"I'm an atheist, and I love religion, I really do. And I don't love religion in a snarky, mean-spirited way, I unabashedly, sincerely love that we have religion. Because if we didn't we wouldn't be here right now, being all post-modern and ironic. There'd be no civilization! If no one invented religion, we'd be fucked right now, because in the dawn of man, civilization was...the biggest and the strongest. And that's as far as we were gonna go. It was whoever the biggest fucked, killed, ate anything they wanted, that was it. Civilization was a huge psychopath with a club going "I'm gonna have rape for dinner." That was it. That's as far as we were gonna go. And then, one of my ancestors, some weakling, said "Look, there's no way I'm gonna beat that guy, but what if I trick him into thinking that if he doesn't kill and rape people while he's down here, when he dies there's a magic city in the clouds and he can go up and have all the cakes he wants." Now that's not a very well-formed plan but he went and told the big psycho, and the psycho heard that and said "Yeah I like cake". Boom, there you go! That was the beginning of civilization. Now we can work on fire, and writing, and agriculture. That's religion: it's the old "sky cake" dodge. It worked. But, and by the way things were great for a while, but then what was happening was that shit was going all over the planet. They would just use different desserts. They would tell them about sky cookies, or sky pie, or sky baklava, so each of these civilizations grew, they'd build ships that would go visit each other, and the one guy would walk off the boat and go "Hey, did you hear the good news about sky baklava?", and the first guy went "IT'S CAKE MOTHERFUCKER, YOU'RE DEAD!!" And then oh my God there were the dessert wars, it was a nightmare. They were just killing people. It got so bad that every one and than, some dude would show up and go "Hey guys, good news; there's cake and pie and cookies for everyone and we can all share!" and people said "NAIL HIM TO A FUCKING CROSS!! IT IS ONLY CAKE!! OH MY GOD, THE ONLY WAY SKY CAKE TASTES GOOD IS IF UP IN THE SKY, THE SKY COOKIES AND SKY PIE PEOPLE CAN'T HAVE THE SKY CAKE!! THAT'S THE ONLY WAY SKY CAKE TASTES GOOD!! I DID NOT SPEND MY LIFE NOT RAPING AND KILLING PEOPLE TO NOT GO UP TO THE SKIES AND HAVE CAKE!! SKY CAKE!!!" So the next time you see some douchebags in front of an abortion clinic, or trying to ban a Harry Potter novel, just say "Oh, sky cake. Why are you so delicious?!?"
We just need to treat religious people with kindness and love, in the same way you'd treat a child running around saying: "I'm a helicopter!"
— Simon Amstell, Grandmas House
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
—Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (note, however, that Marx wasn't blaming people for this-rather it was a reaction to oppression that would be lifted along with it)