I lifted this bit from Bill Maher, in a 2014 broadcast:
On a hot summer day, Orthodox Jews wear black wool; on a cold winter night, Mormons cannot drink a hot chocolate. Isn’t life hard enough without making stuff up to fuck with yourself? … Jews can’t eat ham; Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t buy Girl Scout Cookies; the Amish can’t drive cars; Catholics can’t masturbate; Scientologists can’t go to therapy; Baptists can’t dance; Sikhs can’t shave; god knows Muslims can’t take a joke.
Given that religion is just a human-devised gimmick, isn’t it sad that millions of people fall into the routine of their religion? Rarely can one say, “Chosen religion,” because almost inevitably, one’s religion is the one they’re born into – the one their parents follow. I have seen a young woman, married, though too young to be, who had obviously been born to ultra-orthodox Jews and would never have chosen it voluntarily.
Just as any teenager would be, she was fidgety and uncomfortable at her reception desk. She was impatient with the buzzing switchboard and hated the long, heavy dress she was required to wear. Most of all, she hated her wig, which she was compelled to wear, having had her hair ceremoniously removed by her mother for her wedding. I’ve seen her push the wig this way and that, trying to diminish the hot discomfort. All just so she could wed a man she barely knew, but marry him she must, as decreed by the Rabbi.
I don’t understand such devotion, based on ancient texts that are ridiculous when presented as reality. Science has proof of its claims, religion has nothing but faith, which is really nothing. Personally, I’m fairly pleased with my heritage, as inherited from my parents and grandparents, but their religion is hokum. I have chosen to be an Atheist because to do otherwise would be nonsense.
I like to do the right thing whenever I’m in a position to do so. I don’t choose my behavior based on fear of god or anything like it. I simply enjoy living in the knowledge that my intent is never to do evil and always do right. As for afterlife, there is none. The time to do good and be right is now, in life, because later is too late.