I can think of nothing more toxic to the individual and society than the willing subjugation of intellectual curiosity, moral reasoning and sense of meaning to an imaginary being external to the self. If a parent deliberately impeded a child's intellectual, moral and emotional development, a reasonable person would deem that parent a failure. Yet that is precisely what religion does. Externalization of judgment impedes the ultimate attainment of autonomy. The belief that we are but children deserving of no more that what a capricious celestial parent sees fit to bestow is a form of self-loathing that inevitably manifests itself as intolerance when the same standard is applied to others. It sells ignorance as valor, deprivation as justice and mystery as meaning.
Religion teaches detachment from the world. It sets up a duality between the sacred and the profane, placing before us an impossible standard to revere a world we can never know and despise the world we do. It debases engaged living is base and elevates detachment. The requirement of faith is inherently authoritarian, rendering doubt a thought-crime. Even the most innocuous banalities such as "everything happens for a reason" represent a rejection of an indifferent universe by sheer force of will. The refusal to accept the possibility of meaning in an indifferent universe is not only infantile but narcissistic.