method of conversion is essentially beating the other side to death while proclaiming their superiority. Even [[CouncilOfAngels their own]] [[TheChessmaster leaders]] don't think that highly of them.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ImmortalSouls'', to an almost exaggerated degree. The Templars are ''by far'' the most technologically advanced group in the setting, having PoweredArmor, {{Energy Weapon}}s, and the like in what is otherwise a present-day setting, presumably so they as squishy humans can hope to match the powerful supernatural monsters they fight. They also engage in MadScientist-esque scientific research on said monsters. Lampshaded at one point when their leader boasts they'll succeed "thanks to our advanced technology and superior divine right".
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''' treatment of this is quite interesting. Magic is treated by some Sages (notably Sage Freke) as something quasi-scientific, while Faith is reserved for the masses, led by a saint. While Urbain's followers (especially that one person in the corner that does nothing but moans his fate without doing anything) and Urbain himself is shown to be a bit thick and detached with the reality and the identity of the god they worship, Saint Urbain did subtly recognize that the main BigBad, The Old One isn't a large cosmic EldritchAbomination everyone make it out to be. On the other hand, magic isn't as straight out scientific as Freke analyzed (what with Yuria's witchcraft having an element of chaos to it). This, coupled with Freke's reversal of attitude at the end of the game (that is, from "what does Souls' relation to magic" to [[ForScience For Magic]]!) means that, if Belief Makes You Stupid, {{Naytheis|t}}m Makes You Power Hungry. In strictly game terms however, Faith is the only thing that increases your Magic Defense, firmly establishing the [[MagicVersusScience Magic Versus Faith]] theme.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In [[http://www.rhjunior.com/tales-of-the-questor-0608/ this]] strip of ''WebComic/TalesOfTheQuestor'' one person indicates that the religion "Does not takes kindly to ideas-- or thinking -- not their own crafting." The pauses are probably intentional. He also indicates his job is to deal with anything that might threaten or challenge his master's beliefs in any way. It is a recurring issue in the comic that humans, partly because of religion, cannot deal with the concept of 'Lux energies' and insist on calling it magic, and with [[MagicIsEvil magic being evil to them]]...
** Thoroughly averted, though, with the more religious of his racconans, whose beliefs spark compassion.
** Rather obviously Catholic vs. Protestant, with the [[TheWarOnStraw strawman]] religion being Catholicism (the churches are called Sojourners' and Universal (Catholic ''means'' universal) and the use of symbols, architecture, etc, suggests the parallel also.)
* Tamago in [[http://www.negamaki.thecomicseries.com Negamaki!]] causes zig-zagging with this trope. He's overtly religious and profoundly stupid about it but when Chief Buffalo Jerky asks if all religious people are like him, Negamaki cites the many positive aspects of having a religious conviction; Tamago would be that stupid without one.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/{{Starpocalypse}} features a future world where the last religious human, the Space Pope, is leaves earth to find God. He's considered an idiot by his own robot servant, and the rest of humanity, and he dies searching for God. However, this could be a subversion, as his ship does eventually find God...but it turns out God is homicidal and stupid.
* The majority of the "Religion" tags on ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'', as well as ''Website/NotAlwaysWorking'' and other sister sites.
* This is this site: "FundiesSayTheDarndestThings" summed up.
* Website/RottenDotCom: Several articles in the rotten library have funny, but thoughtful insights in the absurdities and inconsistencies of major religions and religious people.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in basically any post-UnCancelled episode. Especially "[[AuthorFilibuster Not All Dogs Go to Heaven]]."
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s general philosophy towards religion seems to be "faith may make you stupid sometimes, but it will probably also make you good (or at least well-meaning)."
