I am going to go on a bit of a rant here. An atheist rant. So if you're going to be offended you may want to just keep on surfing.
I finished God's Brothel by Andrea Moore-Emmett today. It is the collected stories of several women who escaped from polygamist cults. Rape, child abuse, neglect, jealousy, anger, fear. Awful awful stuff. Some of the women move from regular Mormonism over into the fundamentalist side; others are born into it and survive the awful childhood situations. I literally can't imagine going through half what these women did. Honestly, it makes me feel pretty pathetic for my own depression, but that is a different thing. The book is a 5 and I wish it had a bit more about what people are doing, such as prosecutions, etc, to give it a bit of a happy ending.
Here's the rant bit. Religions suck because they are all based on what i call the "magic book" theory. Here's your magic book, written long ago (or not so long ago in the case of Mormonism) originally in different languages supposedly written by God. The fact that bits contradict each other apparently just mean that God changed his mind and forgot to use the White Out for the earlier bits. This magic book is the complete truth and you can find permission to do anything in it: rape, murder, slavery, war, theft. If you want to say that only you can interpret the magic book, go for it, at least until someone else say that no, only they get to interpret the magic book. And since everybody thinks the magic book is real, no one thinks for themselves. it's sad. it's pathetic. it's the cause of so much awfulness in the world.
Oh, so you say that your particular slice of religion doesn't do that sort of thing? I'll give Buddhism a pass on this only because i don't know enough. Let's see, we have sects of Muslims who kill themselves to kill others, subjugate women, and mutilate their children. We have Catholic priests doing who knows what to a ridiculous number of children in their care. We have other fundamentalist Christians who bomb clinics, more abuse of children and women. No, if you're Jewish you don't get off here either. You've got rabbi's sucking on little boys and spreading hepatitis. Toss in all the shame, self hate, guilt, lack of medical care these groups are responsible for and i just can't see any reason people still fall for the crap.