The virus of religious moderation - Comment - Times Online
Many well-intentioned, reasonable people believe some version of the following statement: "Religious extremists are a problem, but religious belief itself is a positive force that is simply misused by extremists." Until the past couple years, I too held this belief. I know belief that all forms of faith in religious dogma are damaging to our world. One of the things that helped change my mind was Sam Harris' book, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.
Here is a recent op-ed piece where Harris summarizes the argument he makes in his book. His central thesis is that religious belief, even in moderate forms, continues to inspire violent conflict and ignorance about the natural world. In other words, faith in religious dogma is problematic. "The problem with religious moderation is that it offers us no bulwark against the spread of religious extremism and religious violence."
This article and Harris' book are highly recommended.