** The episode "All About Mormons" especially plays with this; the Mormon family is presented as ridiculously gullible for buying the story of how their religion was founded, but when Stan calls them out for that one of their sons points out that they're also the only family in the entire town who's happy and loving, largely because their church's ''main'' focus is on family values, not religious history. Then they still got it a bit off, as the history of the church is a major focus of study (alternating with books of scripture). The origin story is seen as vitally important, as it's the thing the LDS church bases its validity ''on''. [[note]] For example, if Joseph Smith didn't have the First Vision and the Book of Mormon is a hoax, then there goes the keystone of a member's testimony that their faith ''is'' God's restored church.[[/note]]
** The aesop of the episodes "Go God Go" and "Go God Go XII" is that religion or not, humanity (and sentient otterdom) will [[SillyReasonForWar still find petty reasons]] [[HumansKillWantonly to murder each other]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': The show has always enjoyed poking fun at the absurdities and inconsistencies of religion, right from the very first seasons. You could make an entire list of all the anti-religious or at least skeptical jokes in the show about blindly following religion and/or everything religious preachers say. Reverend Lovejoy has been portrayed as a hypocritical preacher whose is more interested in gaining money from churchgoers and judging other people's behaviour than anything else. His gossipy and judgmental wife Helen falls in the same category. Funny enough, even Ned Flanders- who actually is a good person and doing everything the Bible says "even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff", as he said in "Hurricane Neddy"- irritates Lovejoy. Flanders himself, though portayed as a good man with virtues in early seasons, has also been portrayed as somewhat of a caricature of what a ''good Christian'' should be, with his faith almost being omnipresent in his daily life to such a degree that it becomes a bit ridiculous. In later seasons the show's creators seem to have made Ned more {{Flanderiz|ation}}ed from "overly religious GoodSamaritan" to "TheFundamentalist KnightTemplar", usually to serve as a {{foil}} against the more scientifically-minded [[CreatorsPet Lisa]]. In "The Monkey Suit", Ned's opposition to the teaching of evolution turns the town into a fundamentalist dystopia, and in "You Kent Always Say What You Want" he went on a crusade to cleanse television after Kent Brockman swore in pain upon taking some hot coffee to the lap[[note]]And before that, we see Ned monitoring all TV shows for "impropriety", including Krypto "licking himself" on ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', prompting even his own children to say YouNeedToGetLaid[[/note]].
** A particularly infamous example of this trope is the episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E9HOMR Homr]] in which Homer removes a crayon from his brain and becomes super intelligent as a result. He uses his new found high I.Q., among other things, to scientifically prove why God couldn't possibly exist. Flanders is, of course, angry, but after reading Homer's text through he quickly concludes he's absolutely correct. Instead of just accepting the other viewpoint Flanders then decides that he must prevent the others from ever seeing the document, though Homer is already putting it underneath every car's windshield wiper.
* Like the game, this is almost played straight in ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall''. Nearly all the Unitologists are shown as either ignorant, horrible misguided, violent lunatics, and even just plain not right in the head. The biggest exception is Samuel Irons who is portrayed as being the OnlySaneMan among the entire Unitologist sect, as he is clearly aware that the Marker and necromorphs are a threat rather than as a key to ascension. Not only does he help the initially distrustful DoomedProtagonist Alissa Vincent and her P.C.S.I. Security team cut down the horde of undead marauders, he performs a HeroicSacrifice by distracting the necromorphs so that Alissa and her remaining team member helped the survivors escape (which all go in vain of course).
** Rather justified in that necromorphs have the ability to ''drive people insane with their presence'', and not only have Unitologists been subtly indoctrinated to undermine their resistance to this effect, a religious-styled obsession with necromorphs that includes willingly committing suicide or allowing necromorphs to massacre them is explicitly one of the effects that their insanity aura can induce.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', a village's blind faith in a fortune-teller nearly gets them all killed. Even [[TeamMom Katara]], who is often a voice of reason, falls victim to this trope, and asks for huge numbers of ridiculously specific predictions; at one point she asks if she should have a mango or papaya for breakfast the next day, (and on being exasperatedly told the latter, she goes and buys one, even though she hates papayas). However, in a slight [[ZigZaggingTrope zig-zag]], while the many flaws in their logic are pointed out by [[ButtMonkey Sokka]], (who gets completely ignored,) none of the predictions actually turn out to be wrong, even though they require the Gaang's direct intervention to turn out right. Most of them, however, were of the SelfFulfillingProphecy variety (like the guy she told he would meet the love of his life while wearing red shoes, so he started wearing them ''every day''), nobody in the village seems to understand the logic behind this when Sokka tries to explain it.
* Cleverly subverted in ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel''. The people of Moralton are all either naive, clueless idiots, vain hedonistic hypocrites, or barely-hidden sociopaths (and often more than one), and they're all very deeply religious. But as the series goes on, it becomes abundantly clear that religion has nothing to do with it and the majority of the town are really just self-absorbed scum whose piety is skin-deep and mostly for the sake of appearances. The Reverend is actually one of the nicest and most intelligent people in the town, even though being the Shepperd to this particular flock has given him a pretty heavy dose of cynicism.
[[/folder]]

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